Lent 36 ~ Our Arrows


He made me a polished arrow,
in His quiver He hid me.   ~   Isaiah 49: 2


You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.   ~   Kahlil Gibran, On Children



          This time of sheltering has been, more than anything, my time with the family, with my husband, with my children. For the first time, despite working from home, I can truly say family has come the absolute first for me. For the first time, my front gate has kept out most of the unsavoury elements of my working life. For the first time, I am minimally aware of my immediate boss’ dark and negative aura.

          But I hate it that Covid-19 has achieved this. I hate that it has to be this way, at this cost.

          Yet, it is what it is.

          Against the backdrop of sorrow and fear, we live in a joy~blessed cloister with our arrows.

          Carved out of this tragedy of a pandemic, is our foretaste of heaven.


















Lent 35 ~ He Has Heard



In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From His temple He heard my voice,
and my cry to Him reached His ears.   ~  Psalm 18: 7


          An unearthly hush has descended here. Even the breezes caress the leaves in gentleness and silence. Only the birds delightfully chirp on unhindered. The First Friday of the month of April, the month of the Holy Eucharist. Ten days to Easter.

          What silence is this, I ponder and wonder, yet not really seeking an answer, for so very beautiful it is, this silence, this peace. Just being swathed in it suffices. Suddenly, nothing else matters, except being in the moment.

What silence is this?

          Softly, softly, it comes. It is the silence when heaven has heard.





Lent 34 ~ Blow the Spirit of My Mother


When the virus reaches the lungs, their mucous membranes become inflamed. That can damage the alveoli or lung sacs and they have to work harder to carry out their function of supplying oxygen to the blood…   ~  The New York Times

And about I guess it was about 3 o’clock in the morning I got to the point where I couldn’t even breathe, and I tell you I felt like I had a man laying on my chest and the weight of this man was so heavy that he was taking my breath. I mean, it was like I couldn’t even breathe. And then all of a sudden I felt this — I felt air blown into my lungs and I know as a believer that God was there with me, and He began to blow air in my lungs and I took a deep breath…the doctor came in the next morning and informed him that he had hardly any fluid left in his lungs… ~  Clay Bentley, Covid-19 survivor


I felt air blown into my lungs


          5 years ago, on the 2nd day of my Passion of Christ novena, I felt a voice say,

Blow the spirit of My Mother into the realms.

I didn’t understand what ‘realms’ referred to; I didn’t know how to blow either.

          But yesterday, reading that account of Clay Bentley, seeing the words, I felt air blown into my lungs, I suddenly remembered the Voice that told me to blow the spirit of Mary into the realms.

          Like everyone else, I had learned that the Sars-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 can severely damage the lungs, impairing its ability to supply oxygen to the blood.

Step into the breach

          What if there was something I could do to help stricken lungs to heal and function well again?

Step into the breach

Blow the spirit of My Mother into the realms

          And so I’ve begun. I’m praying Hail Marys, offering each one for a Covid victim in need of the Holy Mother’s spirit. I don’t know if it’s what I’m meant to do, but ailing lungs need help.

The Hail Mary prayer is that help. It is the heavenly ventilator needed by so many.


Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you

Blessed are you among all women

And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.





















Lent 33 ~ Step Into the Breach


Yesterday a woman from Crema phoned me to get news about her grandmother who is hospitalized and in serious conditions at the Sacco. She told me of her other grandmother, who died of Covid, and of her mother, who is in intensive care in Crema, and then she said, “You see, Doctor, at the beginning I was praying, but now I’ve stopped.”

I answered, “I understand, ma’am. Do not worry. I will be the one praying for her.”   ~  Dr. Amedeo Capetti, A Letter from the Trenches, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan



          An insistent whisper beats against my heart,

Step into the breach











Lent 32 ~ There was a Fourth


Prayer to St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Most Holy Trinity, I thank Thee for having formed the hosts of Thy ministers in Heaven so marvelously, and for having adorned their leader so magnificently. Be Thou adored and loved in the beauty and grandeur of Thy ministers: be Thou praised in their jubilant songs of praise and thanksgiving, through all eternity. Amen

O holy princes of Heaven, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, I praise you for the love with which the Most High has loved you and placed you so near to His own throne. Be mindful of our necessities, and at the head of the Holy Angels, do battle for the Church of God upon earth, that Satan may be forced to yield ever more, and the Kingdom of light and grace, virtue and the holy love of God, may flourish in splendor, and its beauty be acknowledged by all. Amen.


           …do battle for the Church of God upon earth. Battle. Weapons. Swords?

Four Crosses in the sky

Four swords

belonging to

St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael

And a fourth.














Lent 31 ~ In Winter, Choose Life


During the worst moment of the illness, I thought I could die and I was scared of leaving alone my wife and letting my son grow up without a father like me   ~  Pierpaolo Sileri, Italian Deputy Minister of Health upon recovering from Covid-19.


          As I heard this man’s words, I marvelled at him. In the cold and dark of his fear, he chose to care about his wife. He chose to care about his child.

