Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Metamorphosis



Once I was a caterpillar, dwelling upon the earth,
Crawling along day by day, adept at feigning mirth.
I only knew the earthy life, I thought that that was it;
I took what terra firma gave, the pleasures and the grit.
There was no beauty in me.  No one ever looked here twice,
Few cared if I were evil, no one knew if I were nice.
I was only concerned with myself, what the earth could give,
Yet, inside I was sensing a far better way to live.
Instinct led me to spin a thread and weave a neat cocoon;
I became a living mummy, wrapped tight within my tomb.
What was happening to me?  I tried to kick and shout,
“Help me!  Open up this thing!  I want to get right out!”
No one heard and I was powerless, so I went to sleep,
Not knowing what was ahead of me, feeling something deep.
I don’t know how much time went by within my tiny tomb,
But sensed that I was being changed, as one inside a womb.
Finally, instinct worked in me.  There was a sudden urge
To break out of my chrysalis and from the dark emerge.
Somehow, I then received the strength to burst my being free;
Alas, the golden Light broke through and there was a new me!
I took some time to understand, some time to wonder why,
Then I just shook myself a bit and I began to fly!
And `lo, I was so beautiful, and `lo, I saw the sun...
Oh, after living on the earth, soaring was great fun!
A wretched worm was I no more, I knew that that was true,
I was reborn and I became a creation wholly new!
A butterfly!  A butterfly!  I received my wings,
Glorious splendors of the Heavens, all the higher things.
All old things have passed away, they’ll never come again;
I’ve set my mind on things above, on these I will attend.
Now, even when I swoop to earth and walk upon the ground,
I’ll never be a worm again...I’m Butterfly...glory bound!
Praise God for metamorphosis, it’s by His loving grace
That I’m a new creation now, and I shall see His Face.

Maude Carolan

The above poem is one of my sister's favorites. She asked me for a decorative framed copy. It hangs on a wall in her home.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Butterflies...God's Fanciful Creation
Westminster, Colorado ~~~August 21, 2007

'Twas a magical land for Isabel, three
a tropical rain-forest, lush and misty

dense with fern, bright hibiscus and leafy trees
lazy old turtles, a muddy swamp, no breeze

Fluttering way up high, coasting low, low, low
thousands of butterflies gave a sky-dance show

They glided and swirled around us everywhere…
above, around us; we had wings in our hair!

Vibrant creations, every colorful hue
flaming red, orange, green and electric blue!

On Isabel, a mariposa alighted
Was she afraid? No. Issy was delighted!

She spied a swallowtail asleep in a tree
Our little girl picked it up, most carefully

then she set the yellow creature free…oh, my!
It flew off happily…fast as it could fly!

Caterpillars, chrysalises, some breaking free…
Winged ones as fanciful as insects can be!

In a special kiosk, a fine artist drew
with bright paint on children, butterfly tattoos

Issy selected a beauty she liked lots—
a splendid specimen with green polka dots!

That evening she told of all the fun she had
and showed her painted tattoo to Mom and Dad

Maude Carolan Pych

Remembering our visit to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, Colorado, with Isabel Pych in 2007.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Poem About the Mother of Jesus


She was a real maiden
gracious and virtuous
so she trembled
as any girl might
at an angel’s visit
But she had real faith
in a real God
and she said, “Yes.”

She was a real woman
not blue-gowned in plaster
A poor carpenter’s wife
not an artist’s rendering
gilded and haloed
She bulged big with child
as she rode astride an ass
and during her real travail
brought forth a baby
in a Bethlehem stable

She was a real mother
He was a real son
She nursed him
changed him
bathed and cradled him
as any mother would
She smiled at his first word
saw him take his first step
and when he fell
and scraped his tender knees
she washed away blood
not yet deemed Precious
and soothed him
with soft lullabies

When he was twelve
and they discovered
he was missing
as they traveled home
after the Passover
she was anxious
as any mother would be
and heaved a great sigh
when they found him, safe
in the temple courts

Yes, she was a real mom
and he was a real son
so, it’s not surprising
it was she
who sensed his power
she who encouraged him to act
at the wedding feast
when wine stopped flowing
for she knew
she just knew…

and she was real
at the Crossbeams
Simeon had told her
long, long ago
a sword would pierce her
Though hers be bloodless
it penetrated sharp
and deep, as truly
as the gaping wounds
she now was powerless
to soothe

He looked down
from His agony
into hers—
gave her to mother
his friend
gave his friend
to be her son

It was always about love

She was a real mom
He is the real Savior

Maude Carolan

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Personal Quest for God

“I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.” Song of Songs 3:2 (NIV)

When I was a child
I swung on the backyard swing 
stared into cloud shapes
searched for a glimpse of God

lit votives and prayed
at the Shrine of St. Anthony
tallied indulgences
purchased pamphlets
from the rack
in back of church
that seemed to promise answers

I frequented the large-as-life
Stations of the Cross
and knelt in a grotto
before a likeness
of the briefly interred Jesus
visited the Convent of the Missionary Sisters
of the Immaculate Conception
just a few blocks from my home
Considered (like many Catholic girls)
what life as a nun might be

read about Fatima and Lourdes
and lives of saints
studied my Catechism
cherished a glow-in-the-dark Nativity figure
given to students Christmastime
at Confraternity of Christian Doctrine class

attended Sunday Mass
at Saint Bonaventure’s
became a bride of Christ
at First Holy Communion
and a soldier of Christ
at Confirmation

As a teenager
I began to read Dostoyevsky
and awed by his brilliance
assumed my questions
would be answered by him

I grew up, married
became a mother
loved God
in a corner of my heart
and continued to read Dostoyevsky
not yet realizing
another’s experience with God
could not become my own

My confessor, Father Matthew
rightly perceived my need
Go, he told me, for Penance
to a Charismatic prayer gathering
Obediently, I went
uneasy about what I’d find
for I had heard stories…
but to my sweet surprise
before my very eyes
stood ordinary people
lifting their hands
loving God openly, joyfully
living holy lives

I opened God’s Word
and began to know Him
I talked with Him
Listened. Prayed
Soon I invited Him
to become my All in All
the marvelous fulfillment
of my most secret longing

God moved from His quiet corner
to overflow my heart
with limitless Love that is He
and we’ve embarked upon adventures
far, far beyond my imaginings
sometimes across the sea
sometimes without leaving
my chair

The quest has been worthwhile
for I’ve found the One
and only One
The Holy One
The Jesus One
this sated searching heart
forever loves

Maude Carolan

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Eight Summertime Haiku

Seagull in grey haze
nearly unseen in the sky
soaring in the breeze

Ocean Grove morning
A multitude of angels
somersault to shore

The beach on Monday
unlike the beach, Saturday--
Few bathers; sublime.

My summertime bliss--
A book, a chair by the sea,
the sun shining down.

The ship is so huge!
Bobs like a cork in the sea--
like wee Earth in space.

The rhythm of waves
breaking on Point Pleasant Beach
is my lullaby

Rain falls from the sky
into this mighty ocean--
Water everywhere

Greater than oceans
Mightier than crashing waves
is Almighty God