A Gift of Grace

Last night, a gift of grace!
"Merici" came to die
From nearby nursing home

Our doctors did their best
Her heart and lungs were spent
With ninety-four long years

Merici’s hour drew near
Without a single kin
No family / friend appeared

An echo from the past
“My God! My God! Oh, why
Have You forsaken me?!”

I whisper in hear ear
I stroke her clammy hand
My sacred space, beside her

Heart rate first read sixty
The monitor’s slow descent…
To forty…down…to…naught

Merici’s voyage to God
Unseen, unshared, unmourned
Except for privileged me

“Be kind, accepting, Lord!
Forgive her any fault!
Embrace her! Again! For me!”

I voice a hope-filled prayer:
Our middle name is “Weakness”
But Thine is truly “Mercy!”
Fr. Frank Keenan, C.P.

After more than sixty years of priesthood, forty-two spent at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, Father Frank Keenan, C.P. retired from active ministry a couple of years ago and now resides in a local nursing home where he writes poetry and gladly shares stories of his life as a Passionist.


O pain,  here you are again.
I should be used to you.
You visit my Dad so often,
physical,  intense pain.
But you can’t stop him from being happy and kind.
You are no match for his beautiful and sweet  disposition.
Each new day,  with the  clouds or sunshine, brings him gratitude and joy.
He is so much stronger than you.


You visit my heart. You pierce me by hurting my Dad.
I hate you but through  you,  I become closer to God.
I offer you up for  souls,  for Dad’s soul.
Every time you visit,  I cling to the  almighty with trust and joy.


img_20170118_201951Lisa-Marie who is relatively new to the Partners, is our first strictly online Partner. She attended a Passionist retreat in May of 2014 where: “I was then introduced to our sorrowful Mother. I now see the sufferings of Jesus in a whole new light and want to honor Mary by meditating on her sorrows and to permanently keep Christ’s passion in my heart.



James Paulin
James Paulin

because of conditions

commissions, less omissions

dissections full arrayed

our motives inside relayed

beyond plausible doubts

obvious evidence shouts

silent testament, still

memorialize free will

nothing else matters

past intends or just chatters

fleshed out on hard table

separate truths and fable


James Paulin
James Paulin


ego assumes anonymity

survival deprives certain demise

life rambles into obscurity

frailty boldly proclaims, surprise!

relevance rolls on fluid bearings

truth subjects to interpretation

prophets shout aloud to deaf hearings

tranquil slaves avoid consternation

jurisprudence arbitrates fairness

forever away often flies by

cruelty promulgates true kindness

curious cats never seem to die

                                               James l. Paulin   2015

Partners’ Forum




After Things
by Jim Paulin



Out of night swelter, rain

Out of Spring mud, grain

Out of bitter cold, May

Out of dawns’ mist, day

Out of gloom, World Light

Out of storms, rainbows bright

Out of clouds, sky blue

Out of seeking, Lord YOU

Scripture Reflection for Sunday, October 26, 2014

by Dave O’Donnell

IMG_0035Last week I asked what are the commandments Jesus gave us as opposed to the those Moses gave us. This Sunday’s Gospel selection gives us the first two which I believe are the paradigm for all of life: Love God with all your mind, heart and soul; two, love your neighbor as yourself. The other commandments give us a formula to carry these out and how to love life and embrace it more fully even the most difficult aspects of it like our crosses.


Love does not judge it tries to understand and help if possible. Love forgives always and does not carry the burden of resentment or grudges. Those two are best demonstrated by a mother’s love for her child as well as the best example of how we should treat our neighbor. These commandments are about how we should relate to life. Pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus. Embrace life even our crosses. What are the other commandments or are there other commandments?

Blind “I”


by James Paulin

infinite universe out beyond

swirling round me of which I’m quite fond

global issues encompass mankind

I ignore them with my carefree mind

our nation votes with each earnest voice

declining, I give away my choice

avoid poor, desperate, hungry souls,

consumed in reaching financial goals

let someone else care for social ills

I say “Not this time with all these bills”

don’t have time for elders left alone

or troubled teens without any home

inner conversation left unsaid

only comforting my pride instead

to find any way to joy and peace,

I self prescribe a conscience decrease

my senses report that I exist

to seek purest purpose, I resist

Real Time Revelation



by James Paulin

Life unfolds to each a story

some abruptly end, a glimmer

some rich, full and prosperous

slow burning as if enchanted


Beware love of length of days

as reward unto itself

infinity outlasts all mortal things

seconds are as ages


Look beyond your moment

imagine being as the sun

warming life as it refreshes

energizing everyone


Importance of the weakest

to each a significance

conceived with purpose

equality too obvious to see


Gifts to all, enlightened or not

unto one as unto the whole

living sea flowing in eternity

created to freely love itself



by James Paulin

Creator’s Desire

fulfilled by the Son

Passionate and pure,

sweet surrender of all

Cherished moments on a cross

insane to the world

Oh! How I love every lover

I am waiting.

Come look, stay or go

Blood and pain

bear no sting of defeat

Gift of eternal life

with my heart freely given

Spirit and truth

merge between us

We share a promise





by James Paulin


Inside, stored memories of deeds done simmer subconsciously alongside restrained resentments, anger and acrimony. Cloaked in layers like winter clothing by time and

tamed temperament, insulated from the surface except in dreams or involuntary reactions,

slowly damming Life as a free flowing force.


Introspection far beyond this momentary facade reveals conflicts both freshly picked and digested long ago. Confrontation defies delusion and denial. Painful emotions emerge with authentic admissions crying out to be at peace even with the dead. Desire for wholeness of spirit or heart foams an antiseptic cleansing solution when applied. Infected wounds that have been given and received now begin to heal. A soothing balm of forgiveness is first self applied then shared with all affected, praying they will accept Anointment.