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Archive for the "Sister Mary Christopher Esler" Category

Sunbeams

July 10, 2022
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Early morning sun
shining through vertical blinds,
sheds light on the Madonna Icon.

Gradually, sunlight illumines
the face of the Mother,
shedding her blessings on
those who seek her help.

The rising sun slowly shadows
 the Madonna and gently
 shines on the Child,
as Mary points to her Son
who brings Light out of darkness.

Modern Bethany- Foot Care

May 22, 2022
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Sitting before Icon of the Nazarine
I bow low at the feet before me.
Filling my hand with modern nard, I place the plastic jar aside.
Taking one foot in hand I move my scented
fingers across the aching instep.

Again and again the sojourn is made from heel to toes;
inwardly I thank for every step made in ministry of joyful service across the years.

I pour out more nard.
Now the other foot is warmed by tender rhythmic strokes
as the tiredness and hurt is lessened.
Energy flows like the Jordon between us. Both of us are saturated with glistening oil.

I need no towel - the dry, tired feet absorbs all applied love.
Each foot cradled, and dried with gentle friction­ ankles, instep and toes respond.

In the end, both of us
are warmed, oiled, and loved though words are few.

 

Inspired by "Anointings in Bethany" by Irene Zimmerman (Jn. 12:1-8)

Springtime

February 27, 2022
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

It's February and I feel Spring in the air.
They tell me it's Winter, but I know differently.
I know it's Spring. Why?
Because I saw cedar wax wings yesterday
nibbling at the dried berries on a small tree in the court yard.

They tell me it's Winter with the flu and colds around the comer.
But I know differently
because the snow has melted leaving unexpected puddles in the parking lot.
I know it's Spring because the white snow of December has turned to the gray piles of February.
They say it is dirty and not pretty
but who cares with Spring so close by.
Those gray piles will turn dry grass into green sprouts.

Yes,  I know it's Spring  because I hear a robin miles off
yet coming close to sit on a branch in my heart and whisper, "Yes, it is Spring
and I’m here to cheer you with my song.”

Sophia of Solitude

February 13, 2022
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

When you knocked at the door of my heart,
I opened it and found an old friend which I had long forgotten.

I have to relearn to enjoy your company.
My heart has forgotten your warmth, love and security.

Help me refurbish my knockers so you will not pass me by,
as I indulge in business and the mundane..
Let our friendship never die.

MYSTERY OF SNOW

January 23, 2022
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Snow has a beauty of its own. Whence does it come?

How does it form? Why here-now?

Scientists have all the answers.

I have my own.

***

Snow has God's DNA.

It reflects the All Pure and Holy One.

The white dusting is part of His creative plan.  A surprise, like Manna for the wandering man.

He shapes each flake in His Divine hand. No crystal duplicates another-

Just as we are unique from our own bother.

All is in His Godly design for our season,

He knows our winter loneliness, long and bleak with reason.

Hope exists with the pledge of Spring,
Waters our bareness, promises on the wing.

Yes, a new 'morow will hover.

Fresh life scintillates 'neath the white cover Sense the brightness of snow,

As Alleluias are formed beneath, below.

Fire and Water

July 25, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

What paradox as water flows,⠀
What paradox as fire ignites.⠀
Water cleanses,⠀
Fire purifies.⠀
Water and fire walk hand in hand⠀
at the baptismal font.⠀
Vicarious desires open new family doors,⠀
Family of Divine⠀
Family of the human.⠀

The flame is sheltered, fed and stirred in tender years.⠀
Sacraments cleanse, wash and renew.⠀
Faith grows as mystery shrouds.⠀
The Divine energizes growth⠀
as we hope and trust.⠀

No longer a child,⠀
Yet mystery remains,⠀
water cleanses,⠀
fire purifies.⠀
I daily walk to the fond of the Life giving Spirit⠀
Cleanse water, cleanse.⠀
Burn Spirit, burn.⠀
Burn fire, burn –⠀
As an odor of sweet incense to the Divine.

