NEWSLETTER    Spring 2004



   and all we can become,


            rise within my soul.


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                                                                                                                                                               Newsletter Spring, 2004

  Dear Friends of Carmel,

      Sometimes, when   we are at a loss as to how to begin a letter , we pretend that we are some kind of local anchor person giving the news of the day. Something that is even more effective is to jot down the words, “Dear Friends of Carmel.”   And then, all kinds of things come to mind.   There is something about the word, “Friend”.


     Recently, we fell heir to a lovely book, entitled Life Lines, by Marcus Braybrooke.   The title is not related to all those wrinkly lines we get on our faces when we smile too much, but instead to the line, or the hand, that people extend to us when we really need it.   When we opened the book at random, a saying of Anne Frank popped out:   How beautiful it is that no one need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.”   As St. Teresa of Avila says, we are always beginning.


     Frequently, we write about the sun, moon, and stars, and the waiting fields out here in country-land.   We thought, perhaps, that we should take a recess on this.   But then, we received a letter from a local soldier doing duty in Iraq.   He had received our fall newsletter from a friend.   He writes, “I could almost smell the corn fields, taste the crisp autumn air, and feel the hint of winter coming on.   I'll never again take for granted the beauty of a harvest moon or the serenity of a star filled night.” Sometimes, these simple bows to the kindness of nature can be cool water to someone in the desert.   With that, we won't even mention the fox in our front yard or the rabbits that keep activating our security lights at night.   Soon, the wind will be doing the same as it brushes through the lilacs in spring.


     And then, there is the last of the eagles flying overhead, such a wonderful sign of God's Providence.   Whoever among us sees an eagle is the envy of the rest.   We have a saying, that goes something like this: “You can't make an eagle fly over.   You can only wish it.”


     Speaking of God's providence and care, in the early part of January, our Sister Rozanne Heller took up her new residence at The Alverno Health Care Facility in Clinton, Iowa.   The Alverno is run by the Franciscan Sisters of Clinton.   We visit her often.   When the possibility of a new home was first discussed with Sister Rozanne, she accepted the idea and viewed it as “going on mission,” a term used by Religious Sisters.   And, that is what she is currently doing.   Sister is also adjusting well.


     Here is just an added note before we close.   Summer promises to bring visits from women desiring to taste our way of life.   Please pray for them and for us. Pray also that the quiet light of the contemplative way will continue to be a source of hope and encouragement for God's people.


     Know that when we light the new Easter fire on Holy Saturday beneath our star lit and expectant skies, so filled with the kindness of God, we will be praying for you. Each year, we try to see how long we can keep that fire burning.   We pray that you will experience some of its light with this letter as we close with a word of inspiration.

                 Lo, it is Easter!   I say, “Put off until tomorrow all those worries that

           fill your heart, today.   Perhaps, between now and then, I, your God,

           will have passed your way.”                     Charles Peguy, adapted


     May our love and our promise of continued prayer be a   Life Line   for you, our Dear Friends. Happy Easter and Happy Springtime!

Your Eldridge Carmelites



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