Happy Feast of Saint Agnes!
One year ago today, my dear friend Lisa first posted a poem I'd written, Monastery in My Heart, on this site. Since that day, I've been honored to contribute more than 40 posts to Lisa's blog. My first posts featured poems. Soon I transitioned to writing the story of my spiritual journey: before, during, and after the convent. This past year I've written so much of my convent story, I am now combining and editing my posts into a book-length memoir.
MonasteryinMyHeart.com gave me my first chance to share my writing and my heart with readers. Today on the feast of Saint Agnes, who was my patroness in religious life, I just want to say, "Thank you!" Thank you, Lisa, for giving me a beautiful place to share my stories. Thank you, readers, for listening and bringing purpose to the words that I write. Thanks be to God, for all His gifts!
In thanksgiving for a year with Monastery in My Heart, I'd like to share a poem.
On January 21, 2019, I was watching a lunar eclipse out my bedroom window. This particular eclipse was so underwhelming, at first I couldn't find it. The moon appeared cloudy and brown, not the spectacular red color I'd hoped for.
I kind of feel like that moon, I thought.
Like the cloudy moon, I wanted to share my light, but my writing felt hidden in shadows. When I queried my novel to agents, I received only format rejections and silence. I was terrified of posting even the simplest things on Facebook. And as a mom to a poor sleeper, I rarely got enough sleep to write anything worth sharing.
But that night I wrote the first draft of this poem:
Saint Agnes Day: January 21, 2019
Saint Agnes, virgin martyr,
Tonight a Blood Moon rises in your honor,
Sweeping through Cancer’s pyramid of stars.
Eclipsed by the Earth and hidden in its shadow
People seek and cannot find you, you rare thing—
They fail to see because you are not what they expect:
Neither bright, nor red, nor breathless in your beauty.
Rather, you are obscured,
Lost in smoke and shadows even at your fullness
You seem spent, even in the midst of your bloody passion
Charms all but hidden from the eyes of mortals.
Yet eternity paints a different picture of you
In that place where good and secret things come to light,
The invisible ones made visible at last.
And so, too, I hope to not always be hidden and forgotten,
My flame eclipsed in unspoken words, unwritten expressions
Consuming my heart from the inside out.*
*Originally published in Sterling Script 2021: A Local Author Collection
Thank you so much for reading! Join me next week for the next chapter of my convent story!
Also, be sure not to miss today's post on Life After Convent blog:
About the Author:
Mary Rose Kreger lives in the metro Detroit area with her family, where she writes fantasy for teens and blogs about her spiritual journey: before, during and after the convent. She writes about her convent experience here at www.monasteryinmyheart.com, and her struggles transitioning to post-convent life at www.maryrosekreger.com.