Tony Rossi, Director of Communications
Heart to Heart Parables
Stories have power. Instead of telling us how to think or act, they engage our natural
human curiosity to show us the results of thinking or acting a certain way - and let us ponder
how that applies to our own lives.
Jesus, of course, may be history’s best storyteller, so it only seems fitting that His
followers, who want to reach others with His message and mission, emulate His example.
That’s exactly what Sister Ave Clark, O.P. does in her latest book “Heart to Heart Parables:
Sowing Seeds of Peace, Hope, Faith, and Love.”
During an interview on “Christopher Closeup,” Sister Ave recalled, “I can remember as a young child, the Sister teaching us in school, ‘Now you go out and be a good Samaritan like that story.’ I used to think, ‘I’m gonna write a story like Jesus does. It seems people like stories, and you learn lessons from them.”
One of the stories in “Heart to Heart Parables” is called “Bird with Two Broken Wings.” Many people have told Sister Ave that it is their favorite. As the title suggests, it’s about a bird who forever loses the ability to fly and sinks into a depression about it. For anyone dealing with a disability of some sort, this story offers a life-changing message.
Sister Ave said, “When I wrote it, I think I was that bird at that time. I think we’ve all been that bird, where something happens in our life, like an accident, illness, or some tragedy. We wonder if we can get up again. When the little bird loses both wings, it starts to realize it’s grounded...and has to adapt to this new space in life, otherwise it’s not going to be able to exist. So, the little bird goes on a journey, and it finds challenges, yes, but it finds also…the gift of acceptance. We accept this new space or place in life. Sometimes it could be a dark space, but if we accept it, I believe then we find the light.”
For Sister Ave, love and enthusiasm are key to her life and ministry, which is called “Heart to Heart,” just like her book of parables. “That was the whole message of Jesus’s life,” she said. “Love one another as I have loved you. The whole idea of the resurrection is to have new life again, and we’re only going to have it through love, charity, peace, and caring for one another.”
To help readers better get in touch with those virtues, Sister Ave ends each parable with questions the reader can ask himself or herself, along with a prayer, one of which reads: “Creator of Love, grant us the greatness of heart to walk Calvary without a pretense of our humanity; to ask for help, reassurance, and companionship; to share one another’s burden; and to be Christ incarnate for each other.”
Her hopes for readers follow those ideas. Sister Ave concludes, “I think that people will gently realize that they have their own surprising parables in their lives. They will go out every day, and something in life will become like a parable. Somebody you see on the street helping somebody, and you’re watching and saying, ‘I can do that.’ Or maybe you see somebody with a tear in their eye, and you say, ‘I don’t mean to intrude.’ And they go, ‘Thank you for stopping and saying you care.’ I think all of our life is like a parable that’s unfolding.”
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