By Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna

We ready our hearts,

In the desert we swirl from dust to dust,

upon the mountain top as the sun kisses our face;

marking it like a lover.

How to look into the sun’s radiance?

God whispers on the winds of our heart’s longing to be purified, loved, whole.

The desert upon first glance is void of life and vibrancy,

but within deeper prayer the life that lives in the forsaken land is revealed.

Colors become vibrant.

What lives within each of us dying of thirst,

waiting that rare desert rain that hits hard red earth and is readily absorbed?

An invitation for our hearts forty days in the wild desert to become supple and strong, swift and tamed by love.


Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan is a 1993 graduate of the Mendota Heights Visitation; she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and three sons. She is a freelance writer who is passionate about motherhood and sharing Salesian Spirituality . We are happy to feature her here as a guest blogger from time to time.


Sr. Katherine · February 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

This piece is inspiring me to hold it prayer as I spend the morning in contemplation on our Shut-down Day.”. I especially love the truth I know to be true in these words….”this desert upon first glance…, but within deeper prayer the life that lives in the forsaken land is revealed.” I am running this blog off and keeping it by me during Lent. It can speak at a personal level, but also at a global one, i. e. what is currently going on in Syria evidenced by the story in today’s MplsTrib of the deaths of the two journalists.Thank you, Beth. SK2

sr. suzanne homeyer · February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

dear beth, this is a beautiful poem. i love it. thanks, suzanne

Elizabeth Sullivan · February 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Dear Sister Suzanne and Sr Katherine, thank you for your responses. Truly is nice to get feedback. with love,

Betty Lou Miller · February 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I read this the other day and “liked” it right away. I remembered I wanted to re-read it and tell you it is beautiful and has much to reflect on.

Thank you.

Often a hymn comes to my mind when reflecting on other things. This time the words entered my mind: “The desert will bloom then, soon, very soon. The name of our God is …”

Elizabeth Sullivan · February 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Betty Lou, thank you…lovely words. Sr Katherine, all your connections in your prayer are so rich thank you for sharing them here.

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