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Showing posts from February, 2012

St. Valentine's Day

What do most people think of when they hear the phrase "Valentine's Day"?  For a lot of people, chocolate, hearts, spending time with a girlfriend or boyfriend, watching romantic movies, et cetera.  For Catholics, who remember to use the proper title of Saint Valentine, the phrase might evoke thoughts of the heroic martyr.  Most consider it a strictly secular holiday, too often used for immorality and other sins.

When I think of February 14th, however, memories arise.  A two-day drive, the first look at the little town of Alexandria, the convent walls, a tiny chapel, the brown woolen petticoat and tunic, the double grate, the cheerfulness of a dozen women in matching habits, and a door.

Two years ago, my dear sister Meredith entered the cloistered Carmel of Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph.  People often ask me, "What is it like having a sister who is a nun?"  Maybe if I write about it, I will be better able to formulate the answer that I can never come up with…

Poem of the Month: February

Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady's Purification, a celebration commonly called Candlemas.  In honor of this feast of Our Lady, and the close of the forty days of the joyful Christmas season, I present the following poem.

Hymn

by Edgar Allan Poe
At morn–at noon–at twilight dim-
Maria! thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe–in good and ill-
Mother of God, be with me still!
When the hours flew brightly by,
And not a cloud obscured the sky,
My soul, lest it should truant be,
Thy grace did guide to thine and thee;
Now, when storms of Fate o'ercast
Darkly my Present and my Past,
Let my Future radiant shine
With sweet hopes of thee and thine!