As all media are doing nowadays, our Erie Times News is running lists of The Best of 2009. In a full page article on the Best of the Arts, reviewer Karen Merkle highlighted the best of the art exhibits in our area in '09. She ended her review with this paragraph: "Then there was the transcendent exhibit that was about more than art. Mount Saint Benedict had on display this fall 25 illuminations from the Saint John Bible, a decade-long project to write and illustrate the Bible by hand -- the first such effort since the 15th-century invention of the printing press. The images were stunning, but even more importantly, they were filled with purpose, inspiration, and hope. We wish the same for you and yours in the coming year."
We love Epiphany and the whole weekend of prayer, songs, etc. that come only once a year and yet are so special. One song particularly is sung with full voice by all: "Shepherds and Kings" from the former Weston Priory monk, Gregory Norbet.
Here, too, is a contemporary reading that we added to our Vigil of Sunday evening prayer Saturday night. It blew us away.
Who are the wandering shepherds today?
Who are the wise ones
making their way through the stranger's land
searching the sands for an unknown King?
Who hears the song
and travels long
over the night earth
to witness the sight of a common birth?
It is you, my friend,
you are the simple shepherd,
the humble sage.
You are the one who in this age of unbelief
are called to travel far and long
to share a faith and love
strong enough to become a gift.
Do you think they lifted rings
of incense and myrrh and simple gold
as stories of Kings have always told?
Their gifts were themselves
as ours must be
hope and joy freely placed
in one so small.
Christ revealed in all the little ways:
--the old one's lonesome smile
betraying empty days;
--the child's excited,
--the comforting hand in silent sharing
of another soul's torment;
--the other's need to pause awhile
and share a joyful moment.
Our presence to each other is gift enough for Him
let us lift our hearts as one
God's Son is here as never before
let us bring to life the wise one's lore.
Come, my friend, let us adore.
Jacqueline Schroeder, OSF
Our last two weeks have been so cold that Presque Isle Bay has frozen enough for the first appearance of ice fishing huts. Geesh, it looks like we live in the Arctic!