Quote of the day: 23 May

Prayer is the trap-door out of sin.
Prayer is a mystic entering in
to secret places full of light.
It is a passage through the night.

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
(Jessica Powers)

Prayer (excerpt)

 

open brown wooden door
Photo by George Shervashidze on Pexels.com

 

The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers (p. 144)  / Edited by Regina Siegfried and Robert Morneau (page 131) 
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1999 by Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Joseph

Joseph

Joseph has strong arms, a strong grasp
When strength is in demand.
Not only is a child’s soft hand protected
In his brown massive hand,

But he can hold up cities, hold up nations.
Now in the season of weakness, season of search,
He can poise on his shoulder like a child
The ponderous age-old structure of the Church.

There on his shoulder, there in the crotch of his arm,
A church, a people held, a kingdom piled.
And Joseph knows this strength grew great in him
From lifting up a Child.

Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.

Untitled Design (2)
Saint Joseph | Carmel of Terre Haute

Joseph was written by Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, a published poet and Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Pewaukee, Wisconsin upon a special commission by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Terre Haute, Indiana to accompany this image of Saint Joseph, which the nuns then used to print holy cards for distribution to their benefactors and to the faithful. We are grateful to them for sending us an image of the prayer card and the text of Sr. Miriam’s poem. Learn more about the Terre Haute Carmel and Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, as well as her published poetry.

Quote of the day: 17 March

The Far Island

Heaven to me a mystic Erin is,
God’s sea-encircled dwelling, wholly lit
by its own inner and eternal day,
and all my birds of longing nest in it.

I pray to Patrick of the Trinity
to gain for me this isle of the Triune.
Grant me to turn my prow into its port
before the cycle of the next new moon.

I pray to Brigid, Mary of the Gael,
so clothe me with the Virgin it may be
that when my mantle sweeps against the waves
they may take heed to her tranquility.

Brendan the Voyageur I too implore:
through these dark waters take me to my goal.
As once you found my earthland, find for me
the unimagined homeland of my soul.

Have pity, saints of Erin; help my ship
out to the blessed isle! And till I be
anchored in God my postexilic Good,
O Columbkill the exile, pray for me.

(1946)

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. 

Ballinacourty Lighthouse County Waterford
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Agnes Jessika Powers) was born in Mauston, Wisconsin and baptized in St. Patrick’s Church there. Her grandparents’ families were immigrants from County Waterford, Ireland.
Photo: Ballinacourty Lighthouse near Dungarvan, County Waterford | John Finn / Flickr
The Far Island, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers / Edited by Regina Siegfried and Robert Morneau (page 131) 
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1999 by Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Quote of the day: 2 March

Dreams of You

My dreams of you are like the fallen leaves,
colored with brillance, nomad rustling things,
tossed by the winds of olden memories—
they prate of golden summertimes and springs.

When skies were gray you flung them all away—
but I, who loved them, hoard such gifts as these.
By day I revel in their gilded lights;
at night they whisper tender sympathies.

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD
(Jessica Powers)
American Poetry Magazine (March-April, 1924)

close up photo of dry leaves
Photo by WARREN BLAKE on Pexels.com

The Marie du jour – May 31

The Visitation Journey

The second bead: scene of the lovely journey
of Lady Mary, on whom artists confer
a blue silk gown, a day pouring out Springtime,
and birds singing and flowers bowing to her.

Rather, I see a girl upon a donkey
and her too held by what was said to mind
how the sky was or if the grass was growing.
I doubt the flowers; I doubt the road was kind.

“Love hurried forth to serve.” I read, approving.
But also see, with thoughts blown past her youth,
a girl riding upon a jolting donkey
and riding further and further into the truth.

Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

 

Visitation journey mosaic, Ein Karem
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah (Luke 1:39)
Central mosaic on the facade of the Church of the Visitation
Ein Karem, Israel
Photo: orlandophotoshooter / Flickr 

 

I doubt the flowers; I doubt the road was kind

 

Church of the Visitation facade full view
Church of the Visitation, Ein Karem
Photo credit: Fr. Gaurav Shroff / Flickr 

 

The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers (p. 67) ICS Publications, Washington DC © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

The Marie du jour – May 27

And in Her Morning

The Virgin Mary cannot enter into
my soul for an indwelling. God alone
has sealed this land as secretly His own;
but being mother and implored, she comes
to stand along my eastern sky and be
a drift of sunrise over God and me.

God is a light and genitor of light.
Yet for our weakness and our punishment
He hides Himself in midnights that prevent
all save the least awarenesses of Him.
We strain with dimmed eyes inward and perceive
no stir of what we clamored to believe.
Yet I say: God (if one may jest with God),
Your hiding has not reckoned with Our Lady
who holds my east horizon and whose glow
lights up my inner landscape, high and low.
All my soul’s acres shine and shine with her!
You are discovered, God; awake, rise
out of the dark of Your Divine surprise!
Your own reflection has revealed Your place,
for she is utter light by Your own grace.
And in her light I find You hid within me,
and in her morning I can see Your Face.

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

MacArthur, Lindsay Grandison, c.1866-1945; Dawn over Galilee
Dawn over Galilee
Lindsay Grandison MacArthur (British, c.1866–1945)
Oil on canvas
City of Edinburgh Council

And in her light I find You hid within me,
and in her morning I can see Your Face

The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers (p. 64)
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

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