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Today is Saturday and I sit here in my chair with images of bygone days in the convent where household chores were the order of the day on most Saturdays. If we weren’t on our knees in the long, shining floors of the front hall corridor rubbing off the black marks made by our sturdy “nun shoes,” we were in the laundry or peeling vegetables in the huge kitchen, spacious enough to accommodate preparation work to serve upwards of 300 Sister residents. Those days are gone but served us well, I think, to teach us lessons of discipline and humble work that still holds sway on mornings like this.

I was led to my reverie by an entry in the book, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky. I had opened to a short entry by Rabia of Bastia (c. 717-801) considered “the most popular and influential of female Islamic saints and a central figure in the Sufi tradition.” Some of her thoughts/poems are very brief but all are quite thought-provoking and meaningful. Here is what I read this morning.

It helps
putting my hands on a pot, on a broom,
in a wash

tried painting,
but it was easier to fly slicing