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A poem that came up in me as we celebrated the feast of Pentecost — the mixed feelings of what does it mean that the Holy Spirit is with us in the midst of the horrific way George Floyd died. Seeing the protestors who are giving voice to our broken system that does not live what our constitution says: “All are equal” and the protestors who are using their protest to feed our broken system.

Spirit blows where it wills

To free one’s being from fear

So the soul can soar

With Love untold

To embrace the evil

Oh so hard this discipline

Of Love untold

When feelings of Heart

Seeks revenge — though does not act

Instead allows Spirit to Sanctify

Through the Sanctifying power of Spirit’s Love

Comes one soul’s through mind, heart, and body

How to endure the suffering

So present in Evil

Without Revenge

When I heard of the COVID-19 restrictions that we, the resident Sisters on the Marywood campus, would not be allowed to leave or allow anyone to come into our buildings, I was very resistant. This is my usual response when I feel I am not in control of my own decisions. Our restrictions are the same restrictions as nursing homes are experiencing because almost everyone here on campus is in a vulnerable age group.

This little voice inside of me said: “Ann, what goes with you? In 1998, you did an eight-week hermitage — so, why you are so upset now? These COVID times are much like having another opportunity of a hermitage experience.”

Self said to self: “Yes, it is. But when I was at the hermitage and my life slowed, I chose that!”

“Aw,” said the little voice inside of me, “So now that you did not choose this, you cannot do this for the sake of others?”

The light bulb went on, and I found myself feeling quite embarrassed by my “poor me” attitude. My mindset immediately shifted and I realized I can do this for my sisters. I have, except for moments here and there, accepted this present reality. I find myself praying for my brother and sisters, enjoying watching the birds come and go from my bird feeder, getting pictures and short videos of my grandnieces and nephews, and meeting my directees on FaceTime or Zoom. How attentive I have become to each of them, understanding with a new heart what the canticle means that talks of Jesus emptying himself to become one of us, and how in this emptiness I am becoming more a part of all Creation.

Not knowing how much longer we will be in these circumstances, I find myself becoming a little more comfortable in the present moment I am living.

May the Spirit blow Love on this Pentecost 2020.