In a few days, those of us who are Christians, will begin a journey through Ash Wednesday and Lent. I’d like to share a slightly different reflection with that in mind. Yes, it’s about desire, a desire to strive to be “more than we are at this given moment- as individuals, as community, as country, as world, as part of all creation”. To do that, I invite you to consider the following….
Desire….A strong feeling for something that is wished for or needed or wanted….
Desiderata…… a word from the Latin of the 17th Century meaning Desire.
Desiderata…..a word which means “something that is needed or wanted”.
Desiderata….a poem that has inspired so many of us over the years to be the best we can be, while reminding us to have faith in ourselves, to be kind to others and so much more.
Desiderata, a blueprint for human relationships, in ordinary as well as extraordinary moments of our lives.
Desiderata, a guide for one’s belief in God – a Divine being- and whoever that is for each of us.
Many years ago, a beloved mentor and friend of mine sent me a parchment with the words of The Desiderata, which was written by Max Ehrmann, and which holds many of the ideals that I believe in. She sent it to me at a moment of deep self reflection and decision making in my own life. Her intent, which she voiced to me quite clearly, was to emphasize that I am a beloved child, with a right to be here! The Desiderata is probably not new to most of us and no matter how many times I read and reflect it, it always is timely and takes on nuances of meaning as I live each day. I hope it does the same for you.
Yes, the poem is lengthy but then, how do you sum up life in a couple words?
Before I share more, let me share the actual poem:
In a very adept way, I believe the author of the Desiderata touches on the heart of the Gospel truths: Desiderata speaks of faith in God and love of neighbor and self.
It teaches us about the ideals of living a good life. In a time when we are surrounded by just how awful humans can be toward each other, we must dare to stand up, to stand in HOPE, faith and love.
Desiderata reveals what is needed to be at peace and to be truly happy: Respect of others, living by the principles of humility and trust, and loving with a sincere heart – all which beckon us to be ‘whole” and “holy”.
It invites us to be compassionate people, to be kind to others and gentle with self, to walk in justice and honor everyone with human dignity, and to live in HOPE, knowing that there is a rhythm and rhyme in the unfolding of the universe which we are called to respect. Each line is a guide to living and a guide to being healthy, happy and holy.
That’s what I believe Desiderata is about…a desire to be the best reflection of the Divine that we can be, a desire to be rooted in listening… and to respond in goodness… and to be a transforming source of HOPE to all.
Live and be HOPE this week…and Blessed Lent to all.
Sr. Debbie Blow, OP