Dear friends,



This letter holds both pain and hope.



But before I begin, let me return for a moment to my former role of English

teacher to note three vocabulary words important to this letter:

                  1. astonish: to strike with sudden wonder

                  2. metanoia: a returning

                  3. accidie:  spiritual torpor or apathy



The hope inherent in this month's offering is about Marcus, my 11 year old

grandson with acute leukemia. The astonishing news is that he is in a sub-set

of such patients and as a result, it is now recommended that he NOT have the

bone marrow transplant, but simply continue with the aggressive chemotherapy. Your

prayers and concern for Marcus were a blessing. Please continue to hold him in

your prayers as he faces this difficult year.



The pain is of loss, and a bit of my own spiritual struggle, which has led me

here.



Sr. Eleanor Holland, IBVM was Returned to Love on January 29, 2000. Eleanor was

a coprincipal at Unity high school on the South Side of Chicago in 1975.  I

honor her and mourn our loss.



It was at Unity that I worked with women religious of two orders: the Institute

of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sisters of Mercy, Milwaukee. It was at Unity,

influenced by these remarkable women and their devotion to God, that the

experience of the Metanoia occurred.



In March of 1975, enveloped in the accidie -- the dust, the dryness -- of my

life, I sat down at my typewriter to explain why I was an atheist.  Some of you know

that after 36 pages of a VERY short novel featuring a debate between a

distraught English teacher (at Unity high school) and the Christ Figure

(an approved literary device) I lost the debate with the Christ Figure and

returned to my Christian roots on March 16. That was the Metanoia - 25 years ago.



Now, in the year 2000, I am sowing seeds on a web site.  No one of us could

have imagined such a thing a quarter of a century ago. The embroidery that

accompanies this letter is called *"Lent"*.



Beginning on Ash Wednesday, I will offer up an embroidery and a poem for each

week of Lent.  The first poem is entitled "TV Show" and surely echoes others'

emptiness, others' accidie.  The embroidery it has as its partner is the sunporch of my

daughter Gail's home 23 years ago, for I appliqued a TV set on this second of

my Embroidered Memories.



The *Calendar* which you can access from the main menu holds these dates and my

promise to echo the shadows of Lent as we wait for the hope promised in April's

Easter sunrise.



Upper and lower case sisters and brothers have sent their support in many

ways.  This month I wish to say *THANK-YOU* to Dorothy Green.







with Love,

Justine

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                                               1975-2000 Copyright  Justine Merritt