Reflection on Saint Mary-of-the-Woods
The following reflection was written by Sister Joseph Eleanor Ryan (RIP):
O, the joy, the beauty of this place,
The friendliness, and O, the grace!
This Woodland is a glowing tapestry
Where are depicted all the lights and shades
Of God’s dear love, so that
Should we some morning miss the messenger’s
Swift pinions brushing dawn-tipped clouds
Or spilling silver ripples of spring rain,
We still might find their shadows, fugitive, between
White petals sifting gently down
Beneath a dogwood tree; or in the elfin touch
Of the first snowflake on a lingering brown oak leaf.
There is a benediction in the very breeze
That bathes the fleece-flecked sky;
A message in the tawny autumn air,
And in the homing leaves, that lie
Gold-tipped and scarlet-spangled at our feet.
There is a promise in each singing twig
Of every tree; and I shall take
Away with me its whisper, that shall break
Like morning ecstasy on tranquil dreams
Whatever be the distance and the dark surrounding me.
The loveliness of God has touched this place,
And lighted all its paths with grace.