Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Light no Darkness can Overcome


I spent six weeks away this summer. Five of those weeks I was working at our General Chapter, translating/interpreting. While I did that, life went on... The life of the Chapter, the life of the Province, the life of the world.

When I came home, it was clear that a sister who had been sick before I left would soon die. As her journey drew her homeward, we kept vigil with her through the day and though the night. The house took on a different feel those though time was somehow measured differently within this particular circle of love, fidelity, and relationships.

She died in the middle of the night. The next morning while I ate breakfast, drank coffee, and made a shopping list for what we'd need for the wake, someone was editing her obituary, and someone else was making phone calls to coordinate liturgical particulars. And, the washing machine decided to start screeching and students were coming over to use our downstairs space for a leadership workshop, I had a meeting at 10, and someone needed to go to the airport later in the afternoon.

Life continues its rhythms and cycles. It goes on. Not indifferently or blindly, but it does go on. It occurred to me that this sort of determination-force, this generative being-ness, growth, evolution, that can not be held back, is the heart of the Light in the prologue to John's Gospel.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

The Word can not be held bound...not by place, not by will, not by death. It will bloom; dance; console; disturb; reveal; inspire; challenge; beckon.

Life and Word go on. Around, within, and through the whole of creation, which includes This particular and unique being. I and all I feel, think, and have within my being, are beautifully, mysteriously, bound up in this cycle of Light. This cycle of Love.

How utterly astounding...and humbling...and worthy of deep, quiet, thanksgiving.

World without end; Light beyond darkness; Word made flesh; Amen Amen Amen.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The prayer of This Translator/Interpreter

Let my words
offer shape and form
to the essential.
A way to draw near
to the enticingly curious sensation
of meaning and understanding.
May light rest within my words
as air is within the balloon,
as a prism is home
within droplet or tear,
as honey lies waiting
in the bee hive.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
Interpreter at the 2016 General Chapter for
The Society of the Sacred Heart

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Amazing Grace in Troubling Times

From my notebook here in Nemi, Italy, where I am translating/interpreting at our General Chapter for five weeks...

16 July, 2016

7:50 AM. On the bench. Or, on A bench. It's actually one to the left of the bench I have been in for the last couple of days because I wanted a view that was straight on this morning. I love how the changing light highlights different colors in the landscape. Today, it is the honey and terra cotta colors that feature. Other days, it has been the green canopies of trees or the shiny blue of the lake. The news from today is of the golpe-del-estado attempt in Turkey. Apparently it was not successful-- or, at least, that was the last I had heard on the news. This following on the attack in Nice, France just yesterday. And this is not to speak a word of all that has also undoubtably happened in the last two days without making the headlines or in some way pricking at the tentacles of the media.

Though it is the only way I know how to Live, how to have/feel/know a sense of Home, Meaning, Call, or Freedom, I sometimes find it strange and inexplicable that I continue to believe so strongly in a God of Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Inclusion, when the world is filled with such hatred, violence, and the use of the name of God to justify and ratify atrocities. And yet, I do. I believe that there is a light no darkness can overcome. I must, if there is any sense to be made at all. Or, I must, if I am to welcome and to be welcomed by this Mystery and live within it.

In some ways, perhaps I am coming into a new understanding of Faith. Or, perhaps it is circumstances that are directing me toward a new facet of it. I can say with certainty that some large measure of the grace that is faith is what has brought me safe thus far; perhaps this new light is the grace of faith that will lead me Home.

Thank you, God, for your invitation, your constancy and understanding. Thank you for loving me as you do...wholly, completely, and without reservation.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Better Weather

I have been into Broadway show tunes for the last while.  I have a great mix of songs on a playlist-- from chestnuts to new favorites.  I appreciate the lyricism more now than ever is FULL music that plays to my love of story and the senses.  Several songs from the soundtrack to Tony-sweeping Hamilton are recent frequent plays.  I have a whole new appreciation for the exquisite linguistic maneuverings of rap and hip-hop thanks to the artistry of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the whole cast. 

I was listening to this music when the BBC notice about the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando blipped up on my screen. The shooting in  San Bernadino last December elicited an intense response from me.  This was different somehow.  I am no less saddened and certainly no less ashamed of congress or concerned about how such hate manages to flourish.  Perhaps it is a certain sense of being Fed Up.  Fed up with people wondering how it can be that people do this.  That seems pretty clear.  You make a decision that one group of people, whoever that might be, deserves death, you buy a gun legally, you plan, and you execute the plan.  What leads up to this is nuanced and multifaceted, for certain.  There are questions of evil, of extremism, of loneliness, illness and hosts of other issues.  But the basic how seems as obvious as the lack of interest on the part of lawmakers in doing a blessed thing about it. 

Better Weather

What I do not understand
is how you wake up washed in hate and not in the light-
Believing that it’s God who calls you to the fight;
So you exercise a right and buy a gun so you can
meet what you consider to be your divine plan.
That’s bad enough-a desecration of the love
that God has equally for all from above.

Then there’s a country that refuses to acknowledge
that these weapons have no place and should be abolished.
They feed the hate and facilitate the war
that is happening Here AND on a distant shore.

 People ask “How many more?” but that question is old
because clearly Congress refuses to do anything bold.
Here’s a new one to consider—How long can we last
when the Love we woke up to fades into the past?
When we forget how freedom feels and when fear rules the heart
and we spend money behind fortresses instead of making art
to remind us, invite us, inspire and unite us
in our call to stand together, each glorious one-
in the light, in the light,
in the light of the sun.
With open hands, full hearts, and listening souls
ready to welcome, to learn, to help, and to hold.

We can battle with the rattle of our ideologies
and sell a semi-automatic to our neighbors and friends,
closing our eyes to the sight of blood on our hands
Or, we can amend the laws that guide the land.

This will not stop the hate, the fear, the push for power
but it will make it harder for mass murder to tower
over the news, over our hearts, over homes of the nation,
and dominate discussions of hate and discrimination.

Let’s change the laws. Let’s get it together.
Stop the rain of tears and make better weather
So Love can bloom wild and dance with rebirth
among all the inhabitants of this beautiful Earth.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost 2016

(image by Jessamyn Rubio)

Pentecost 2016


Fill me, Jesus,

Spirit and Word;

Open me, Traveller,

breath and possibility;

Sustain me, Love,

promise and sending.

Lift me

ground me

move in me

out from me

widening widening

until all is All is

of Light

of Grace

of Yes.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Particular Bread

For Ratinaud’s on Gottigen Street

Particular Bread

The crust, the crumb,

the salt on my lip,

the yeast, the chew,

the deliciously particular

sensory complexity

of a bite tasting

like the earthy

pinching, pungency

of the charcuterie

that called to me;

(I love a bread that bears

specificity well;

Bread that becomes

in the afternoon’s hunger

warm, torn pieces

of home and hope and sighing.)

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Friday, April 22, 2016

Blue Sky Wanders

The Blue Sky Wanders

I was afflicted today

with a distracting, uplifting,

case of the 'blue sky wanders.'


When gravity says I won't hold you bound;

When the road is open

and the map is vague.


The type of day that

brings to its company

a certain sort of memory:


The color of the ocean

seen from a bus

along the coast of Chile;


A love letter once received;


The fullness that bloomed

in an empty sanctuary,

while listening to the grandeur of quiet.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