feel raw winds
when early robins
perched on bleak
over tire-rutted mud
when yearnings for heat
surpass hunger pangs
in this fasting time
and the soul is
then the wand of God
poises once more
and soon earth will
-- Sr. Patricia Schnapp, RSM
In S. Ignazio in Rome, Brother Andrea
master of baroque illusion, confounds the eye,
into vaulting, dome and cupola,
frescoed with heavenly visions. On
New Yorker covers, the incomparable Mauritis C.
compounds illusion, drawing those flights of stairs
and nowhere. In turn, Fritz Eichenberg,
so loved and admired by Dorothy Day,
the Supper of the Lord, with Jesus the host,
seen from behind
and ringed by street people,
eleven of them, two serving the rest. At the
of the lithograph, you see a half-open door
and a solitary figure
standing in the cold,
eyes riveted on Jesus, leaving you
this a twelfth guest coming in
or is he, Judas, backing out into the
-- Fr. Walter Bado, SJ
Faith Like a Grain of Mustard Seed
The mustard seed is as sturdy as a weed.
It can take
hold anywhere -- among rocks,
along putrid ditches, in country
along paths that lead deep into the woods.
No matter where it
takes root, it takes over.
My faith has been more like a mysterious
It can remain so still it fades into the beige
background or moves
so quickly through rough
water, it appears to be no more than a ripple
a wave. It will nibble at almost anything
it thinks can sustain it.
Worse, it can be caught
by simply rubbing its belly -- and Lord knows
world is still filled with people who hold
the secret of tickling fish.
Sometimes my faith
is like a straw fence put up to hold back a
fire. It can be consumed with such furor, not
remain one minute, and burst into a
celestial umbrella that sheds the rains
of doubt like
water off a ducks back. I wonder if it has a sense
humor or what waits in the white rage of its laughter?
-- Fredrick Zydek
Dawn gathers --
As the season of winter-white branches
Shrouded in the mists of the enveloping fog
Of our selfishness,
aimlessness, our injustices,
Once more seeking conversion.
broken for the masses,
And the WORD is spewed out to the starving.
journey toward the finale and forgiveness
of this Lenten
-- Sr. Patrice Geppi, SSND
The steady sift of dust
on tabletops, in
better bright and sharp
fills us with sighs -- we scowl
we too are dust,
burden and burdened
by each particle
settling hour on hour, forget to dream
gives spirit form
and eyes lips fingers helping
any coming thing
into its clarity
serve altitudes of love.
Well might we smile on
wink, even, as with oils and soft cloths
we meet it for a
while. Such gentle penance
lifts the sifting body, makes it
-- Sr. Mary Virginia Micka, CSJ
St. Paul, Minn.
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National Catholic Reporter, March 22,