Day 13: Translation


in Latin is bitter

obstinate, harsh, rough.

Taste from one to another?

Gulping stings - enough!

But let us transform

a sour translation;

switch but one drop,

scorned emotions - elated.


in Latin is love

affection, endearment, warmth.

Taste from one to another?

Sipping cures - transformed!

Oh, what one can do -


by switching but one letter?

Imagine new taste - granted;

if just one moment

a new drink

forgiving tongue treasures?

Before you begin your day:

This poem, albeit a simplistic representation of switching letters to provide meaning, begs a question. Is it that easy? What if it is?

We have all had those moments when anger, scorn, or jealousy fueled our tongue. These incidents often abandon us with nothing but remorse as our companion. What if we could transform the words with but a switch? Hurt will never depart from us. But is it possible to translate its passing meaning into something that heals?

I will never forget the advice, or penance rather, of a priest during my first Reconciliation. I'd recently become a Catholic Christian and had never been to a Penance Service. My images of this responsibility were bitter. I envisioned the priest yelling at me, leading to the inevitable crouching from scorn. Then, I'd emerge from the confessional with some poster upon my back of what a hideous Christian I'd been. So I entered with this bitter taste...ENOUGH!

The priest smiled and invited me to sit in front of him. Wait, no barriers? To say I was nervous is putting it mildly; I completely forgot what to say after, "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." He smiled and asked if I'd ever had the privilege of Reconciliation before. Wait, privilege? ELATED!

With such kindness, he guided me through the next several minutes. All guards released, we discussed my inability to let go of the rage I'd been clinging to regarding a specific individual. My penance?

He closed his eyes and said, "I would like you to say a Hail Mary every time you feel this way." He added, "Especially in those times when words must accompany emotion." TRANSFORMED!

To say these sweet words provided healing is not giving the incident justice. His advice - penance - changed the way I approach confrontation. I utilize this guidance more times that I would like to admit, but it forever transformed my life.

So, yes, with a switch of words desired for those that are needed, argument can become prayer; ridicule - invocation; resentment - a petition.

Bitter? Translation? Love.

During your day:

Through him we have also obtained access by faith

into this grace in which we stand,

and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings,

knowing that suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character,

and character produces hope,

and hope does not put us to shame,

because God’s love has been poured into our hearts

through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

(Romans 5: 2-5)

Luke 1: 26-28; Luke 1: 41-43; James 5: 16; Luke 6: 27-28

Throughout your day:

INHALE: Take from me all bitterness.

EXHALE: Translate its taste to love.

(repeat as many times as needed)

Before you end your day:

Think of someone in need of your reconcile...

perhaps you are in need of theirs:

Hail Mary, full of Grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.


Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.


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