by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Vis Companion
On Retreat in Cabo San Lucas
I write today from a balcony, overlooking the Sea of Cortes in the Baja peninsula of Mexico. Cabo San Lucas is a lovely place to blog from!
My daughter Marguerite Marie sleeps in the next room, and I am pool side, reading a book my spiritual director, Sr. Mary Margaret lent me entitled, “A Retreat with Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal, and Aelrud of Rievaulx: Befriending Each Other in God.” It is all quite lovely. Sun. Ocean. Sleep. Words. Prayer. Love.
I cracked this text by Creighton Theology Professor and Salesian Spirituality expert, Wendy M. Wright, yesterday morning before heading out into the sun with my family. It was actually my almost-eight-month-old daughter who pulled the slim volume from my beach bag. Rumbling through its contents, she skipped over the rattle, rubber blocks, play rings and beads and a bottle and with her chubby baby fingers brought the paper back book out and up close to her face. I started laughing at the sight of her. I bent down and asked her, “What did you find? Is this a book that interests you? Do you know that the woman you are named after was inspired by these people? Do you want to read this with mommy?”
Marguerite Marie: What did you find?
I bent down and asked her, “What did you find? Is this a book that interests you? Do you know that the woman you are named after was inspired by these people? Do you want to read this with mommy?”
Now, at eight months old, I am clear that my daughter has little comprehension of my literal words’ meaning. However, it doesn’t stop her father and I from having conversations with her. And on this day, I thought perhaps, maybe, on some level, she was attempting her own conversation with me, and with the Salesian founders that grounded her namesake, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
I took the book from Marguerite and opened happenstance to “Day One of the Retreat.” There I found a prayer that I chose to read aloud to Maggie. I share this with you today, wherever you may be, with a full heart, and gratitude to Dr. Wright for her inspired, creative text and tribute to these holy men and women.
Thank you Wendy M. Wright!
you call us each by name.
But you do not simply call us alone,
you call us with each other.
You stretch out your hand
and ask us to take it.
We stretch ours out in return
and find they are clasped
to sister, father, son,
neighbor, wife, [husband], and friend.
How we hold each other
is how we hold you.
We have only one pair of hands,
The same pair of hands does all the holding.
Take our outstretched,
Teach us truly to understand
that in the art of holding one another
we learn what it is to touch you.
As I extend these words today, I am mindful of my baby girl. I am grateful to Sr. Mary Margaret for this book and for her spiritual guidance and friendship these past ten years. I hold North Minneapolis and the Visitation Community and Companions in my heart; I center myself in the richness of this Mexican resort and seascape – recognizing the interconnectedness of it all. I see the hands of a tiny child in my midst and I recognize how they are intertwined with our spiritual ancestors. I honor these words, this place and this prayer infusing my heart, body and mind with some semblance of God. I am grateful for how it all helps me retreat and experience the Divine, the Holy in my midst. I hope this is helpful to you.
Happy Prayers and Contemplations wherever you are!
As the Sisters, say, “Live+Jesus!”