This picture was taken at Villa Maria del Mar, on of my favorite places as I have made so many retreats here on the Pacific ocean. God always speaks to me in the beauty of the ocean. He spoke to me in a different way this morning. I was looking at notes I had kept from a 30-day retreat I made in the retreat house built over the cave where St. Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises and I found a poem by Catherine Maguire, RSCJ written in 1940 and given to me by Sister Madeleine Desloge in 1944 when I was discerning my own vocation. I am going to share it with you today.
The night you held a child against your breast
And fed Him so, you had your full reward
For what must have been real, perhaps confessed
Reluctance in your yet complete accord.
To that decree of God’s to play the part
Of childless virgin, which your race had cursed,
To live our life with empty arms and heart,
And never hold a child your breasts had nursed.
So exquisitely formed, so poised, so whole,
So utterly a woman, beg for me
That Christ, your Child, who now but lately stole
My heart to chastity, may make me see
With what delights beyond all human cost
He shall repay the little I have lost.
Read it twice! C. Maguire, August, 1940