Fed By The Holy Spirit
This post is dedicated to my grandmother, Annabelle Black, “Nanabelle,” who will be 101 years old in February. In the way of an early birthday present for her, this week, my poem written in honor of her, “Blue Willow Plates,” was published by America Magazine. The poem describes my vivid memories of eating dinner at her charming house countless nights in my childhood. I used to watch the care with which she prepared a meal; the way she always made more than she needed in case someone in the family stopped by unexpectedly (and someone often did) ; the way she always set a lovely table with great attention to detail even when she was a widow. She consistently brought dignity and love to the act of eating and she served the food on blue willow plates.
I came to love the design on the plates because of what they symbolized for me: hope, the hope that has always been offered at my grandmother’s table no matter what is going on in my life, or hers. As the poem states, my grandmother’s meals have always allowed “the Holy Spirit, in blue and white patterns” to descend upon us at the table. I still come away from every encounter with my grandmother feeling “fed” on every possible level. Her home has always been a true domestic church. And I feed my family every night on blue willow plates, and I do it remembering those many nights at my grandmother’s house. Like her, I hope to feed the spirit as well as the body of each person I present with a meal.
The featured music for today is both classic and modern. The first song is medieval in origin. Written by Christian mystic, Hildegard von Bingen, “The Origin of Fire” is inspired by The Holy Spirit. It is pure, stunning beauty — voices blending together in a warm melodic dance, as hypnotically stunning for the ears as flames dancing over logs is for the eyes. Its Eucharistic mood is as beautiful as the feeling we receive from a deeply satisfying meal shared with those we love the most, followed by time spent together in sacred companionship, a reminder that we have been fed, through God, in body and soul.
The second song, “Holy Spirit” is sung by the ever-talented Francesca Battistelli, and invites the Holy Spirit, through its lyrics, to stay near and imbue everything with its Presence.
As you enjoy the featured art, poetry and music of the day, ask yourself: who in your life has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit by their example? Who has fed you in body and soul?