Friends,

Last week I shared with you Mary Lou Kownacki’s description of the Benedictine way of Christian life – from her book: Peace is our Calling: Contemporary Monasticism and the Peace Movement. This week I share some of the multitudes of miracles she witnessed through her attentively observant wonder-filled living. I pray that as we see how she sees – we may begin to see as she sees:

From the introduction of her book The Blue Heron and Thirty-Seven Other Miracles, Kownacki writes:

“The real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on the earth,” Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk wrote.

But who believes him?

This is a book about trying to walk on earth, about taking steps to see every moment as a miracle, as a blessing, as a love song from our Creator. The book is also an invitation, an encouragement to find the miraculous in the ordinary events of your life. Try to imagine how different life would be if we all recognised and revelled in the present, in the common, as sacrament. Come, let’s walk together on earth. Let’s celebrate the miracles happening to us moment by moment.

Monday morning
in the inner city.
My guru,
the boom box
on the neighbor’s tenement
roof,
about five yards from my
prayer corner.
This morning
I am offered
a choice of mantras:

“Born in the USA”
or
“Like a Rolling Stone.”

Koans to wrestle with a
lifetime
from Zen masters
Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Is this not a miracle?

Kownacki, Mary Lou. The Blue Heron and Thirty-Seven Other Miracles

 

She is still weeping
for the young deer
whose fresh blood
was splattered
on Interstate 80
ten miles ago.

Is this not a miracle?

Kownacki, Mary Lou. The Blue Heron and Thirty-Seven Other Miracles

 

O, the books I read,
the retreats I made,
the lectures I attended,
the beads that passed
my fingertips
to understand
what Saint Paul meant
when he told the
Thessalonians
to pray without ceasing.

Then
this morning
I listened
– for the first time –
to the sparrow sing.

Is this not a miracle?

Kownacki, Mary Lou. The Blue Heron and Thirty-Seven Other Miracles

 

If on my deathbed
a slight smile plays
upon my lips
know it was
that January walk on the bay
when we first met,
remember:
at dusk,
the light snow,
the thin ice beneath our feet,
your hand
holding my arm tightly,
the circling mist
daring us to continue
walking together
into the winter night.
And we did.

Is this not a miracle?

Kownacki, Mary Lou. The Blue Heron and Thirty-Seven Other Miracles

Grace,
Alan

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