Jonquils

June 13, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Bouquet of 16 lovely spring flowers-⠀
the Jonquil.⠀

White – Baptismal white-pure and innocent. Awesome.⠀

Pink Centered – symbol of First Communion, full curiosity, reaching out to new experiences, new graces, new life.⠀

Confirmation – Jonquil with central meteor splash of yellow and orange – a Pentecost display with great possibilities for the future.⠀

There is the Crown Jewel Yellow Mother Jonquil the prime growth of spring. She will always be there. Even after all the other jonquils are faded and returned to the source, the mother jonquil, “I will be there.”

Mary's Song

May 23, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

As John Baptist quickened in the waiting Elizabeth,⠀
Mary broke forth in song, “God be glorified.”⠀

When Mary was jostled on donkey to Bethlehem,⠀
“Come Emanuel-God with us,” was Mary’s anthem.⠀

On showing forth her son to shepherds and kings,⠀
“Behold the Royal son of David,” she sings.⠀

In temple, Mary met Simeon and Anna⠀
She sang, “To the Lord our God, Hosanna.”⠀

When on the cross, Jesus dead and cold – ⠀
Mary mourned, “Behold, behold.”⠀

At Pentecost, when new church was to be born,⠀
Mary sang, “Breath of God breathe forth this morn.”⠀

Mary’s mantra was, “Breath of God, breathe forth and bring⠀
your grace to all, to all.” She sings…⠀

“My children, magnify the Lord –⠀
Love, forgiveness, grace outpoured.⠀
Poured out by the Spirit⠀
Now hear it, my beloved, hear it.⠀

And Magnify the Lord!”⠀

Trees

April 04, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

And on the timeless Third Day,⠀
God brought forth vegetation.⠀
God brought forth trees.⠀

Eons later in a garden, ⠀
God’s Imaged Creatures⠀
knew death through a tree.⠀
Yet, in spite of their dearth, ⠀
Life was to be Incarnated.⠀

God did not create Mercy.⠀
It was there all the time.⠀

When God created trees,⠀
did their deep down purpose⠀
flash through the Infinite Mind?⠀

Through the life of Jesse,⠀
the tree grew and leafed⠀
with generations⠀
of Kings and Paupers⠀
saints and sinners.⠀

From this tree came the Incarnate⠀
A Tree of Nazareth,⠀
nurtured, yet cut down in its prime.⠀
But with promise of New Life.⠀

God did not create Love⠀
It was there all the time.⠀


Tree- instrument of death⠀
yet, instrument of Life.⠀
Paradox of Mystery.⠀
O Holy Mystery!⠀

“We adore you, O Christ⠀
and we bless you.⠀
Because by Your Holy Cross⠀
You have redeemed the World.”⠀

At Baptism we are signed with⠀
the Sign of the Tree.⠀

On Ash Wednesday,⠀
we are signed⠀
unto dust,⠀
yet unto life.⠀

On Good Friday,⠀
the Sign on the tree ⠀
is lifted up.⠀

We embrace the wood,⠀
the branches.⠀
And on the Third Day,⠀
the once dead wood,⠀
emblazoned with Divine Blood,⠀
sprouts leaves and Blessed Fruit.⠀
Alleluia!⠀

Veronica

April 02, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Tradition tells us about a woman named Veronica,⠀
who came out of the wall of fear on that Good Friday⠀
to wipe the face of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa.⠀
Veronica wore a veil,⠀
indicating that she was a married woman⠀
who knew love, compassion and responsibility.⠀

Breaking through the laws of the time,⠀
she removed her veil.⠀
She broke through the wall of soldiers and religious leaders⠀
on that foreboding Friday⠀
and approached the Holy One,⠀
the Friend without a friend,⠀
the Alone One in a crowd of evil.⠀

In a burst loving compassion, for the Other,⠀
she wiped away the blood from His face,⠀
allowing His eyes to say,⠀
“Thank you” to the woman⠀
with her kind presence and balm⠀
in His aloneness.⠀
Veronica doesn’t ignore the problem but addresses it.⠀

Veronica⠀

She does not resolve the problem,⠀
But gives it all she has,⠀
a band-aide-veil.⠀
That is enough for the Prisoner.⠀

Society and legislation is contradicted.⠀
The power structure is opposed.⠀
She brings vigor to women down the ages,⠀
names injustice before the Magistrates.⠀
She brings presence⠀
and disappears.⠀

…yet leaves a spark of courage⠀
for those Veronicas who will follow⠀
seeking peace, justice and consolation⠀
to the Jesus of our day.⠀

The image on her veil⠀
models the image in her soul.⠀
Veronica-⠀
True Image,⠀
help us follow your example.

