Saturday, October 29, 2016

La Mirada... The Gaze...

La mirada de compasión...
La mirada de sabiduría humilde...
La mirada de haber tocado los y las intocables...
La mirada de entender...
La mirada de "Ven...descansa..."
La mirada de trabajo duro...
La mirada de "hasta el fin..."
La mirada de amor en toda su plenitud ...

The gaze of compassion...
The gaze of humble wisdom...
The gaze of having touched the untouchables
The gaze of understanding...
The gaze of ""
The gaze of hard work...
The gaze of "until the end..."
The gaze of love in all of its fullness...

Friday, October 21, 2016



Mine are the originals,

the poets, the wanderers,

those who don't fit in.

Terrifically flawed and

full of glory, I made you Human.

Those who walk, exposed to the journey,

heart open and loose in the joints:

yours is a fullness of living.

Do not be afraid.

I made you—you are mine.

With every verse, every thought,

every act, every wail and shimmy of your soul,

Draw near. Bring others.

Lift your faces to the galaxy;

Count the stars if you are able.

You are not alone.

Nothing can separate you

from me—ever.

So, go forth. Be broken open.

Again, again, and again.

And see how my love

claims its own.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Sunday, October 16, 2016


13 October, 2016

11:50 AM Basilica de San Francisco de Asís I would love the chance to be alone here. The ceiling and the walls are astounding. It is like being inside his story. All of the shapes, the art, the life! in story... Like a gold-edged family album from centuries ago. The Colors...the Blue! The longer I look the more I see. Trees and suns and heads...full scenes too--baptism, receiving the is one big fluid story that enfolds and incorporates those who sit in these pews and try to take it in. (I have moved so as not to be overtaken by a buzzing swarm of tourists). I love looking at all of these different things coming together. La confluencia de las texturas... the confluence of textures...artistic, temporal...all of it...


Reading Neruda in San Damiano has forever changed or at least enriched how I will understand his Versos. Somehow, reading That poetry in San became More. The passion and the justice, the struggle, the connection he makes with who he is writing for or to... it became divine. The passion was for God. The sensuality was about God. Francis knew that sort of love...and God has that love for creation as well. It was as though the Who of the poetry became even more beautiful in the union of real and mystical. The poems are full of memory and was a gift to read it in this environment and have it open before me, invite me inside in a new way.

And then, the humble deep peace of praying before the same crucifix that spoke to Francis in prayer. And to take time and bring to mind and heart those times when I have felt that level of intimacy with Jesus..when hearing becomes an act of the heart that blooms, flows, and sometimes trembles. It was a time to give great thanks.

14 October, 2016

The Carceri

...sometime after the singing of Office and now seated on the wall with my face to the sun...loving the sound of the wind and the fact that you can hear it before you feel it. It is so incredibly peaceful here, And it is a gift to share the silence with D, L, and well as with a man who also opted for this stillness when the rest of his group went onward into the woods. When the wind doesn't blow, the silence is...primeval. As though it is the same silence that welcomed Francis and his companions. It is an old silence...the silence of God. And not so far removed, perhaps, from the Word of God. What a thing to consider...Que este silencio tan ruidoso sea la Palabra en su esencia... If silence is the fullness of sound so that we may listen--like light is the fullness of color so that we may see...then AUGH, what that says about the Word! The Word and all that is within it...AUGH...astounding.

15 October, 2016

8:45 AM

Now seated in the town with a large group of gum-cracking, mostly disinterested, German boys and their chaperones. The chaperones who seem to be organizing an espresso run among themselves, as one has broken away and is headed into a cafe. I was able to dry off enough of the bench to sit without feeling too damp. An older man with his seriously jowly dog just made use of my proffered soggy napkins and now occupying the other half of this bench. The bench is across from Santa Maria Supra Minerva-- the church built upon an early temple to the goddess Minerva. The columns are original to the temple...And there is a large carillon as just pealed on the quarter hour. Today the air is warm and moist...Hm, Caffe-Mok is delivering supplies to the shop next to the bench and Carlsberg Italia is bringing beer to the place across the square. Preparing the day's bookends... A tourist group has set upon the more jowly of my companions...He seems rather used to it, actually, sitting for selfies. He looks like a bloodhound, a basset, and a lab rolled into one galumphing bit of canine. He is following the flow of traffic with his head, baaack and fooorrrth...and he is sitting on the feet of the older gentleman holding his leash. The man has just kept his quiet...staring off into a place he alone can see...I am glad they chose to sit here. I love the way the sun is coming into the piazza. Like the spread of a fresh clean sheet on the bed...and the smells...the light waft of sugar mixed with a tinge of cigarette and an underscore of earthy rain... it's a great combination, oddly enough, when it all comes together. And, it was a gift to share this with the man and his dog, without saying much--or really, anything--beyond "grazie" for the napkins and looking at one another in the eye when he said "bouna giornata" when he and the four-legged got up to leave. Somehow, there was an understanding between us that we would each allow the other to be while "be-ing" together. Again, there is something to be said for intentionally created quiet intentionally shared.


