Newsletter - Spring 2007



This is the season to have

hope rekindled.

Expect your prayers

to be answered.

The winters of life do

not last.

Birds are singing, and

flowers are appearing

in our land.

Spring is astir in the


of my world.


Sarah Ban Breathnach, adapted


Dear Friends of Carmel, Spring, 2007

A name is a precious gift. We are told that it is something we live into. When people address us by name, there is something that comes alive within us, and a certain feeling that we have just come home. A niece of one of our Sisters said that her husband-to-be used to say her name in a way that no one else ever did. Here at the monastery, sometimes we talk about the meaning of our names. For one, her name means “Praiseworthy”. For others, the name means “Graciousness of God”, “Song of Joy”, “Scissors of a Taylor”, “Lily”, “Pool Below a Waterfall”.

Macrina Wiederkehr,O.S.B., found out that her name means “Little-Great-One”. In a way, we do think of you by name. This is certainly true when we put your names on our mailings. We also pray for you when we do. For now, though, we shall just address you as Friend. Katherine Davis says that a friend is someone who pushes you in the swing, pulls you up the ladder, and pats you on the back.


And so, Dear Friend, what new thing can we mention having to do with this very ordinary life of ours? We still watch the moon when there is an eclipse, and stand in awe as we watch the shadow of our earth pass over it. This happened, of course, when there were snow banks below. And, then, there were the sundogs in the sky on the very cold days. We traded stories from our grandmothers and took photos of those rainbows in the sky. We had box seats of this drama right from our kitchen window, where it was toasty and warm. With Wordsworth, our hearts leapt up when we beheld a rainbow in the sky.

Speaking of things high up, when the March winds came, we were able to fly a kite above our clover field, that was just beginning to turn green, and where there are few interruptions. In just the right up and down drafts, the kite looked like a bird high up darting against the clouds in a blue sky. It was a beautiful sight, and seemed to be telling us that since God is in the heavens (and the earth), all will be right with this world of ours. As Robert Browning says, in God’s good time, we shall arrive. God guides us and the bird.  

As usual, we have lightsome moments to add to the humor in our lives. One Sister who was having a cheery conversation with an automated voice at the other end of the telephone, found she needed to sneeze. The cheery voice came back with, “I’m sorry. I did not get that number.” She didn’t even say, “God bless you.”


As usual, we close our letter telling you about the Easter fire of Holy Saturday in the crisp night air, under the magnificent beauty of our stars. We plan to carry your intentions with us as we process into a darkened chapel lighted only by the candles we bear. These intentions will be placed next to the Paschal Candle as we sing the traditional Exultet . We will be asking God to keep the Morning Star burning in your heart and in your home as a soothing reminder that you are not only loved by God, but desired by God. Just as the daisy, by its shadow, protects the dewdrop from the sun, so also may this same good God overshadow you when you need it most. We pray for you every day. May your Easter go on and on!

Your Carmelite Sisters – Eldridge , Iowa                        


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