We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at St. Gertrude's Ministry Center
(6214 N. Glenwood), beginning at 8:00 p.m. Folks are welcome to join us at anytime.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ave Maria

As I sat on the ground, leaning against a fence and listening to an announcement telling me not to go past that fence, small white beads slipped through my fingers.

The beads passed by and the repeating, lulling background music of "Hail Mary..." centered and deepened my prayer. Holding Her, I entered more fully into the sanctuary inside myself where God dwells.

Everything rose to the surface. Pain. the Pain of why we gathered, why I was sitting at that fence. The Pain behind that fence. Longing. Intense longing for the whole world to know my love- no, God's love, longing for unity and relationship and justice from that love. Fear-nerves of having to let go those I care about to suffer for justice.

And then I was sitting along the same fence, a different spot. A curb as close to the entrance as possible. Again my fingers clutched the small white beads and my heart grasped for presence and unity of spirit with those I wasn't physically with. Those answering their call-Annemarie, Regina- as I answered mine with those plastic circles linked by metal. Letting go.

The sky burst open with hope and color, and the sun set. Morning came like a mother's whisper and caress and I was back at that fence. Instead of the beads I held pulsing hands. We offered our hearts and wills and beings to the glory of Love, the warmth of the sun surrounding our circle. I felt peace, joy, and hope- but mostly peace.

We walked in the vigil, intensely aware of those not with us. Yet, at the same time, all were Presente and I shoved my small white cross into that fence. No one was forgotten, least of all the 9 month old baby put on a cross.

We sat in our circle, a circle that kept moving and shifting and growing. We prayed for things that didn't make sense, yet were whole in meaning and beauty. And Christ sat among us, and we knew what was next. The cup passed, and we drank.

And suddenly I was kneeling, my hand reaching through a tangle of arms to bless our brother. And the sun of peacemaking shone and ignited our community. And it was right, it was hard, it was reality, it was whole.

Then shaking hands dispersed. Crosses were reverently moved, no one wanted to step on these for justice. And Chris climbed, reached the top, clutched barb wire. Oh! I was shaking, nervous, proud, speechless. Cheers erupted and I wondered about his hands. Were they bleeding? Had he clutched the barbs?

And he was over that fence and it was done. None of us could be with him in any physical way, and he walked toward the next gate without looking back. Jake stood, holding his small brown cross high, turned towards Chris.

Our emotion bubbled from our souls through our eyes. I needed to be present to what was moving in me- I didn't want to pretend this didn't just happen and go back to talking about sunburn and granola bars. I found myself back at my original spot along the fence. Clutching those same smooth beads.

Mary's struggle and pains entered my heart, and I realized her presence among the mourning crowd.
She knew this. She knows this.
The necessary pain of letting go, watching loved ones suffer and sacrifice- left with only an understanding of faith and love and prayer-unity. Her pain- greater than mine- paralleled so many planes within my heart, and unity within the struggle shone as brightly as the ever-present sun.

1 comment:

  1. Thank God for your prose, sister Claire. I came to the blog in search for soul, thirsting, longing, and am quenched by the fruit of your prayer.