photo of child


'With Your great goodness and love, wash us and cleanse our sin...
Create within us again hearts and spirits renewed in Your joy'

-- Lyrics from
'Formed From
This Earth'


Weston Benedictine Monks
Journey to Nicaragua
Winter Retreat, 2001

Looking back from Vermont:
An encounter at sunrise


Again, we are visited by memories.

    The sun is just rising, and the dirt road seems quiet in front of the sisters' house.

    But it's soon evident that the animals are up early.

    A horse, tethered in front of a neighbor's house.

    A pig, wandering about.

    A couple of dogs, still half-asleep.

    Four or five chickens scurrying around together.

    A big cow, lumbering up the hill.

    And then, just where the road is about to drop down -- a small naked child, propped up on a clothes-washing stone, being vigorously scrubbed by his mother. Suds pile up in great balloons around him.

    There is so much despair and desperation among the people.

    So many youthful suicides.

    So many waves of desperate emigration to other countries.

    And yet here, on this morning -- a quiet daily event that speaks of love and responsibility.

    A mother scrubbing her child as the sun comes up -- witness to the dignity of life and the loving care of God against all odds.

It is a gift we unwrap in memory, back home in Vermont.

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