And Yet the Cardinal Sings

And Yet the Cardinal Sings . . .

The weight of the world felt very heavy this morning as I walked in the pre-dawn fog and gloom through the deserted park near my house. It was as if the suffering of a world-turned-upside-down was hanging in the air with every pregnant water droplet in the low sky.

And just when it seemed the weight of it all was too heavy to bear and hope was lost, I stopped by the pond in a grove of trees, bowed my head, and softly whispered “Help Us”. In that still moment, somewhere in the trees off in the darkness, came a song – strangely out of place and inappropriate for my somber mood – the joyful sounds of an unseen cardinal.

Oblivious to my human world, which was seemingly falling apart all around him, the cardinal just kept on singing . . . for the trees and the squirrels and the two muskrats who are making their way across the frozen pond. None of them seemed particularly concerned about the end of the world as we know it.

For somehow this cardinal was singing a song of hope, connecting my heavy heart back to the Divine Love that creates and sustains all things, including everything I beheld in that moment. I felt a sense of connection to the clouds, the trees, the pond, the muskrats, the squirrel, and the joyful cardinal, who kept reminding me that life goes on and hope can be found in the midst of human calamity.

As I struggled to believe Lady Julian, and the seeming impossibility of “All Will be Well,” this cheeky cardinal continued to invite me to connect to Hope, right there in our darkest hour.


Learn more about core Benedictine values.


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