Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti et al

Haiti is still primary in our prayers and in our hearts. Bishop Tom Gumbleton is leading a small medical group to Haiti this week. Here's a website that highlights not only this latest venture for this special priest, but contains a whole selection of his involvements, sermons, etc. Many of our sisters are friends of Tom's through his and their long association with Pax Christi USA in the 1970s and 80s.

The only Benedictine monastery in Haiti is a dependent monastery of an abbey in France. There is a running list of messages about their Haitian community on their website. It's in French, but if you have something like the google toolbar, it will translate the pages for you automatically. There is also a link to the monastery itself with photos of the place and the half dozen monks who live there. AIM USA is in contact with them and is sending a large donation to them that arrived unexpectedly at their offices this week.

Joan Chittister's NCR column this week is on her own trip to Haiti years ago. Both the column and the comments that follow it are excellent.

And now, to finish with a little beauty--from my Christmas gift poetry book, Evidence, by Mary Oliver:

The Trees

Do you think of them as decoration?
Think again.

Here are maples, flashing.
And here are the oaks, holding on all winter
to their dry leaves.
And here are the pines, that will never fail,
until death, the instruction to be green.
And here are the willows, the first
to pronounce a new year.

May I invite you to revise your thoughts about them?
Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
advancement!
But I think it would do us good
if we would think about these brothers and sisters,
quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.