Journey to the Good Friday Tomb

March 28, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

I follow the small group⠀
With the shrouded Nazarene.⠀
Spices and ointment tantalize the nostrils.⠀
Darkness envelopes all, totally.⠀

I find a corner subdued and quiet.⠀
Away from busyness, wailing, and concern.⠀
Just be, in the quiet presence of the deceased.⠀

the stone is rolled across the opening.⠀
Darkness of night can’t compare to the⠀
darkness of the tomb, surrounding all.⠀
No movement except for a stray mouse or ant.⠀
No concern.⠀
I kneel at the Teachers side.⠀

the full moon allows a small beam of light⠀
to creep through the stony slab’s uneven edges.⠀
My eyes are growing accustomed to the blackness.⠀
I sit and wait- not knowing for what.⠀
There is an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.⠀
There is no fear, no anxiety, or expectation.⠀
-just being.⠀
Fatigue conquers. Sleep is victorious.⠀
Time passes-⠀
Morning is inevitable.⠀

I awake refreshed and confused.⠀
Sunlight is dancing through the large opening.⠀
Shroud is discarded⠀
The Teacher gone.⠀
Where is the One who healed me of-⠀
my leprosy?⠀
Where is He who forgave my sins?⠀
Where is He who gave me new Life?⠀

Peace surrounds the tomb.⠀
An inner voice says:⠀
All is well.⠀
I am within you.⠀
See Me in others.⠀
See Me day in and day out-⠀
Be at peace, I am here.⠀

Sacramental Springs

February 28, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Mother Nature with Winter’s snow⠀
covers our springs with a baptismal robe.⠀
Life trickles beneath the surface⠀
though frozen-covers belie⠀
the beauty of waters beneath⠀
as they quietly sigh.⠀

March moves in,⠀
small openings tell…⠀
life giving -waters⠀
have always been well,⠀
flowing.⠀
Never ending.⠀

Like, baptismal grace-⠀
ever flowing,⠀
onward going⠀
with hope at its Source.⠀

Spring soon arrives, giving birth⠀
moving seeds in crusty earth.⠀
Our springs so clear and pristine⠀
gurgling, joyfully⠀
with promise to be always.⠀

Then birds will sing⠀
unrestrained⠀
high pitched notes⠀
untrained.⠀

All is life, growing, blessing.⠀
God is living⠀
as ever⠀
in our never ending springs.⠀

Sacramental.⠀

Poem of Life

February 14, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Life is but a silver thread ⠀
reaching from Heaven to Earth.⠀
That thread so fragile, we see as gift ⠀
from God to us at birth.⠀

We live our lives from day to day ⠀
forgetting its tender thread.⠀
We journey year by year⠀
As on stepping stones we tread.⠀

Neigh to the end, though tough we be ⠀
daily we release,⠀
that to which we cling through war and times of peace.⠀

Life is but a silver thread ⠀
reaching to the sky.⠀
It's by that thread God pulls us up ⠀
the moment that we die.⠀

Mercy

January 10, 2021
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

I saw a grasshopper the other day – ⠀
That winged, timid, half-hopping creature⠀
who told me⠀
that the season as near end.⠀

I went to a funeral today – ⠀
a reminder that life is not forever.⠀
When my time comes, ⠀
Will I be ready to walk the last mile⠀
and seek the hand of a friend?⠀

Will sin, anxiety, loneliness and fear⠀
cause me to withhold when the hour is near?⠀
Will the boldness to walk those last steps while young⠀
turn to dust and be wordless on dry, thirsty tongue?⠀

Let the prayer⠀
of my Dismas heart be,⠀
“Lord have mercy, ⠀
have mercy on me.”⠀

Let mercy be my bridge,⠀
mercy be my pall,⠀
mercy life me over,⠀
when I hear the Master’s call.

