Don’t Be Afraid

Sr. Dorcee:


Originally posted on Barnstorming:



To acknowledge the significance of this day and the events of 13 years ago:

The grace of God means something like:
Here is your life.
You might never have been, but you are,
because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.
Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
I am with you.
~Frederick Buechner
in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words



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Being afraid

Sr. Dorcee:

What to do when you think your emotions are all wrong . . .

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

I was delighted when I discovered Caryll Houselander.  I found her to be a woman of great honesty about herself and great faith in God.  Here is an excerpt from a letter she wrote, describing how she dealt with great fear as she served as an air raid warden in England during World War I.  Perhaps I’ve already shared it, but it’s worth sharing again.  She offers an approach that I think we can apply to many, if not all, of the challenging emotions we can experience:

During the war I was simply terrified by air raids, and it was my lot to be in every one that happened in London–sometimes on the roofs of these flats, sometimes in the hospital. . . I tried to build up my courage by reason and prayer, etc.  Then one day I realized quite suddenly: As long as I try not to be…

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Even there

Sr. Dorcee:

One of my favorite poems. Always worth reposting. Have a blessed Sunday.

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

Written by a missionary in Communist China in the early 1950’s, with only 15 cents left in his pocket, a terrible toothache, no fuel and a tiny daughter with scarlet fever.  The beginning reference is to Acts 27:27-32.

In Adria’s tempest-tossed wastes,
My barque through the dark deeps is driv’n;
The canvas all torn from my masts,
My timbers by stormy waves riv’n.
Yet there faith’s assurance rings clear,
E’en there will I trust, EVEN THERE.

All hope for deliverance had gone,
Despair’s chilly gloom shrouded all;
No sun’s ray through threat’ning cloud shone
To brighten the future’s dark pall.
Yet there should my heart quake with fear,
E’en there will I trust, EVEN THERE.

My brook’s daily waters had dried,
All replenishing springs scorched bare;
Resourceless in sore need I cried
To a God who seemed not to care.
Though trembling, triumphant I bow
E’en now will I trust…

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Broken Things

Originally posted on Barnstorming:


God uses broken things.
It takes broken soil to produce a crop,
broken clouds to give rain,
broken grain to give bread,
broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.
~Vance Havner

And I might add:
a snail wandering into sidewalk foot traffic,
crushed, cracked and dying, clinging to the pavement,
its broken shell a gift of metaphor
of our own leaking brokenness.

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Away to Iowa

Our Sisters who are making final vows in September are leaving this Saturday for a week long retreat at Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey in Dubuque.  I’ve posted these photos before, but they’re always such a pleasure to view.

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“The heart can fold upon it”

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday: from the archives

Originally posted on Wonder and Beauty:

To the eye that sees, littlness reveals infitnitely more than vastness.  God is known more truly by a little finite creature through the contemplation of a snowdrop than through the contemplation of the universe.  Very soon the intellect staggers before immensity, it is used up exhausted, only the rare heart responds to it all.  but the inward eye fills with light when it contemplates a little thing, the heart can fold upon it, and so the heart expands and the mind does not wither, but puts out petal upon lovely petal of thought. . . .

From the universe we learn that God is infinite, that we cannot compass him at all.  From such things as insects, flies, little frogs, mice and flowers we learn that to us he is something else.  He is Father, brother, child and friend!

If you ever had a little green tree frog and watched him puffing…

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Laying bricks

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday: from the archives

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

We run two small homes for older adults who are no longer capable of living alone and who have limited support and no resources.  We are only able to house 6-7 residents at one time.  There are many more elderly who could use our help.  We also do foster care for children in need.  We have cared for 26 children since we began this endeavor in 1992.  But there are millions of children around the world who are in great need.

“People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’  They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.'” (Servant of God Dorothy Day)

“The whole work is only a drop in the ocean.  But if we don’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less.” (Bl Teresa of Calcutta)

So we just lay our bricks, take…

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The top half of the picture

Sr. Dorcee:

Friday: from the archives

Originally posted on Witnesses to Hope:

A story we can all learn from from the then Cardinal Ratzinger:

The British doctor Sheila Cassidy (who in 1978 entered the Benedictine order) was imprisoned and tortured in Chile in 1975 for having given medical treatment to a revolutionary.  Shortly after being tortured she was transferred to another cell, where she found a tattered  Bible.  She opened it, and the first thing she saw was a picture of a man prostrate under lightning, thunder and hail. Immediately she identified herself with this man, saw herself in him.  Then she looked further and saw in the upper part of the picture a mighty hand, the hand of God, and the text from the eighth chapter of the Letter to the Romans, a text that comes straight from the center of Resurrection-faith: “Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ” (8:39).  And whereas at first it was the bottom half…

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