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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

A Few Poems for You

April is national poetry month. So today I thought I’d share a few of my unpublished poems with you:

 

“Patience”

I took a stroll with Patience yesterday,

and asked how I could be more like her.

She said slowly, “Plant radishes… befriend a turtle… teach a child.”

 

 

“Proofs”

If like Aquinas

I had to list five proofs

for the existence of God,

I’d pick:

puppies… stars…

strawberries… yearnings…

and you!

 

“If You Wish to Snare Divinity”

If you wish to snare Divinity,

become a beggar.

Let go of all you have and are

and sit ragged

on the side of the road.

Live not with clenched fists,

but with open palms

eager to receive.

Shed once and for all

your illusion of self-sufficiency

and enter into that place

of deep need.

Cry out, if you must,

or simply sit mute

and wait.

Either way,

rest assured,

God comes.

 

 

“God as Beauty”

Of all the names we’ve given Thee,

my favorite one is Beauty:

That harmony of placement

coupled with sweet surprise,

delighting the ear,

enchanting the eyes,

stirring inner senses

not yet identified.

Beauty, that steady ray

by which I catch a glimpse of Thee,

that dear entanglement

by which Thou snareth me.

 

 

“Write a Poem in Ten Words”

Write a poem

In ten words?

I can’t.

I won’t.

I didn’t.

 

Did any of these poems peak to you today? If so, which… and how?

Do you ever write short poems like this? If so, would you like to share one with us?

PS: Three upcoming presentations of mine:

1) Retreat at the Sophia Center in Atchison, KS, May 15-20, 2018. Entitled “Prayer: Finding God in the Ordinary and the Amazing.” Check their website or call Sister Carol Ann at 913-360-6173 for more information.

2) Day of retreat and spiritual renewal, June 13, 2018 at Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham, NY (Albany diocese). The day, designed especially for those involved in Pastoral Ministry, their colleagues, and friends, is entitled “Walking with the Heart of Christ…with Wonder, Courage, and Hope.” For more information email Maria Schollenberger at [email protected].

3) Retreat morning for the Catholic Women of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama on August 18, 2018. Title is “Three Signs of a Healthy Spirituality: Friendship, Courage, Hope.” Call Sally at 205-223-8287 for details.

Most songs are simply poems set to music. Today’s song is by Laura Daigle and it’s called “Loyal.” For me, this song is a celebration if God’s love for us, a love that is “loyal,” that is, “unshaken, unfailing, unwavering.”

Do you have a response to any of the poems or the song today?

 

51 Responses

  1. Dear Sr. Melannie,

    The line about befriending a turtle speaks to me! As do the five proofs, and the beautiful poem about being a beggar of divine grace.

    I’d like to share two small poems of my own, written about 20 years ago, during a dark time, but I think these poems are like wee candles, mitigating the darkness a bit. Neither poem bears a title, so I’ll merely number them.

    1.

    A tiny psalm:
    I’m sick and sad–
    but there is balm
    in Gilead.

    2.

    God makes a home
    in you
    (incredible
    but true!).

    I see in your
    sweet face
    the dwelling-place
    of Grace.

  2. Dear Melannie,
    Thank you. A million thanks for the gift of your writing, for the gift of YOU! Your poem “If you wish to snare Divinity” toughed me deeply.

  3. Great poems Sr. Melannie!

    I liked the poem in 10 words. What fun!

    God bless you.

    Kathleen

  4. Hi Sr. Melannie

    Such great poems! Thank you for sharing their simplicity and significance with us.

    Many blessings to you! Will keep your retreat and upcoming events in my prayers.

    Nancy

  5. Years ago, I lived it a Sister who could not abide “modern” music.
    She once quipped: “If you forget the second line, sing the first.
    They’re much the same!” I am with her. However, your relating
    the words as a description of God’s love for us does bear repeating.
    For that and for your short poems, thank you!

  6. Patience…..patience……patience……..patience……….a thousand times patience. Thank you, Sister. And Lauren Daigle is amazing, isn’t she?
    Happy Easter.
    Ed J.

  7. Melannie…thanks so much for your blog…I share it with many others…and today I was moved to share the poem below…count on my prayers for your coming retreats…

    Shadows of God’s Presence

    I walked in the stillness of the morning
    on my way to Eucharist.
    The snow falls in the silence of
    untrodden streets.
    The darkness is only cut by the
    street lights above and
    as I walk through the freshly
    fallen snow I see moving shadows
    before my path
    –small, almost imperceptible.
    I look up in awe realizing they
    are the shadows of snowflakes.
    And I know I have received
    Eucharist even before I
    walked through the church doors.

