They lose their wings in battle,
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael.
Amid the chattel of war
one may never notice
dried sticks of grace left behind
among the leftovers.
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael,
phoenix, paragon, paradigm.
Through His unyielding love
warriors again are adorned,
valor once more apportioned.
This weekend brought me back to my oasis on the outskirts of the city. I am again spending the weekend at Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado.
This is my fourth or fifth retreat in the last several years. It is a silent house. The only ones who talk are the Jesuits or Sister Eileen who run the sessions. Of course, there are always those who try to whisper and don’t realize that when you are in a silent house, a whisper is just as obvious as the coals trains passing by.
But I welcome the coal trains. They are soothing. I grew up near train tracks and lived most of my years somewhere close enough to hear them if you listened very carefully. I no longer live near this sound that is so comforting, so I eagerly await my stay here.
This weekend brought a change for me, though. It was a surprise. One reason I always attend guided retreats is that I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fill my time alone. Well, I have grown in my ability to be quiet and alone and not get bored. Hoping to put a very stressful few months behind me, after attending several of the talks, I told Sister Eileen I was taking a break. I needed more quiet. I hope I didn’t hurt her feelings.
I walked. I did my daily passage meditation that I am in the process of learning near a statue of St. Francis with little birds chirping all around me. And I walked more. I walked around taking photos of the deer and rabbits and the flowers. I walked to the gazebo on the hill.
On my way back from the gazebo, I noticed the once fully covered bark path was now getting a bit sparse. Earlier storms carved tiny valleys, now dried, in the path. Mud curled drying in the sun and sticks of bark were spread thin. It was here that I was inspired to write. During liturgy this morning, Father Kinerk mentioned it was the feast day of the Archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Putting these two events together gave me my idea for Archangels.