Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our Common Home

A blog in two parts this week, by Sister Kathryn Casper, both inspired by the Pope’s recent encyclical.

i)                  Story in Prose
Here’s a story told to me by Sister Dennis Frandrup, who is a great observer of nature, dearly loving all of God’s wonders in creation.

One day as she approached the door to the monastery dining room, something fell in front of her. Wondering what it was, she stopped, and discovered a tiny baby bird.  She picked it up, with gentle care. The bird was still warm and she cuddled it in her open hands, protecting it until she could decide what to do.  Sister Dennis felt great compassion for this vulnerable little creature. She understood that the only way to save the baby bird was to restore it to its nest.  The nest was perched high upon a light outside the door.  Somehow Sister Dennis managed to put the bird back into its nest.  This firsthand experience for her was a direct realization of the vulnerability not only of this small bird, but of all creatures on our planet.  The experience opened her heart and mind to deeper compassion for all that is fallen and helpless, to see the great gift of redemption offered to us daily by our gracious Creator God. 
Photo: Karen Streveler, OSB

ii)               Poem of Praise

On the Care of our Common Home

Yellow day lilies in lift their heads
like golden trumpets
resounding in exuberant joy
          LAUDATO  SI!

Finches, wrens, sparrows
whistling, trilling, warbling
toss ecstatic song into the universe
          LAUDATO  SI!

Newest rabbit peeks from under
the glorious dogwood bush
offering shy worship
          LAUDATO  SI!

Squirrels digging in wood-chipped earth
stop, startled by some mysterious impulse
          LAUDATO  SI!

Fertile trees, laden with seed
Bow, bend, wave in wondrous rhythm,
          LAUDATO  SI!

Tall sedate firs in perfect, elegant symmetry 
announce a paean of praise
          LAUDATO  SI!

Sister Philip, rolls her lumbering cart
across the grounds
tools clang, thrum, resound
          LAUDATO  SI

Workers, grounds keepers,
security officers, secretaries, administrators ~
sisters, young and old working, praying
keep the monastery humming
          LAUDATO  SI!

In the sacred tranquil cemetery
holy witnesses bespeak in silent concert
lives of enduring faithfulness and ardent love
          LAUDATO  SI!

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