          His worst moment was the best of all. Because in his winter of fear, he chose Life.













Lent 30 ~ Be Sealed with the Spirit


          In the afternoon hours of Thursday, a fear began to press itself into the creases of my spirit. Try as I might, I could not determine its reason for appearing. It didn’t seem to be about the death I had been told of. But it was definitely about the pandemic.

          Fear at such a time is understandable, expected even. Yet, I knew that while what I was sensing was related to the terror and deepening worries about so many things spreading across the globe, the fear seemed to be about something else.

          Something I could feel but not see.

          I rose early on Friday and went to my promise.

Mother, I prayed to Our Lady of Fatima, I consecrate the world to Jesus, through Thee.

Please protect us. Please save us.

          Life went on in the new monastic rhythm of busyness intertwined with quiet alertness. The sun danced its light upon us as we cleaned the home, taught the kids their lessons. As we worked in the garden, as we prepared meals.

          But the quiet thread of fear continued to weave its seam through it all.

          By late afternoon, this fear had grown bolder. I felt my chest tighten. Again I searched for the source of this reaction. Again, the air kept its own counsel.

          Then, I remembered a prayer, and urgently reached for it.

Jesus, lay Thy hand upon my heart

          Immediately, the constricting fear and tightness evaporated. I knew then that whatever had come, it wasn’t from God.

          Once more, the day and its little calls continued. Again, I returned to my duties, but with an alert eye trained on the distance even as I pondered the many things laid against my heart since the morn of Thursday.

          By night, the tightness had returned, reaching into my throat with a firmness of intent. I knew instinctively that it wasn’t a physical condition; my spirit was reacting to something. I started to share about it with my husband, but somehow, the words evaporated and the moment passed.

          Late at night, busy reflecting and writing, an alert popped up in a small window at the base of my laptop screen. It was a message from a website I might have visited at least a year ago, not something recent. And the message was,

Be sealed with the Spirit

          The moment my puzzled gaze took it in, the tightness disappeared.

          I couldn’t believe it.

Be sealed with the Spirit

          It’s been two days and no shadow has drawn close to my gate since. The fear, the tightness – has left.

          I watch the news, read words of pain and fear. All over the world, people weeping, in anguish over lost jobs and lives. I could turn a deaf ear, dismiss the panic as manufactured, busy myself elsewhere. The choice is mine.

          But I don’t – because I can’t and I shouldn’t. That fear I experienced wasn’t from God but God let that fear touch me for a reason. And that reason is the love I profess is of no value if I pull my hands away from the wounds of my brethren. Because I wound my Jesus if I withdraw into my security and comfort when others around me the world over are losing every comfort and security they’ve ever known.

          And so, I return to where He wants me to be – in the pain of His people. Where each life left on earth is in need of the same healing benediction laid upon me,

Be sealed with the Spirit











Lent 29 ~ He is Going Home


          In the darkness of Thursday morn, the day following the Feast of the Annunciation, I was roused from sleep. In the silence that followed, someone sat by my heart and lifted the veils a little.

          One of it concerned someone I love with all my heart. I learned that this old man would die.

          The whole of that Thursday, all through its hours, my heart remained calm and steady, accepting of that death if it were to truly happen. For ever so long, I’ve fought heaven, demanded that I be allowed to return home, to love and care as I’ve always done.

          But one day, years ago, in the midst of my anguished cry to heaven, I felt and heard the breath of Jesus upon my ear, saying,

There will be different ways to love

          In the years that followed, I began to understand that I would never return to my old home. Because to do so would only bring death upon my own family here now.

          It took a few more years before I could quieten the rebellion in my heart against that knowledge, but when I did, I slowly learned that God wanted me to now love through prayers, sacrifice and consecration.

          Only when I had fully accepted that did Jesus gently lead me towards yet another revelation. That this man will return to me with his old arms raised in the joy of absolute freedom and forgiveness – but only through the gates of death. Because only death could free this beloved man from the fetters that have imprisoned him from birth, right up to the present hour.

          And so, that is why, even when I was told on Thursday that he would die soon, even through my tears, my heart is ready for it.






Lent 28 ~ Let No Leaf Be Lost


Shall we all be saved? Shall we go to Heaven? Alas, my children, we do not know at all! But I tremble when I see so many souls lost these days. See, they fall into Hell as leaves fall from the trees at the approach of winter.   ~  St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars


          Yesterday, I wrote about a dream I had in 2016. A white map in the sky. A warning. Yesterday, the meaning of the white in the map was made clear. It referred to winter. Not the winter we know. Not just the winter of spirits either. But a winter of actual withdrawing from the world and remaining indoors.

The winter of stay-home orders and of lockdowns due to Covid-19.

          On this Friday of repentance and atonement, I am choosing to offer up my day for the leaves which may fall as this winter nears. May they be pierced and warmed by the Son’s saving rays, as my sinner’s heart has been. May those leaves come to know what it truly means to be loved and cherished, as I have learned through my own brokenness.

          May the approaching winter bring a light and warmth never before seen nor felt.

          Let no leaf be lost.