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Presentation Sisters Video
Sr Raphael Consedine pbvm wrote this in the Foreword of Sacred Space, a collection of her beautiful poetry:
Faced with the human task of living with the simplicities, the complexities and ambiguities of our world, people of all faiths, and of no particular faith, know the need to withdraw momentarily and sometimes for extended periods into their ‘sacred place’ – that deep reflective centre from which they live, and which grounds them strongly within their daily reality.
In ancient times, seers measured out a temple – the words denoted ‘sacred space’ – on the ground and in the heavens. Standing there, they read the signs which directed their actions.
Our own life-experience is continually heightened, deepened, extended by our contact with others in our evolving world. Our sacred space is uniquely ours yet living from it makes us acutely aware of what we hold in common. Sharing the perceptions of the heart creates possibility, energises us to reach beyond.
Woman of Welcoming Heart
They know her in the crowded lonely ways
woman of welcoming heart, whose lantern sheds
kind beams for eyes waste-minded by the weary miles,
for them her hands are open, for her their doors.
Room is made by dim and smoking fire, some small
and she, receiving, knows still more to give,
and, welcomed, grows in art of welcoming.
Apart, in shadowed hours of night and dawn,
leaning heart to heart on the One who pulses life
into the lowliest and least of all that lives,
she learns to unclasp the last-kept store
and lay it down in welcome: ‘Take and share.’
Until, the last loaf broken, the last wine poured,
she can dare the outer darkness, the fine-piercing sword,
and bear to be bereft…
heart-certain that beyond this last black mile
light streams from beckoning windows and from
where she will hear the voice grown dear in silent
‘Woman of welcoming heart, here is your home.’
Raphael Consedine pbvm
The words and poem above, Woman of Welcoming Heart, are from Sacred Space by Raphael Consedine pbvm, published by Presentation Sisters Victoria, 73 Grey Street, West St Kilda Vic 3182.