Returning to the Blog…

Sr. Mary Margaret - Xavi's Sky

Sr. Mary Margaret, vhm; September 13, 2012*

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

“You have to love….It is the reason you are here on Earth.” Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum LP

I have been absent from this blog for a while. I am ready to return. I crave deeply the time that is afforded to me to sit, reflect, be still with experience and emotion and the way that I hear God at work in the hum of all creation.

I stand at a distance from this contemplative process and ache for the joy that arises in my prayerful writing time; I return to my laptop in a celebratory fashion — embracing all that has kept me at bay, and all that compels me to sit down and align my fingers to this keyboard to compose something — hopefully — prayerfully, something honest, true, inspiring.  Yes.

“I do my best to shine a light on the way that God seems to be at work in directing me, all of us, in our vocations. Whether we are religious sisters or lay persons, urban neighbors, or suburban friends, local volunteers, or once -upon-a-time visitors: it is my goal to help inspire community and the way we lean into God’s universal and unique calling for our lives.” — Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

My work on these pages centers around contemplative thought and action, highlighting the spiritual lives of the Visitation Sisters of north Minneapolis as I share from own lived experience as a Companion to their monastic order. I pray with the sisters and their lay community; I take note of what feels most compelling to my heart, mind and spirit;  and then I do my best to give voice here to the life-giving nature of their urban community — their mission to “LIVE JESUS!” in the inner city.

"We are all called!"

"We are all called! We are all held by a loving God who 'knows every hair on our head.'"**

Along the way, I do my best to shine a light on the way that God seems to be at work in directing me, all of us, in our vocations. Whether we are religious sisters or lay persons, urban neighbors, or suburban friends, local volunteers, or once -upon-a-time visitors: it is my goal to help inspire community and the way we lean into God’s universal and unique calling for our lives.

Two and half  months ago God’s calling for my own life, however,  sort of tipped me sideways and leveled me almost completely to the ground. On July 24, 2012, I learned that the 21 week old child I was carrying in utero had fetal anomalies that would prevent him from having a very long life beyond my womb. This news has informed my walk, my faith and my calling as a Visitation Companion each and every day since then.

Sr. Mary Margaret baptizes Xavi Jean "Priest, Prophet, King!"

Sr. Mary Margaret baptizes Xavi Jean "Priest, Prophet, King!"*

On September 13, 2012, at 29 weeks gestational age, I gave birth to my son, Xavier Jean Kiemde. His heart beat for one hour beyond my body. Before a sacred post-op room of family and friends, Sr. Mary Margaret McKenzie and Vis Companions Brian Mogren and godparents Fabio and Sonja Anifrani baptized Xavi — honoring his precious time among us, and helping deliver him into the communion of saints as an anointed, “priest, prophet, and king.”  The experience is still fresh with me, and simultaneously stored as emotional images in my heart and mind — that keep me reflecting, and inspire me to celebrate.

We are all called! We are all held radically by a loving God who “knows every hair on our head,” right? And all of us are invited into the waters of baptism where we are anointed and claimed as Servant, Leader, Love-Force, exemplifying Christ’s compassion and community.

In this tender and trying recent experience of life and loss, I know God is at work, helping fashion my heart and inspire further my presence on this earth. I know I am called as a mother, writer, woman, lover of God to give voice to all that has transpired in these past days. I begin here, offering myself and my life to you.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

*photos by Brian Mogren, Visitation Companion
**photo by Salina Caldes, “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”

6 Responses

Write a Comment»
  1. I don’t know why some little souls are meant to be on this Earth for such short times, but I do know they bring enormous love to us while they are in our daily lives. And we fulfill our calling as mothers to shower their little bodies with love however we can in utero or, for his brief life, out. Now his little soul can rejoice and say how perfectly he was loved here on Earth. What a job well done, Melissa. God bless you and your family.

  2. dear melissa, thank you for your unique ability to keep so open and transparent and loving with your words, emotions, pictures and such personal deep and god things….no other words to express my admiration and love for yoou and your family…love, suzanne

  3. Sharing our stories is how we connect, one human being to another. Thank you for sharing some of this story, that we each may be a little more human for knowing it, and thus walking a bit of the journey with you. Amen!

  4. “There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken, a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable. There is a sorrow beyond grief which leads to joy and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength. There is a hollow space too vast for words through which we pass with each loss, out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being. There is a cry deeper than all sound whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open to the place inside which is unbreakable and whole, while learning to sing.” Rashani

    But you already know this, don’t you.

    None of us has the option but to speak out of the abundance of our heart, and the abundance of yours is obvious. God bless the strength and the generosity you have that allows you to speak of your son, bless too the words that you use to shape his story. You honour your son as you tell him to the world, and in honouring him you honour God.

    Your son is beautiful and gift to you. Let him speak to you all your life long. He has much to teach you – those we lose always do – and through your words I see that his teaching has already begun.

    God bless you all with all that you will ever need for this journey you are on. And thank you too for all that you take the time to write.

  5. Lorraine,

    “You honour your son as you tell him to the world, and in honouring him you honour God.”

    Thank you. I read your comment right when you posted it and was deeply moved by your words, especially this line above. It’s just now, in the quiet of this Friday afternoon, that I’m able to type out a few words of gratitude.

    Amen.
    Peace, Love, “Live + Jesus!” as our co-founders say.
    Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

  6. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website
    is also very good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *