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183 Pages

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Praise for...

This empathetic, inspired author steps into the humble place of the convent, dons their clothes and feels what it is to walk amongst the poor. Emily Isaacson, in Hours From A Convent, takes you to the depths of the Poor Clare Nuns' spirituality as they reach out to the wounds of the lonely and brokenhearted. This is a journey of compassion in poetic form well worth pondering.

--Della Headley, counsellor and speaker

Director of the Listening Prayer Community

Who is the Madonna of the streets? She wanders without a home, yet has the image of the mother of God. She governs both healing and people without homes. This young woman with a heart for the child of the street has caught the attention of a convent of nuns in Mission, British Columbia. She is illusive yet unforgettable, standing on the shore, disappearing into the woods.

A nun of the convent has hidden her cloistered heart away, yet her visions of the Madonna bring her daily closer to the beloved. She has promised to leave her old life forever, taking us into the mystic divine. Her search for truth and authenticity takes us from the sacred moments of convent prayer, to the evening's beauty of an orchard grove, to the far reaches of Africa. Hours from A Convent is a book of hours for sacred meditation, with elements of both mystery and incarnation.

Emily Isaacson, poet, captures again in a timeless way, the beauty of prayer, contemplation, and creation. Her postmodern verse, in search of art and inspiration, is conformed to obedience to the gift. Both disciplined and profound, it measures light in form and verse, while pouring out the fine oil of the prophetic. She is sensitive to the times and seasons of nature and the spiritual earth.


Swaying in the lazy tall grass,

a long haired maiden

with song

wild as the wind, plucking

the seeded dandelions

to blow them for ransom

toward the rogue waves,

to the rambling tides.   

An instrument in your hands,

I become the woodwind

like an oboe of Gabriel.    

The pinnacle of afternoon

wafted sunlight through

the slated panes,

the icons I have observed

since my first renaissance

are kept carefully

in the most treasured

parts of a convent

where love is refined

and truth distilled

to pure

and vivid


How do you show

me the way

on this path,

silver and shining

by moonlight,

lit bravely

by saints and legend:

all chanting, they surround me.   

I sing of you.​

My heart broke open,

and from its hearth stone

a sister took the bread of God,

broken with her careful hands

into pieces.   

I decided to follow you to a new land,

and never leave you.

We walked arm in arm

down a dusty road, my skirts

a plethora of colors

noble and bold,

my hair oiled with perfection,

crowned with English flowers,

white roses revealed their plumage

and spilled perfume

over our necks of silver.   

The people hung over their gates

and waved valiantly from their horses,

cheering at the sight

of our staple covenant,

bright as the meat of figs

falling from a ripe tree

with its constellation of seeds.   

Ruth and Naomi of old,

we traversed from the land of hunger

to the countryside

where the sea winds blow,

where the winds blow in and out,

and from our sectioned window

watch the salt waves.

-Hours From A Convent, Emily Isaacson

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