Angelic Delivery

Bread, milk, fruit, eggs,

a family puzzle we stayed up till 11pm one night doing,

a stuffed animal for my toddler,

a sewing project for my 8 year old,

a kind word of encouragement,

a witty joke,

a reference to literature

a story from across the world

a promise to pray:

these are the things my friend of 14 years,

Sister Angela, has brought to my door

when she’s stopped by some evenings around 8 pm,

after a busy day of caring for migrants and the poor,

to leave groceries and an unassuming smile.

“It’s exactly what we needed!” I exclaim.

“God knew,” she answers with quiet confidence…

my angel, my messenger,

bearing so many little tokens

of God’s love.

The amorous little gentleman

I was just beginning to write this silly little poem earlier when the baby flung back his arm while nursing and hit “post” long before it was ready. Eek! Sorry for those who received this strange snippet in their inbox! Now that the kids have stopped parachuting off their bunkbeds or other similar gymnastic feats, I’ve been able to finish it. Voilá!

The amorous little gentleman

approached with an unabashed smile of delight

and pulling my hair towards him

took a generous chomp of my chin.

He is not at all shy

but perfectly clear

that it’s his utter to delight to bite me

—smooch here and here and here—

If he weren’t so sweet,

like a down covered peach,

perhaps I would try to struggle

but darling he is,

I simply give in

and chubby arms round my neck

give him a snuggle.

  

coals of divine love

Do we realize our immense dignity

as children of God? 

That we are

with the coals of divine love 

burning in our souls

as walking tabernacles

of the Holy Spirit?

Every touch, every gesture

should be one of love

as done by one bearing an immense treasure,

a wealth of gleaming gold

inside a simple earthen vessel.

How then our work can be an act of worship

done in union with God within us

with the delicacy of one in love.

May we glow with this warmth

bringing affection to all we encounter

and the joy of being children of God

ever in His presence. 

  

Sisters of the World

How beautiful it is to be here with so many sisters

Of ages 18 to 80
From many countries

And many different pasts
Learning together, growing together,

Dancing through the differences to find

Our common heart

Our shared desire for

A life with deeper meaning

A world with brighter hope

And warmer love

Embracing everyone
With our prayer and affection

Those confiding smiles

That sincere understanding

And  many little acts of kindness

May this better world

Where each person is sacred

Begin with us

Boys are like puppies…

Puppies need lots and lots of affection.

Puppies love to nap. 

Puppies like to play with other animals.

Puppies love treats and getting messy.

Puppies enjoy being taken for walks.

Puppies like to play on the floor.

Puppies delight in popping out of funny places like boxes. 

Puppies love big sticks.

If any of you are puppy owners, you’ll surely agree they are sweet, loyal and a little sticky, and make you feel very, very loved!

Unexpected Blossoming

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Little one
When you arrived
You were like a little rosebud
Picked in the rain
Crinkled, crimson, vulnerable

And I was afraid
Time would tarnish you further

My heart quaked before seeing you again
And I felt terrible to be a mother afraid
To see her own child

The first night it was true
You were so cold
As if the frost had bitten your beauty
And your stillness was so solemn

I left you that night
Weeping and broken
With a sprig of baby’s breath
Clutched in your tiny fists

But when we returned
Two days later to visit you
Kindly laid out by the hospital chaplain
You were rosier
Your cheeks were fuller
Like the little rosebud
Had begun to unfurl

Such a mercy
Your three biggest sisters
Could find you lovely
Patting your cheek
Holding your tiny hands in theirs
Proudly having their picture taken with you
Their baby

They took turns leaving kisses
On your sweet face
One of the few gifts
You could take to Heaven

But the most beautiful day of all
Was the last one we saw you
At the funeral chapel

Our sweet funeral director Michelle
Suggested I help dress you
In the one dress you’ll wear forever
The one I searched the city for
And finally found in a little Italian shop
On the east side of town
Where the Italian grandmas embraced me
And exclaimed “Que bella, que bella!” at your photo

It was a fall baptismal dress
A cosy knitted one from Europe
With a matching sweater and booties
Creamy white with little bits of shiny pink
The last one in the store
Meant for you

So the day before your funeral
Michelle brought you to us
Carrying you in her arms
With the affection and tenderness of a mother
Wrapped in your cosy blanket
The warmest and softest one I could find

And, little rose, you were in bloom!
Your beauty was enchanting
You sparkled as Daddy held you close
And I even laughed and said
You were our little snow queen

You looked so real, so alive
So much like a little baby sleeping
That your grandmother
Meeting you for the first time
Couldn’t help rocking you back and forth
“My baby, my baby!”

So many came that day
All your five children siblings
Your two uncles
And one aunt
And our friend Fr. Uy
Who delivered your crown

You must have felt the affection
Poured on you as everyone took their turn
To hold you, our precious one
And I remember my brother Monti
The one who flew from Hawaii to be here for me
Saying as he held you, “She’s ok. She’s really ok.”

And as we crowned you with a tiny crown
Of yellow and white flowers
Laced with sparkles
And a tiny medal of our Lady
Hand sewn for hours that morning
By a woman from the parish we hardly knew
You, darling, simply glowed
Sharing with us
A tiny glimpse
Of the radiance of Heaven

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