Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ave Maria

Ave Maria

Ave Maria, ave, ave!
Who has not sung this greeting
and entreated with heart’s weakened breath
for miracles fleeting?

Inexhaustible Well of Life
Mother Immaculate, Perfect One.
Did you your own misgivings feel
as mother to the Son?

Why do I not feel compelled
to worship you in childlike trust?
Perhaps because my own life’s course
treads a different and less certain dust?

Perhaps because the mother who was mine
kept distance in her own remote belief
as in unnourished solitude
I stood in silent grief?

Or perhaps because, a mother now myself,
I cannot work the miracles I need
to save my children from their pains 
and the rough desires of others’ greed?

Do I seek my own immaculate self?
Is that what binds me to you?
That you, in spite of everything,
allow me to draw near you?

Or is it that I wonder
at your own unquestioning belief
to bear your greatest miracle,
and in turn to bear your greatest grief?

Is this why others sing your name?
That in the arms of Grace
in sweet submission you agreed
to bear that blessed Face?

Oh Sweet Surrender, oh Sweet Awe
who teaches me the way
to live and also to let go of life:
Ave Maria, ave, ave!


  1. I wept reading this. It moves me in ways I cannot even express.
    One of the magical moments of my life happened in an Abbaye in Normandy. We were the only ones in the grande salle and my husband's beautiful tenor voice lifted the Ave Maria to the rafters. I stood, immobile, in wonder.

    1. Oh Joss, your story touches my soul - thank you, dear friend ♥

  2. My beautiful friend..deeply beautiful and emotional...outstanding! Every time I visit your sacred space I feel moved within and shifted in a most compelling way...deep gratitude for the wonderful spirit you are! Beautiful!

    1. Dear Victoria, I am in my turn moved by your words. You and I, I know, both endeavour to create these sacred spaces with what we do and in what we write. I truly feel that somewhere we do make a difference. Love and Blessings, dear kindred spirit. ♥

  3. Ik herken veel van je gebed. Maria, de vrouw die heel ver weg bleef uit mijn leven, 'Wij aanbidden geen andere goden dan Jezus' , was de boodschap uit mijn jeugd.
    Maar ineens is ze er. De afgelopen jaren. De moeder, de liefde, het lijden van deze vrouw die groot was. De schilderijen van Raffaël van de madonna wijzen me een weg. Een wonderschone weg...
    Mooi Emma!
    Groet Hannah

    1. Hannah, het is zo herkenbaar wat je schrijft. Ofschoon mijn moeder niet zo expliciet was, was het voor ons kinderen ook slechts Jezus die telde. Maria was er alleen een beetje rondom Kerst en Pasen, maar toch vrijwel geheel in de periferie van de grote gebeurtenissen. Gelukkig mag Maria inmiddels zichtbaar zijn en zien wij hierin, zoals je zegt: een wonderschone weg. Dank je wel, Hannah!

  4. Dear Emma...It feels almost unholy to speak here...it takes away from the innermost well of holiness that arise from your questions to Ave Maria...
    I felt each one deeply, reverently. I am moved and in tears.

    Bless You Dear Sister...Bless You!