Prepare Your Hearts (For Sister Emma)

Sometimes my “year of writing liturgically” (see here for more information) leads me to read and write about people with whom I do not immediately feel an affinity. Today’s poem is for Sister Emma Crawford, an Australian Anglican sister whose theology would be, I suspect, much closer to Catholicism than mine is. But her society stood to prepare people’s hearts and lives for Jesus’ return and this, for all our differences, seems a very good thing. So I have chosen to focus my poem today – a meditation of sorts – on this idea and on some of the things that her society sought to address in Australian society.
 
Prepare Your Hearts
(For Sister Emma, Superior of the Society of the Sacred Advent, Queensland)
 
In a world of desert sands,
Raise your hands.
 
In a world with tight-shut eyes,
Look hopeful to the skies.
 
In a world with blinkered minds,
Be generous, be kind.
 
In a world which lingers on
Its own desires, stay strong.
 
In a world which knows Him not,
Cling on to what we forgot.
 
In a world of spirit-drought,
Look to Him; look out.
 
In a world of soulless schools,
Draw from living pools.
 
In a world which turns away,
Hold your gaze and stay.

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