Friday, April 28, 2017

Divine Gravity


In one way, this began yesterday with a walk in the rain and an RSCJ sister (who blogs here) who wrote in praise of ordinary happiness.  In another way, it begins when I listen to the news every day, so little of it good, so much of it a picture of potential or actual devastation on a scale that makes me shudder.  And yet...and yet...I know there is more, something foundational, that is also real... I know...I believe... I find that I must.




Divine Gravity

Amidst the grey and the grim,
when the luminous theorems of physics
with their lenses and prisms and mirrors
bending light into beautiful
melt into the dampness and certainty wavers,
hold fast to the promise of divine gravity
that grounds us in the hope,
the in-breaking salvation,
of elemental joy.

When forsythia blooms her symphony;
The perfection of a plum’s design;
The unforgotten possibility of flight
at the height of the arc of a swing.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ





Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Grace, 2017


Easter Grace 2017

You ask each of us to hold with our lives
a portion of this Holy Chaos—
a portion of what it means to be human,
made in your image and likeness,
and yet, and still, and completely, free.

So it is that we make our way
and we find our lives holding
the Truth of our world and the truth in faith
of who you call us to be, by your life, your witness. 
It is a sometimes contradictory fullness, that Truth:
Bombs, blooms; evil, awe;
Love, Humanity; Love, Divinity;
Love, Death; Love, Resurrection;
Love.

We ask your blessing
upon this meal we are about to share
and upon the company we keep
so that by the nourishment of both
we may continue to live and move and have Being
as Easter people.  As a people who believe
that there is a light no darkness can overcome;
that death does not hold us bound;
that Love will be what sets us free

to Rise; to Rise; to Rise.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Radical Style, Holy Chaos


From my notebook…

11 April, 2017

6:45 AM…Cat on the window sill, coffee in the mug.  With the window open about an inch, fresh air eases the closed in feeling of a winter whose time has past.  It’s nice.  This, from the reflection in Give Us this Day, before reading the front sections of the paper…
~The death and resurrection of the Lord is not a past event we re-enact through the tableaus of Holy Week.  Rather, it is a dynamic mystery that plays out in the holy chaos of our lives.~  Fr. Edward Foley

I like that…and then, I look at our world and wonder—Is it *holy* chaos, the bombings of whatever sort in Syria; the Coptic church bombings in Egypt; the lorry-as-a-weapon crashes in London and Stockholm; the volatility of Russia’s relationship with nearly anyone of late; the fact that Arkansas wants to execute seven inmates in one week? 

There seems little that is holy in any of that. And an enormous amount of chaos.

And then I remember the Kandinski mobile of evening light on the buildings last night during prayer.  I recall seeing seams of earth splitting with the life force of a stem less than a centimeter long.  I notice that Lauds is again being sung by a robust choir of songbirds, recently returned from unnamed adventures during their migration. 

There seems plenty holy in that. And a healthy amount of chaos too, though of an entirely different sort.

When I hold both of these sets of observations together, I arrive at a somewhat unexpected place. In the middle of our General Chapter 2016 document.  Specifically, I find myself considering one of the four calls named by the Chapter:

To live more humanly:

In the radical style of Jesus of Nazareth, we wish to be in closer relationship as sisters with one another and with others; we wish to be simpler, more human and closer to people and their experience, in order to show forth the joyful and compassionate face of God and to be at the service of Life, wherever we are sent.

To hold as much truth as we can is an extraordinary amount of chaos to bear.  And if I am honest, I hold my portion best when I am at my most human.  Most vulnerable.  Most free, transparent, honest… because that makes room within me for Love.  Love is what allows me to hold Truth, to bear the chaos that comes with it and not be completely undone by it.

Love allows me to enter the whole mess of Truth that is what it means to be fully human.  Bombs. Blooms. Evil. Awe. Love. Humanity. Love. Divinity. Love. Death. Love. Resurrection. Love.
And my model is Jesus. Who was hated and loved. Rejected and followed. Who was anointed and who blessed. Who cleared the temple, wept, and asked that “if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”  Who died on a cross. Who rose.

Radical style…holy chaos...indeed. 

Should it be your will, O God, may I have the courage through Love to enter in so entirely and with such fullness of Humanity.

