Newsletter - Spring 2009
...Do not worry
about your life.
See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Dear Friends of Carmel,
People often ask what we do all day. We could honestly reply that we pray for other people, our country and the world. We could say that we are continuously engaged in an untiring quest for God. And, we could also say that we do all the things everyone else does – housework, cooking, laundry, maintenance, gardening, etc. All of these come together as we discover the Holy within ordinary everyday happenings. Macrina Wiederkeir, in her book A Tree Full of Angels, encourages the reader to unwrap the ordinary, and to gather up the crumbs. We have also found that there are other times when we are invited to gather up the crumbs from past events, and, in doing this, to be strengthened and encouraged once again. As they say, we remember the moment more than the day.
Before we get caught up in describing the beauties of Spring that surround us, we want to tell you about something that happened in the midst of winter. The story is much like the “acts of kindness” Brian Williams describes in his evening news. Like many others, we received our share of vigorous winds, rain, snow and ice. This is where the beauty of our neighbors emerged once again. In the face of these movements of nature, often, when we looked out the window, we saw Roger expertly going back and forth with his neat snow-removal vehicle, clearing our parking lot and driveways. We became convinced that angels come in various forms. Since Roger would not take any remuneration, we solved the issue with a homemade cherry pie. That kept him coming!
We wish we could share with you our early morning sunrises and, in the evening, the same sun going down in the west between the evergreens. The time in between, of course, includes the song of the birds and the eagles high in the sky waving good-bye and taking one last glance at the rich black soil below, soil just waiting for that precious seed. Truly, all of this moves the heart, and raises the spirit to a place where there is no worry.
In addition to prayer these days, we feel somewhat called to pass on a word or two of encouragement to those who come our way. One word that keeps coming to mind is that of Emily Dickinson. Having used it before, it does have a touch of Spring in it:
“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
or ease one life the aching,
or help a fainting robin into the nest again,
I shall not have lived in vain.”
We like to think that when a person does a good deed, he or she did not need to do, God looks down and smiles, and says: “For this moment alone, it was worth creating the world.” (Talmud) Even going out to another in a small way can end up being a great act of kindness. We never know.
As always, we will be lighting the Easter fire under the stars on Holy Saturday, followed by a procession with lighted candles into a darkened chapel. We ask you to join us in spirit, for truly, we will carry all your intentions with us. Know that we pray for you every day. May the memory of a precious moment that occurred in the past bring joy to you, again, and may the Spring rains fall gently upon your garden and upon your heart and home. Happy Easter!
Your Carmelite Sisters - Eldridge, Iowa
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