Born and bred
Among the soft roll of hills
in the pasture land of Leinster.
Playing, working, praying in praise
walking the fi elds of Creation.
Saturated in beauty of mount and vale
hearkening to animal call and birdsong
learning the human endeavor
of ploughing the furrow and seeding
attuned to the call of the Cosmos.
compelled to Bangor, to book and bell
combining the rigor of monastic life
with zeal for mission.
Burdened with the task of sharing
the life of Life
the greatest freedom of knowingly believing
in the Greatest Love
the being of Being
driven by the fl ame of Life within
pulsating, beckoning, urging me out
to journey to unknown Europe
led by the Fire of Him
Who called me to them.
Planks of wood latched and tarred
sea-worthy, buffetted by wind
carrying monks with Word of God
echoing off mountains
Spirit-fi lled with Divine Fire
Igniting hearts and souls
Spreading throughout a continent.
Spreading over time to a world
awakening and rejoicing in Divine Being.
The pounding of hearts crying
There is a God
Jesus is the Way,
The Holy Spirit burning within
Caritas Christi urget nos.
Community in monasteries
alone among the rocks
praying, praying and traveling
impelled by force from within
onward and forward
o'er land and mountain
peace and rest in mystic solitude.
Fontaine and Annegray
Luxeuil and Bobbio
light up a darkened continent.
Together around the Table of the Lord
Eager to wash each other's feet.
With single vision
beckoning and urging us on
o'er mountain ranges to the hills of Rome.
Highlands and lowlands
stopping and staying and moving on
founding monasteries and dwelling in caves.
Animals and birds welcoming
people looking and seeing
following to consecration.
Monastery walls resounding with Divine Praise
Morning Prayer waking the dawn
Night Prayer and well-earned rest.
Laudate Dominum omnis terra.
Strife and struggle overcome
in the daily living of fraternity
sustained by the spiritual treasures
of an ancient race.
Rest and Peace and a little space to pray
sought out for comfort in the last days
among the falling leaves of November
gathered the White Dove—an Colm Ban
back to the earth from which he had come.
Christi simus non nostri.
Colm Ban = Irish for White Dove.
Columban Sr. Abbie O'Sullivan lives in Ireland.