 (NB:  Image is of an icon painted on the wall in the RSCJ novitiate in Poland)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Steady me, Steel me


Steady Me



Steady me, steel me,

soften me, gradually

to take in the Truth

that Love has found me.

Found me foolish, found me free,

found me in wonder,

found me.

Found me, is bound to me,

blooming, astounding,

loosing and grounding,

enticing, revealing,

opening, healing.

Moving the rock,

rolling the cloth,

calling my name,

calling me forth

to the world,

to the Cross,

toward grace, toward yes.



Steady me, steel me,

Love has found me.



Amazing.

Thank you.



Shall we?



Let’s.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day, 2017

World Poetry Day, 2017

If I was a poem-me, I'd be
a circus juggler meets Sor Juana
with a niggle of Neruda and a 
waltz of Walt.
The swing of Hughes' blues
and the scat-patter of Fitzgerald
would herald speaking of light 
like May Sarton who for pages
places flowers in vases
and I'd illuminate the letters
as did my brothers and sisters
who in convent and monastery
took up quills and honestly
worked to open the windows
behind the Word so the world
could see what was being heard
when proclamation occurred
and the glory of the story
was suddenly off the pages for the ages
free to fly, do or die--

You and I
decide now, today,
that Poetry stays:
To nourish, to heal, to delight, to praise,
to call, to soothe, to challenge, 
to be
where people can meet in full humanity.

If I was a poem-me,
that's the sort I'd want to be.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Love in a Time of Lent

The other day someone recited a passage from Isaiah 43 to close a conversation we'd had. 
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia[a] and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you...
As I listened to these words, I knew I had heard them many times before. In a way, some measure of the truth within them is with me always and there is a strengthening comfort in that familiarity. There was more, though...more than the familiar...there was the feeling of new, of first glimpsing this mystery of Love and feeling the bloom of awe and the shiver of proximity to something so absolute, so Always and Everywhere, and freeing, and Home, all at the same time... 
The idea that both of those feelings could be true at the same time thrilled me and humbled me and had me give thanks.

After Listening to Isaiah
I realized how comfortable
we are drying dishes
beside one another, old familiars.
I also know that I could still
drop a plate when you call my name
and promise me forever.
Your love has 
that shimmy effect on me.
Always has. Always will.

Kimberly M. King, rscj



Monday, February 20, 2017

Sliding back the door: RIP Stuart McLean, teller of tales


From my notebook this morning…

20 February, 2017


Leaning on the counter, waiting for the coffee to gasp and gurgle into wakeful splendor.

Fell asleep listening to the most wonderful obit/tribute to Stuart McLean, 20 year host of Vinyl Café, who’d worked at CBC for over forty years. They played different clips from his career.  It was interesting to hear his style carried through different kinds of broadcasting. 

He was absolutely a storyteller, a raconteur.  I especially liked the clip of Dave and Morley skating on the canals in Holland. 

When he begins—either a report on Gordie Howe trying to get his 1000th NHL goal or the last official bare knuckle boxing match or skating on the canals or gravy on the lightbulbs and Butch the turkey—a barn door is opened.  The latch is slid back and bit by bit, this wide door is pulled open.  And everyone waits to see what is inside, moving to the side in relation to the progress of the door, in order to crane and see the most that can be seen.

That was the way he seemed to see things—whether the world around him or the world within him—as something to be revealed, shared, shown, and he thought that HOW the revelation happens makes a difference.  His approach was slow and deliberate.  But it never felt sluggish—no, it was detailed, invitational so this drawing back of the barn door was a part of the experience of coming to know what was inside.  Each wedge made visible was as important and equally worthy of time and consideration as the whole. In fact, when the door IS open all the way, when the report or the story/episode ends and the whole is revealed, my accumulated feelings of participation, curiosity and presence settle into the praise of a culminating sigh.  A sigh of fullness and gratitude and knowing.  Because Stuart McLean has revealed the beauty of the journey itself, step by step and detail by detail.

Thank you, storytellers, writers, talespinners of all sorts…the reporters, the broadcasters, poets, preachers, painters, composers and singers, symphony musicians and subway buskers...  Thank you for revealing the details of this journey. For helping us walk in truth and in faith, in beauty and in hope.