Sunday, May 31, 2020

I Love Pentecost...

One of the things I personally love about Pentecost & Shevout
is that I get to celebrate TWO birthdays this week...
my natural birthday and my spiritual birthday!

Chag Shevout/Pentecost Sameach!


when I read my Bible
I imagine myself
there, in the rumpled, dog-eared pages
where and when remarkable things
were happening

For instance—
Oh, I wish I could’ve been
in the room that morning in Jerusalem
on the Day of Pentecost
when an astonishing sound
of rushing wind came from Heaven
and filled the place with the Holy Spirit

wish I could’ve been among
the crowd of bewildered people
clutching garments and belongings
securing food baskets and money bags
amid the sound of whirring wind
wondering what was going on

I would’ve seen with startled eyes
blazing tongues of fire appear
then split and rest above us all
would’ve heard the Galileans
miraculously uttering languages
they did not know
proclaiming good news
to people of every nation

Oh, joy! Euphoria!

I would’ve heard
preposterous ridicule and accusations
that we were drunk with wine
Drunk with wine so early in the morning!

Had I been there, I would’ve seen
Peter stand with his brethren
and quote the prophet Joel
and speak of Jesus
Crucifixion, Resurrection
and call us to repent

and finally, would’ve witnessed
three thousand souls receive salvation
and I would’ve been in that number

Oh! How great that would’ve been
How exciting to imagine

but, I didn’t need to be there
God had other plans—

On another Holy Pentecost
His Spirit came to rest on me
just as surely as it did
on the early believers
in Jerusalem, that day

and just the same as they
I have been changed


Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Special for Memorial Day...

A Poem for Memorial Day

Image credit:

Flashback to 2003...

For Cpl. R. J. Roberts, USMC
America At War In Iraq – March 2003

The message on my computer screen
said click on The Presidential Prayer Team –
the Adopt Our Troops link
and be given a soldier to pray for
until the end of the war

I don't know any soldiers
stationed in Iraq, personally
soldiers who startled us with Shock & Awe
soldiers who endured stinging sand
blazing days and shivery desert nights
Don't know any who engaged in combat
manned planes, copters, and tanks
or risked biological warfare
during that arduous trek to Baghdad
Don't know any at all
so I clicked on the website
…but was unable to access the link

When the morning paper arrived
the front page held a full-color photo
of a British medic
examining a newborn Iraqi baby
cradled in a cardboard box
with the flaps torn off
I placed my hand upon the soldier

Jesus, bring him home, whole

laid my hand upon the infant

O Lord, please have him grow up
safe and strong
in a land free of terror…

At work, later that morning
a co-worker approached my counter
softly singing a hymn

How lovely to hear singing
in times like these, I remarked

My son left Tuesday, she said

Our eyes locked
mother to mother

I'd like to adopt your son, I told her
I'll pray for him every day
until he comes home

He is a Marine, she said
serving in the air delivery platoon
Cpl. R. J. Roberts
He'll be on the ground
distributing supplies in Iraq

I know he'll return

Our pastor prophesied
a few years ago
that R. J. will become a preacher

He's not a preacher yet…
though I suppose
there's a very good chance
he may be preaching right now

When I got home
I fastened a yellow ribbon
to my front porch railing

Maude Carolan

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Communion at Home

Photo by Maude
Enhanced by Maria Esteves

We’re still sheltering-in-place
during the Covid-19 pandemic
and missing, among other things
our church family
in spite of live-stream services

Our pastor announced
we’d celebrate Communion
during a prayer meeting
to be held over a conference call
on Tuesday morning
We’d need to have unleavened bread
and the fruit of the vine
to fully participate

I didn’t have any matzoh in the house
and don’t go into stores these days
so I simply mixed a little flour, water and
olive oil, kneaded it a bit
and rolled it out as thin as I could
I pricked it all over with a fork
and lifted it onto a baking sheet

The oven temperature was so hot
it caused the fire alarm to blare
so I opened windows
and turned on the fan
The flatbread quickly
browned and blistered
I flipped it over
to brown on the other side
In a few moments it was finished

I thought of the Hebrew women
who’d been sheltering-in-place
during another difficult time in history
Thought of them packing up
their unleavened dough
and kneading bowls
preparing for a journey
as their husbands
applied lamb’s blood to the lintels
of their homes, and they waited
for the Angel of Death
to pass over them

I placed a few broken pieces of matzoh
on a special plate depicting a mosaic
of the miracle of the loaves and fishes
and took two tiny olive wood cups
out of the china cabinet, souvenirs
from a Communion service
held at the Garden Tomb
during our pilgrimage there in 2006

Our pastor began the blessing
over the bread

Baruch atah Adonai
Elohainu Melech ha Olam…

We partook of the bread
and the fruit of the vine

in a Communion connecting us
with God and His protection
over His people
spanning millenniums
and millenniums

Maude Carolan Pych

Saturday, May 9, 2020

My Mom is in Heaven...

In Memory of My Dear Mother,
Frances Longo Walsh...

Frances Longo Walsh

Mother Wasn't Fancy, But...
she’d sit at the kitchen table
in her bib-front apron
and cut slits into the radish tops
making them look like
little red roses
and present the tiny beauties
on a plate on the dinner table

Mother wasn’t fancy, but
she’d peel a cucumber
then take a fork
and score the length
all the way around
then slice it into discs
that looked like edible flowers
and toss them into the salad

Mother didn’t fuss with baking, either
but she’d stir some chocolate pudding
in a pot on the stove
layer it alternately
with graham crackers
in a square pan
put it in the refrigerator to set
and call it icebox cake

On Saturday evenings
we’d all be in the parlor
huddled on the sofa
or curled up in the overstuffed chairs
watching television
She’d disappear into the kitchen
and assemble toasted English muffins
with a dollop of tomato sauce
a slice of mozzarella
and perhaps slivers of pepperoni
put it under the broiler
for a few minutes
then present us with a tantalizing platter
of English muffin pizzas

or she’d take store-bought shortcakes
fill them with a scoop of ice cream
top them with strawberries
and maybe a squirt of whipped cream
and voila…

Nothing fancy—
Mother wasn’t a bit fancy
but she certainly had a fancy
for simple family love

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Let Us Pray...

Now, More Than Ever...Let Us Pray!
Image credit:


Someone told me you’ve been ailing,
that the medication’s failing
to bring the healing that you seek.
You are scared and you’ve been crying,
you’re afraid that you are dying
and the faith you have is so weak.
I can tell you I sympathize,
even attempt to be quite wise,
cajole you and go on my way,
but the question of the hour
is will I turn my heel and cower
or will I love enough to pray?

A young man has just been sharing
that his wife is overbearing
and he can’t take it anymore.
He said he met a gal somewhere
and they are having an affair,
tossing his vows right out the door!
I may advise him to be strong,
say infidelity is wrong,
bring in a counselor today;
but the question that I ponder
is will I just weep and wonder,
or will I love enough to pray?

A close friend has been criticized
by a neighbor she despises.
Getting even is what she yearns.
She says she hates her in heart,
of forgiveness she’ll have no part.
Oh, how her words of anger burn!
I can attempt to intervene,
may even be the go-between,
tell them there is a better way.
I might speak of sin and leaven,
bellow, "Seventy times seven!"
but will I love enough to pray?

When a situation’s stormy,
I can seek Thee or ignore Thee,
use worldly wisdom come what may...
Though advice may have some merit,
I must look up, not to blur it;
mindful, there is a higher way.
Some will look at me quite oddly,
still, I must try something Godly…
I'll do it…love enough to pray!

Maude Carolan