untitled

November 08, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

I walked the trail I thought was mine.⠀
Each step I trudged, experiencing the bittersweet.⠀
A well worn path other Agnesians trod;⠀
I placed my shoe in the print of an Agnes Hazotte, Aloysius and Joseph,⠀
Find the soil firm and encouraging.⠀

At times I stumbled and fell.⠀
At times I sang with joy.⠀
One time, I wondered, “Why bother to go on?”⠀
Yes, I strove with the grace of God.⠀

There were mountains and hills,⠀
Dark valleys and pitfalls.⠀
There was that urging to go on with the Mission of Jesus.⠀
“Go out into the whole world….⠀
Go and heal teach, be for me.”⠀

At time I was “just being” … unaware.⠀
… I was proclaiming, silently⠀
… I was healing with His love and touch.⠀
Also, I was healed by the … unlearned, poor, the hurt land dying.⠀

In looking back at the mountain and hills,⠀
valleys and depths, I find myself crying out…⠀
“My God, what have I done for You?”⠀
“What has my life been for You?”⠀
“How can I make a difference?”⠀

Tears fall, watering my sterile mission.⠀
Then with sacred spittle and mud He touches my blind eyes.⠀
He picks me up and give me new life.⠀
He brushes away my tears and bruises,⠀
Giving me knowing that the journey is right.⠀
Aware that isn’t always easy.⠀

Suddenly, I have vision.⠀
The other side of the weaving is whole.⠀
I now know, God sees my trying,⠀
I believe my minute’ love has turned death into life.⠀
…Just my “being” has spoken what I could not.⠀
… My touch through Jesus has brough healing.⠀
Divine Vision has redeemed my nothingness.⠀
I trust His Vision to see the Mission “going on,” ⠀
As I go Home.⠀

Homing Pigeons

October 25, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

We are sent off from the place of our birth⠀
Near or far o’er all the earth.⠀
Sent unscathed, innocent,⠀
unlearned, free.⠀
Dispatched into infinity.⠀

First flight, a jaunt – ⠀
30 miles away.⠀
Far, but never meant to stay.⠀
Then home to the roost⠀
to master, awaiting,⠀
we arrive one by one⠀
to stop-watch and rating.⠀

Both great and least we all flew⠀
like prodigal birds⠀
to the master we knew.⠀
We were all checked out⠀
whether wounded or whole⠀
no matter, no matter, we reached⠀
the goal.⠀

Would that we could say ⠀
the same for the soul,⠀
when we launch out⠀
to reach the goal.⠀

Communion

October 11, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

“Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity”⠀

Such majesty, I cannot grasp⠀
I am limited, uncomprehending.⠀
What do I have to offer?⠀
What coin?⠀
What song?⠀
What praise?⠀
On the paten, I gift my nothingness⠀
weakness, rags.⠀

But deep in my pocket lies precious gems.⠀
I offer with Mary,⠀
the Saints,⠀
Choirs of Angels.⠀

What riches,⠀
power,⠀
what gift!⠀
I am a pauper no longer.

Poem-2011

September 13, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

September sun is warm on my face.⠀
The light breeze barely shifts the leaves⠀
on the young maple nearby.⠀
Last of the goldfinches call and flit overhead.⠀
Crickets in shared corners call out their Vesper Songs.⠀
Blue sky is like a protecting cloak⠀
Fringed with lacy clouds at intervals.⠀
There is a certain hushed sensation⠀
Enveloping drying cattails and trees with sap diminishing.⠀
On occasion one hears the loud croak of a bullfrog on the pond,⠀
Pond-rippling happily before it is too late.⠀
All this I frame and hold together⠀
Lest it slip away and I forget the blessing of Autumn.

