Our Lady of Gethsemani
Entered as Postulant, St. Lucy's Day, December 13, 1941Poem For My Friends, Dec 12-13This holy house of God,
(Nazareth, where Christ lived as a boy)
These sheds & cloisters,
The very stones & beams are all befriended
By cleaner sun, by rarer birds, by humbler flowers.Lost in the tigers' & the lions' wilderness,
More than we fear, we love these holy stones,
These thorns, the phoenix's sweet & spikey tree.More than we fear, we love the holy desert
Where separate strangers, hid in their disguise,
Have come to meet by night the quiet Christ.We who have some time wandered in the crowded ruins,
(Farewell, you woebegone, sad towns)
We who have wandered like (the ones I hear) the moaning
(Begone, sad towns!)
We'll live it over for you here.Here are your ruins all rebuilt as fast as you destroyed them
In your unlucky wisdom!
Here in the Holy House of God
And on the Holy Hill
Fields are the friends of plenteous heaven,
While falling starlight feeds, as bright as manna,
All our rough earth with wakeful grace.And look, the ruins have become Jerusalems,
And the sick cities re-arise like shining Zions.
Jerusalems! These walls & roofs,
These flowers & fragrant sheds!
Our desert's wooden door,
The arches, & the windows, & the tower!December 18, 1941
Not one word is lost, not one action is lost, not one prayer is lost, not one mis-sung note in choir is lost.Nothing is lost.What in the world would be wasted is here all God's, all for love.I shiver in the night (not now that I have the postulants' white, woolhabit) [but] for love - and I never hated less the world, scorned it less or understood it better.Because nothing is lost. -- (and therefore everything is in proportion) -- every act is seen in its context, and everything in the monastery issignificant.Because everything here is in a harmonious and totally significant context (every face is turned to God -- every gesture and movement is His). Thus, everything in the world outside is also significant, when brought into relation with this!How long we wait, with minds as quiet as time,
Like sentries on a tower!
How long we watch, by night, like the astronomers!O Earth! O Earth! When will we hear you sing,
Arising from our grassy hills?
And say: "The dark is gone, and Day
Laughs like a bridegroom in His tent, the lovely sun!
His tent the sun! His tent the smiling sky!"How long we wait, with minds as dim as ponds,
While stars swim slowly homeward in the waters of our
O Earth! When will we hear you sing?How long we listened to your silence in our vineyards,
And heard no bird stir in the rising barley.
The stars go home behind the shaggy trees:
Our minds are grey as rivers.O Earth, when will you wake in the green wheat,
And all our oaks and Trappist cedars sing:
"Bright land! Lift up your leafy gates!
You Abbey steeple, sing with bells,
For look, our Sun rejoices like a dancer
On the rim of our hills!"In the blue west, the moon is uttered like the word
JMJT [Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Thérèse]
Feast of the Epiphany [January 6],...