The Heart Cave

Stephanie Nolan, O.S.U.

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And sweep it clean, make it warm, with fire on the hearth

And candles in their niches

The pictures on the walls glowing with quiet lights

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And make the bed with the quilt from home

Strew rushes on the floor

And hang lavender and sage from the corners

 

I must remember to go down to the heart cave

And be there when you come.

Geoffrey Brown

Here the cave suggests to our imagination the gentle welcoming of the newborn savior. However comforting the scene, we cannot linger at Bethlehem. Advent is not merely a season for commemorating the historical birth of Christ. It is actually designed to prepare the Christian for the coming of Christ in the Now of our present and for the glorious coming of the victorious Christ at the Endtime.

In our times there is the urgent cry and deep longing for a savior: Come Lord, come Now, and do not delay. Each morning we rise to witness new tragedies of biblical proportions: an exodus of whole populations, fleeing tyranny, the slaughter of the innocent; bloodshed, hunger, disease; hatred and suspicion and distrust among families and nations. In dark moments we ask: Where is God? Does God sleep in spite of the storms that surround us? With the psalmist we plead,

“Wake up Lord! Rise up! Clothe yourself with strength!” (Psalm 42).

“Have you forgotten mercy? Has anger overcome your tenderness?”
“Come O Lord, save us, O Lord, raise up your might, come to our help” (Psalm 44).

God listens to our lament, readies our hearts, and brings us to an advent of hope.
God is faithful to his promise. He comes. The reign of God has already begun, already visible in Jesus, the healer of our wounded planet.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth.
And with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked
The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces. (Isaiah 11:4)

On that day it well be said: “Behold our God to whom
We looked to save us. Let us rejoice and be glad that he
Has saved us. (Isaiah 25:9)

“Ultimately we believe the Word of God full of grace and truth will prevail over every form of tyranny,
Whatever the violent discords of our time, peace will have the last word.” (Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.)

It is that peace I wish for all of us and a joyous Christmas with friends, family, and community.

You can view past Reflections here.

 

The Heart Cave

Stephanie Nolan, O.S.U.   I must remember to go down to the heart cave And sweep it clean, make it warm, with fire on the hearth And candles in their niches The pictures on the walls glowing with quiet lights   I must remember to go down to the heart cave And make the bed with the quilt from home Strew rushes on the floor And hang lavender and sage…

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November Musings

Maryellen Keefe, O.S.U.   Month of endings and beginnings, 30 Days of contrast— Falling leaves evoking thoughts of death, warm Indian summer hinting at new life Among November’s days of contrast are some significant ones— November 1 All Hallows summons to celebration of saints known and unknown, November 2 All Souls invites prayerful remembrance of those at Heaven’s gate November 3 Martin de Porres, illegitimate, bi-racial, Dominican brother, nurses the…

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REFLECTING ON OCTOBER

Bridget Puzon, O.S.U. The poet called it the time of “mellow fruitfulness.” Everything seems quieter and invites reflection. After the Autumnal Equinox, the sun very noticeably comes up later. (I know, the reality is that the earth turns.) The sunrise show from our kitchen window that moved across the room, blinding us, now has only hints, shadows, to nudge us awake. It is autumn in New York. At the same…

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GAIA MOURNS HER SCARS

Anne Therese Dillen, OSU In honor of LAUDATO SI Woman, why are you weeping, Bent in scalding tears? What has wrenched your heart to breaking, No smile to hide your fears? “Look here! Can you but see? They’ve shaved away my mountain – The trees, the moss, the laurel – The scent of morning dew!” “Naught but crags and crevices, Jagged holes and caves With muddy sludge for rivers, Can…

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PENTECOST

Claire Smith, O.S.U.   The Pentecost psalmist sings a masterful hymn to the Spirit of God, Creator of the Cosmos, taking hardly a breath, in the telling of the God-colors into the world, into humanity, into my own heart. Meanwhile, back in the Upper room in the Cenacle, the apostles are hiding behind closed doors, confused by the Easter events, when a spiritual tsumani breaks upon them. We have our…

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Ascension

This watercolor painting by Sr. Anne Therese Dillen, O.S.U., featuring two persons and not the apostles, is a symbolic representation of us all as we “look up” in expectation, sometimes forgetting that we need look only around us and within us to find the risen Jesus. “MEN of GALILEE, WHY DO YOU STAND LOOKING UP?” Just what is up and what is down, Or what is here or there? For…

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Easter Encounters

Bridget Puzon, O.S.U.   How often we have first impressions that turn out to be far different realities. A person, a situation, an encounter, aren’t what we thought. First-hand accounts of the Easter stories show just such recognitions of reality. Days after the brutal death of Jesus, the Gospel stories after the event artfully show the confusion his followers felt. We read or listen to the first-hand accounts of their…

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Holy Week 2015

Anne Therese Dillen, O.S.U.   HOLY, INDEED! A sacred march to town, with seating on a donkey’s colt; A path of palms thick-strewn, yet soon to be awash in tears; Joyous songs of children echoed by the very stones. HOLY, INDEED! A crowning for the King, a regal purple robe as well: A throne erected just for Him — at thirty silver pieces — cheap! And just so everyone will…

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Lenten Reflection

The watercolor Redemption and accompanying poem are by Sr. Anne Therese Dillen, OSU.   WHAT IF…? Anne Therese Dillen, O.S.U. What if Lent, this lengthy entry into Spring — bereft of birdsong, flowers, warmth: a “fast” perhaps, but slow – What if this unwelcome word took on a different cast? Instead of time without — a time of plenty; A time “lent” to us by God to fill our treasure…

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A CHRISTMAS CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF

Marie-Celine Miranda, O.S.U. Christmas is coming. Time to celebrate. What are we really celebrating? All the stores seem to be celebrating, but people these days look pretty bushed, as far as I can see. It’s the birth of a baby, a long time ago. For a baby born a long time ago it’s a pretty big celebration—all over the world, it seems. Well, this baby grew up to be Jesus…

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