Seven sisters and a Circle of Cedar

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (Psalm 92:12). 

I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. (Hosea 14:5-6)

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. (Isaiah 60:13)

Seven Visitation Sisters were summoned to Virginia to a devastated city in 1866 to pray. It was a request made by then Bishop John McGill. One can only imagine what it must have been like for these devout women of faith to look out upon Richmond at that time in history. But their task was clear and as their discipline of prayer began to define their days the idea of encircling the monastery with cedars took hold. Cedars to remind them and others, perhaps, of God’s love, God’s beauty, God’s presence, and God’s protection. These mighty evergreens, symbolic of everlasting life, grow tall and live long. Today, some 150 years later, many of the trees remain, silent witnesses of time. Walking among them one senses an invitation to join countless others in praying for Richmond and for all that pulls one to this sacred place.

I am wondering what simple reminder you can put in place in your life today to remind you and those in the future of God’s love, God’s beauty, God’s presence, and God’s protection. This is a legacy worth leaving. These are things worth remembering.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
 to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
 and your truth in the watches of the night.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
 and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
Planted in the house of the Lord
 they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
 still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
 In him, my rock, there is no wrong.
(Psalm 92)

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