All Roads Lead

August 23, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

As a child I begged a stubborn parent – ⠀
“Please, may I-, I want-, I choose-,” ⠀
To no avail, I cried the day away.⠀
I was being led on a better path.⠀

As a teen I was sophisticated and wise.⠀
Knowing that permission was not there,⠀
I planned executed on my own.⠀
Only to suffer consequences on a road of my choice.⠀

As adult, I asked for God’s blessing.⠀
His ways were not mine.⠀
Recognizing Wisdom, I bowed low⠀
and saw a new road, a better path.⠀

With graying hair, I did not ask⠀
--Walked behind the Lamb of Sacrifice⠀
I knew the path, the road, the voice⠀
All His roads lead to Resurrection.⠀

Alleluia!⠀

After Confession

July 26, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

I am forgiven!⠀
I should be joyful,⠀
hilarious⠀
unconstrained⠀
with carnival joy.⠀

But I am not.⠀
I believe, I know, trust⠀
I am serene and at peace.⠀
-⠀
The grub in the cocoon⠀
trusts, hopes, waits⠀
in silence.⠀
Finally it is transformed⠀
in silence.⠀
If flies away.⠀
Its beauty praises God.⠀
Yet all in silence.⠀

(Is silence so bad?)⠀

Call to Contemplation?

June 28, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Long overdue in opening –⠀
is my gift to you.⠀
It sets on shelf, wrapped, bow and seal.⠀
Have you forgotten my love gift is real?⠀

You sense the contents.⠀
Is it fear that keeps it undone,⠀
unexplored, secure and unsanctified?⠀
The gift beckons, come.⠀

-⠀

Will the gift for me be cost?⠀
Will my routine life be lost?⠀
The dues may mean a change⠀
The price and control, so strange.⠀

Is commitment, faithfulness and goal a stranger to my soul?⠀
No turning back, no turn around⠀
New life that many saints have found.⠀

-⠀

Have courage, step out,⠀
Search and trust.⠀
The box has a secret floor-⠀
No ending gift, there’s always more.⠀

A call to contemplation.⠀

Living the Vows in the New Motherhouse

June 14, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Attitude is very important.⠀
I need to allow God to enter in.⠀
There is the need to adapt,⠀
be accepting and willing to change at times.⠀

I live in God’s world,⠀
a world of beauty and wealth of creation.⠀
I do not pull my skirts aside, lest I be contaminated by it.⠀
No, I praise God for it.⠀
it is His gift to me.⠀
I live in a beautiful rich country.⠀
Do I disdain it?⠀
No, I praise God for all of this.⠀

Poverty:⠀
I live in a household with the newest modern accommodations.⠀
How has my life change?⠀
I bless it as a gift and thank God for it.⠀
And life goes on.⠀
My question is: Do I hunger for more and demand more?⠀
Or do I use what I have with reverence?⠀
God is all I need⠀

Chastity:⠀
My present life is an opportunity⠀
to learn to live together in close relationships.⠀
It is a chance to be of service,⠀
be loving, caring and concerned.⠀
Close living requires sharing, openness and affirming,⠀
along with challenging and forgiving.⠀
God is in our midst.⠀
God is all I need!⠀

Obedience:⠀
God is involved in my daily life. I trust Him.⠀
he is my light, my compass.⠀
Daily happenings are my gift to God, my emptiness.⠀
God is in the midst of my work, rest and activity.⠀
Because of Him, I am who I am.⠀
God is all I need!⠀
“You are my inheritance, O Lord.”

Where?

May 24, 2020
By Sister Mary Christopher Esler, CSA

Where is it that we see God?⠀
In a robin’s nest⠀
Or a mountain stream?⠀
A sunset or sunrise?⠀
A rainbow across the sky?⠀
When nature paints colors in the sky⠀
And clouds on the horizon?⠀
In the fields of daisies⠀
Or a single sunflower or dandelion?⠀
In the gurgling of an infant⠀
Or a smile on the face of a 3 year old⠀
With a cookie in each hand?⠀

Yes, do we recognize God in the quakes and storms?⠀
In mud slides, removing whole villages?⠀
In Katrina and Wilma?⠀
Is God in the plagues and fires?⠀
Wherever we see God, we must never forget –⠀
He cares for us and life and nature are a mystery.⠀
God’s love is not a mystery⠀

God of the daisy and dandelion⠀
Awaken me to your presence.⠀

God of storms and disaster⠀
Let me bow before your power.⠀

All things turn unto good for those who love God.⠀

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