Monasteries of the Heart

Old Monk's Journal: Journal Entry 198

It’s almost Christmas and I’m enjoying the nativity scriptures because I am mostly in the company of women. Today’s gospel was the Visitation and so I got to spend a good part of the day with Elizabeth and Mary, two women “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

I’ve always had a solid devotion to Mary and it intensifies when I travel the Advent road toward Bethlehem. What draws me to Mary?

A few years back I wrote a prayer that traces her life and its challenge to me. Please accept this as my Christmas gift to you.

Come, Spirit,
make me docile to your voice.
Help me debate angels.
Let your will be done in me
even if it means
misunderstanding, rejection, scandal.
Give me wisdom to find you
in the irrational:
heavens gone awry,
astrologers’ predictions,
songs in the night.
Give me such hospitality of heart that
family, foreign seers, poor shepherds, and animals
find a home in my presence.
Let me protect innocent children from oppressive power.
Make me fearless of foreign lands and unknown journeys.
When I cannot find you
do not let me rest until I search
home, highway, and temple.
Let me always insist on miracles to celebrate love.
And when all I love on earth
lies lifeless in my arms
let me offer it to you with such freedom of heart
that I am swept up into the heavens. Amen

A very blessed Christmas to each of you.

To view or make comments you must be logged in to Monasteries of the Heart. If you are not yet a member, you can create a free membership account at now. A real person authenticates each new member account to avoid spam accounts so you will not have immediate access. As soon as your account is verified you will receive an email with further instructions.

A blog by Mary Lou Kownacki
A personal journal captures what’s in the heart. Most of my adult life I’ve recorded my notes, brief reflections, poems, reactions to daily events in a journal. It is an ongoing source of monastic formation; the rich and raw material of life that helps shape my Monastery of the Heart. About a year ago, Old Monk began to appear on my journal’s pages. Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, is the Monasteries of the Heart coordinator.

Previous Posts Posted