Faithful, true, wrapped her arms around you
Smiling, teasing, undeniably present, it’s true.
Gracious in welcoming . . . accommodating repetitive motion
Listening in love, the way of true love.
Grandma was like that
A presence of divinity in action.
My memories of Grandma King included the attack of the red ant. At the heightened age of seven, I scaled a sandy hill near her house. After sliding and regaining my foothold, I succeeded in obtaining its summit. My accomplishment was overshadowed by something that didn’t feel right. I scurried to Grandma’s house and expressed my discomfort to Grandma. Well, we discovered that a red ant was biting near my belly button. At the sight of the red ant, my grandma removed the ant, extinguished it between her fingers and threw it into the flames of her wood burning stove. The warmth of her love, for me, continues to stir my heart.
True love? Where is it found? How can I recognize it?
St. Scholastica met with St. Benedict, her brother, on seldom occasion.
Met for a day of sacred conversation
As late evening descended, her brother experienced agitation.
Surely, to stay longer would give way to dissipation
A dissipation unacceptable for a Rule bearing Benedictine.
St. Scholastica seeking God’s intervention, heaved heavy prayerful tears–
The weather changed suddenly and thunder came rumbling.
The clouds cried out with an abundance of tears,
While lightning shed light upon what was most dear.
The message was clear—true love outdoes the most ardent of rules.
Wise King Solomon, gifted with compassionate listening, had a heart that distinguished between truth and mere fiction. Two women (I Kings 3:16-28), who lived in the very same house, came seeking King Solomon to adjudicate their case. Each woman had birthed a son. One of the women had rolled over her baby as she was sleeping. The other woman claimed that in the middle of the night the woman of the lifeless son snatched the living boy to herself. Then, that same woman placed her lifeless son next to the sleeping woman. Both women claimed that the living son was theirs and that the lifeless son belonged to the other.
Wise King Solomon, as he pondered the case, discerned how to discover which was the true mother. So, he asked for a sword and ordered, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one and half to the other.”
Before the sword touched the child, one woman cried out, “Please, my lord, give her the living boy; do not kill him!”
In response, the other woman said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.”
Wise King Solomon readily discerned that the mother of the living boy was the one who sought to save the life of her son. He perceived that the other woman’s feigned fairness and selfish motive obstructed the essence of love.
True love is never false. True love excels in truth. True love is willing to sacrifice to preserve life. True love desires the well-being of the other. True love is a sign of divinity in action.
Sister Dorene King, OSB is the Director of McCabe Renewal Center.