Eve and Mary by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.O
It’s still Christmas! And here is a lovely story about how things get moved along by the Holy Spirit:
A Trappistine nun, Abbess Columba Guare of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, who composes the texts for the Abbey’s Christmas cards, wrote this lovely poem, wherein the Virgin Mary addresses Eve with hope and gladness:
My mother, my daughter, life-giving Eve,
Do not be ashamed, do not grieve.
The former things have passed away,
Our God has brought us to a New Day.
See, I am with Child,
Through whom all will be reconciled.
O Eve! My sister, my friend,
We will rejoice together
Life without end.
— Sr. Columba Guare copyright© 2005 Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey
The poem reflects the crayon and colored-pencil drawing by another nun, Sr. Grace Remington, which you see above. It’s a marvelous image – a profound gift of a card.
Writing in First Things, Fr. Richard Neuhaus quoted the poem for this piece, where it was seen by the composer Frank LaRocca who, in an email, relates:
“From the first time I read it, I knew I would set this text to music. 18 months later, in June of ’07, I did. It was premiered in Scotland in December 2007, and I had the great honor of sitting next to Sr. Columba just a few weeks ago when it was performed by a women’s choir at Clarke College in Dubuque.”
Here is the Glasgow performace. Give it a second to load, then hit “play” – it’s quite lovely and prayerful, and full of joy.
And isn’t it almost miraculous to consider how many people may be touched in the varied artistic manifestations that began with the “simple” task of creating a Christmas card? If you think about it, it is almost a working metaphor for the Vespers antiphon, “God planned, in the fullness of time, to restore all things to himself, through Christ.” In the “hidden” monastic life, a germ becomes an idea; the idea is illustrated and circulated. It becomes transformed, enlarged and disbursed upon the air, on the very breath, where it can be passed on and finally, fully reclaimed.
And you all know what I think about the efficacy of the breath in carrying forth the Word and the Will of God, and its power in the battle taking place all around.
Thanks to Frank LaRocca for sharing his story with us – and let us give thanks for all of those artists who use their gifts to help guide us toward that restoration God has planned.
Sr. Grace, Lucia LaRocca (Frank’s wife) & Sr. Columba at the Abbey
Photo by Frank LaRocca
WELCOME Corner readers, and thanks K-Lo for the link! While you’re here, please look around. We’re also praising Adoration, doing a religion and politics round up and – indulging in one purely-politics post, on the media excesses regarding Barack Obama’s workouts.