Have just had the best 1 Euro macchiato and am now standing by the stone wall opposite Casa Papa Giovanni, watching the birds fly over this landscape; this mystical, holy, landscape. This is like no other place I have ever been in my life. It is saturated with peace. I could have spent these last hours here inside of a church I have not seen this trip or returning to pray before the crucifix in Santa Chiara, but I can't bring myself to go inside when all of this glory is out here, laid out by a passionately imaginative God...a God of Love who delights in beauty...God for whom creation IS beauty, in all of its textures, patterns, colors, that come together in a free-hand harmony that draws me in to my center and at the same time calls me forth in a great gasp of awe. The breeze has turned cool, the earth is a dark, beautiful, brown; the roof tiles present a muted patchwork of earth-toned half-pots. The leaves and pine boughs are shot through with threads of spun birdsong and sunlight. The stone building sides have become canvases for shadows that duck and soar on currents of unseen mystery. Thank you for this time. Thank you for this place. Thank you for the passion and vision of Francis, for his Yes. And thank you for calling me. You have my Yes, forever and always. You are my light, my strength, and my salvation.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Walk with me

Yesterday was one of those days I'd mark with a star. A day when things came together and took on the shape of simple grace.

It began around 4:45 AM when I found myself entirely awake and serendipitously in a Skype call with a friend in California. Her day before was ending and my next day about to begin. We shared that in-between space for the better part of two hours...just chatting and telling stories and catching up.

I left the Villa Lante at about 8:30. The sky was a brilliant blue and the honey color of the buildings just bloomed. At that hour, everything is quiet in the Trastevere...quiet and fresh... though the memory from the night before is still at hand. The street sweepers have been through, but lemon and orange rinds as well as corks and cigar stubs still find their way in between the cobblestones. I am sure there is a law of nature about that--along the same lines as water finding its level regardless of the container. Vendors are beginning to roll up the metal grates in front of doors and windows and when you walk by, there is the lingering acrid pinch of bleach from where they have broomed the patch of stones in front of their shop. The people who are out then are out for reason, not for leisure, for they most part. Groceries, errands, espresso.... I love the time with people doing their daily whatnot rather than tourists clicking and snapping. It somehow seems closer to the ground, more real. The old men sitting on benches and making room for a third friend they called over from the other side of the street. The construction workers standing in front of the bar, holding saucers and sips of espresso before heading out for their job. The women with the wheeled grocery bags who walk a syncopated journey to the markets...these women with fixed, serious, faces and arms that become a living swim stroke of language when they meet.

I stopped for a cornetto and ate it while sitting on the edge of a stone planter. It was so delicious and so utterly simple. It flaked, it melted, and it had the slightest hint of orange in the glaze. Wondrous.

I made my way through several other blocks and eventually headed home. I practiced with someone who gave their Province presentation this afternoon. Poland. For this presentation I learned a whole host of words I'd never known how to say in Spanish before... ley marcial martial law; astillero shipyard; bolchevique Bolshevik... and others. Several words on my list were translated for me while having another long distance conversation filled with deep friendship, joy, and mutual understanding. By then I was hungry for lunch. Saturday is a free day, most of the time, so again I headed out. I went to a near by sandwich shop for a caprese sandwich and acqua with bubbles. Turns out that at that same shop were the two rscj in charge of probation. I sat with them and we ate our sandwiches. They invited me to walk with them as they ran errands...which meant first walking over to Vatican city and finding the Russian Icon shop. Oh, the beautiful things that are there. I just love some of the full of compassion and knowing. Knowing what it is to suffer and choosing love anyway. Knowing of hurt and choosing life. I find their faces of knowing and longing and love so very beautiful...

From there we took a bus to Via di Trastevere and had to find a place to buy chocolates that they needed as a thank you gift. We stopped into a chocolaterie/bakery and oh...glory. such beauty! Fruit tarts to rival the finest still life, Bits of artwork, each one. Each fluffy disk of meringue with a perfect swoop on top. Each cookie edged and aligned with a partner that helps to hold the different fillings. Fondente, lemon curd, pineapple...

Then we turned back to come home, which meant crossing back through the piazza with Santa Maria de Trastevere. While walking I caught sight of one of the most "well suited" couples that I have seen in a long time. It was such a fitting celebration of love. They radiated such peace and a deep, abiding joy...and I felt such an aching gratitude for the gift of having seen them, having witnessed their love, even if only through a glimpse and a walk by.

Then in the late afternoon there was the presentation on Poland which went well and was complete with dancing and a typical dessert that the sister had made. It was a sort of apple cake with meringue on top. Divine.

The probanists all went out to dinner while the two directors and I stayed home to share a simple supper. Sometimes simple is so very nice. Scrambled eggs with onion done to well-whisked perfection and toast. It was quite simple and just the thing and such good company.

I went to bed absolutely tired and absolutely filled with gratitude. Such a great combination.