“In the Kitchen”
Father Kilian McDonnell, O. S. B.

Bellini was wrong.
I was not kneeling
on my satin cushion
quietly at prayer,
head slightly bent.

Painters always
skew the scene,
as though my life
were wrapped in silks,
in temple smells.

Actually I had just
come back from the well,
placing the pitcher on the table
I bumped against the edge,
spilling water on the floor.

As I bent to wipe
it up, there was a light
against the kitchen wall
as though someone had opened
the door to the sun.

Rag in hand,
hair across my face,
I turned to see
who was entering,
unannounced, unasked.

All I saw was light, white
against the timbers.
I heard a voice
I had never heard.

I heard a greeting,
I was elected,
the Lord was with me,
I pushed back my hair,
stood afraid.

Someone closed the door.
And I dropped the rag.

Jay Cormier says this in response to “In the Kitchen”:

And so Mary’s Child comes to us, often unannounced, into our kitches and living rooms, our offices and plants, our classrooms and playgrounds. He comes to transform not only human history but also our own personal histories. In him, the compassion of God takes on a human face; in him, our everyday struggles and confusions are transformed in the peace of the Father (Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas: Waiting in Joyful Hope, 2007-8, 43).