    1. Dear Josephe, I loved your poem! Seeing the shadows of the snowflakes must have been an awesome sight… And yes, Eucharist takes many different forms–as you so beautifully noted! Thank you for sharing your poem with us! Melannie

  8. I liked all of the poems but especially “ Patience” (which I often lack) and “Proofs” although I think mine would read: Puppies …..music…..blackberries…..water…..and you.”
    “If You Wish to Share Divinity” disturbed me because I have so far to go.
    I’d like to share a poem which I wrote and set to music for my youngest daughter about 40 years ago. We were in a rest room with ceiling to floor mirrors and she was just beginning to stand. She was fascinated by her reflection and was moving her palm open hands around on the mirror.
    “Mandy Rose”
    There’s my Mandy Rose.
    Standing on her toes,
    looking in the mirror,
    wondering if she’s really here.
    There goes my Mandy Rose.

    1. Thank you, Jean, for sharing the delightful experience you had with little Mandy and the mirror. Children can find delight in things we adults often take for granted. The fact that you wrote a poem about this little incident shows how much it touched you! Melannie

  9. Thanks for the beautiful poetry; loved it all but especially the line, “live not with clenched fists but with open palms to receive.” There is so much to receive from God, others, creation, circumstances in life. God is lavish in God’s love.

    Heart full of grief
    Butterfly sits on my hand
    Sign of resurrection.

    A heavy burden
    Hot air balloons in the sky
    God lifts up my soul.

    A bubbling brook
    Rhythm of my heartbeat
    We are one.

    1. Dear Margaret, I loved your simply little poems… Great truths are conveyed in so few words… and using a specific image too. Lovely! (Readers: Margaret is my cousin!) Thanks for sharing, Margaret! Melannie

  10. “If You Wish to Snare Divinity “ is both beautiful & gut wrenching. Thank you for sharing your awesome talent w/ us.

  11. Sister Melannie,
    Your talents are never-ending!!
    Thank you for always sharing and always enlightening.
    Have a wonderful week.

  12. Lovely poem about Patience!
    Here’s one of mine:
    Starry starry night
    Pinpricks of wonderful Light
    That must be beyond

  13. You never fail to bring me to the wonders of God’s constant reminder of Her presence. I call them “wildflowers”(esp. people who are surprises in my life, ex. I needed a quarter to take the bus this morning but needed change, so I asked a young man at the stop if he had change for a dollar he did not but had a quarter which he kindly gave me = God’s wildflower. At night prayer I then put all the flowers in a bouquet and present them to. God in gratitude. Oh there are some dried flowers in there too. They are those who kept passing by. Just saying. I know you will be this to all who attend your retreats and talks and your blogs. Do not forget the geese.
    ,

  14. “God as Beauty” There is much to think about in this beautiful poem, especially the line “that dear entanglement by which Thou snareth me.” There is beauty all around us which must be acknowledged in order to be enlivened by it, just as Beauty is all around us, and to be fully alive in Him, we must acknowledge Him and be willing to be ensnared by Him. Thank you, Sr. Melannie.

  15. My choice is God as Beauty. Just to live where that picture was taken. Your poem describes my feelings every time I see a view such as this. I’m in awe of the mystery.

  16. Good Evening, Melannie!

    Such beautiful poems! Loved them all, but especially “If You Wish to Snare Divinity.” “Shed once and for all/your illusion of self-sufficiency/and enter into that place/of deep need…..” Yes, yes we must!

    Happy Easter! PS: the song was terrific!

  17. “If You wish to Snare Divinity” spoke to me. Not sure I am brave enough but it gave me pause. thanks Sister!

  18. Melannie,
    I enjoyed this sampling of your poetry. I hope they get published some day.
    I related to the image of snaring God by becoming a beggar. And, as soon as I can get my hands in the soil without freezing them, I have a packet of radish seeds ready for planting!

  19. Dear Sister Melanie, thank you for making Monday mornings so enjoyable! Love your blog and today your poetry. Also thank you for the beautiful selections of music, especially today as I’ve loved that piece but didn’t know the name of who sang it. Now I do and will look for more of her heartfelt voice. God is abundantly patient and always has surprises for us…thank you for sharing your insights and faith.

  20. Thank you, Sr. Melannie, for sharing your poetry. I am very much looking forward to your retreat at the Sophia Center. Here is one of my poems.
    “Gratitude”
    Grateful for gifts,
    Raise prayers of thanksgiving to God.
    All is gift.
    Thank you is sufficient
    If prayer from a grateful heart.
    Take nothing for granted,
    Understand God’s unconditional love.
    Desire to give as gift what has been given.
    Eternal life, the final gift, awaits.

  21. Thank you so much for always blessing me with your wonderful newsletter, with your stories, poems, scriptures and music.
    What a blessing you are Sister Melannie.
    I will be 97 years young in May and you bring me great joy.
    God bless you.

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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Finding God in the Ordinary and Amazing: An Afternoon with Sister Melannie

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 1:30 – 4:00 Central – via zoom

Sponsored by the Portiuncula Center for Prayer – Frankfort, Illinois

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Weekend retreat at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, Pulaski, PA
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