Saturday, July 17, 2010

St. Margaret's Day/Have you understood all this?

We have had a wonderful day here at the convent celebrating our patronal festival.  Around 115 of us enjoyed worshipping together and listening to a funny and thought-provoking sermon from the Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton (of Geranium Farm E-Mo fame).  The gospel for the day is Matthew 13:44-52.  She focused her comments around a couple of lines that have always struck me: "‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’"   And then she looked at us... "Yes?"  Ri-i-i-i-i-ght... sure they/you/we/I do!  

Perhaps I should not be so amused - but as she said, you never quite know what you are saying yes to at first! Think of marriage vows.  How can you really know what it will be like? You can't.  Nor with the religious life. Nor with anything else like that. 

She also pointed out that you can't make happiness. It's a by-product.  Like joy.  Joy, she said, is a by-product of meaning.  I have heard it said that joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God.  This fits, of course.  She talked about real sacrifice and real martyrdom as being possible only when you really do love life.  God calls you to a place where there is the deepest meaning in what you are doing.  And that is why the martyrs could sing.

Thinking, too, of Frederick Buechner here - that this place/activity/being to which God is calling you, that place of joy, is otherwise known as vocation. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

interview with Sister Promise

Trinity Wall Street sent a group to Haiti. They've interviewed them and posted the video and photos on their website.

Perspectives on Haiti: Sister Promise Atelon

Hard to see the photos, but Sr. Promise did a good job with the interview, I must say.  Not that this is a surprise!  I look forward to seeing her later this week when she comes to Boston for St. Margaret's Day, so I will just have to tell her this myself.  Being able to do so will be a blessing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

born into devastation - newborns in post-earthquake Haiti

I just saw this video (below), an 11 minute spot from a French news channel that someone posted on YouTube. It just breaks my heart.  Everyone I know is still living in a tent.  The Sisters at least have a nice one in someone's side yard; others are not so lucky.  Actually, it's the lucky ones who have the real tents. 

Now imagine you are a mother who has just given birth.  Your husband died in the quake. You have no income to buy food.  And for some reason, you can't nurse. 

Or you are a mother with a baby in a shelter with no door.  Do you dare leave at night to find a place to go to the bathroom?  And what do you do with the baby if you are alone?  How do you carry water?

So much one could say...

Haiti: Le Cauchemar des Nouveaux-Nes (The Newborns' Nightmare)