The Sun Also Rises

January 8, 2021

By Sister Pat Kenny

A photo of the sun rising at the US Capitol Building.
Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Nights will fall—long, dark and dangerous—but the sun also rises. Ernest Hemingway’s title serves so well to describe the hopes of all of us today. On January 6, night fell at 4:45 p.m., ending an afternoon of rage, chaos and tragedy. Pent-up anger was nurtured by the lies and unfounded fears of elected leaders whose oaths assured us that they would tell the truth and protect the American people. Chaos was encouraged for months by a leader whose ego was nourished in proportion to the chaos he could create. Tragedy was the inevitable result.

Nightfall brought no resolution, no assurance that justice would be meted out to those responsible and little promise of a better day today. We went to sleep, some of us, in tears, afraid of what might lie ahead and with a fragile hold on the promise of calm and reason when we awoke. Our faith in the mercy and justice of our God was sorely strained, for we have waited so long for evidence that our prayers for our government and our country would bring mercy and justice.

Daylight broke at 7:19 a.m., a clear winter morn with a glorious sunrise in vivid shades of red, pink and purple. It was bitter cold, the trees were bare and the wind shook brittle branches with determination, but it was morning. The sun all but called out to us to get up, to begin again with hope renewed and confidence that somehow God could and would bring order out of chaos, just as he did on the first days of creation.

The Song of Solomon begins: “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away—the rains are over and gone—the season of singing has come . . .” ((2:10–13). I listen to the words of our president-elect and the acceptances of the newly nominated attorney general and two women who would serve with him. Truth and justice may have a chance after all; calm and reason may become reality. As we say each morning, “Out of God’s deepest mercy, a new day will come from on high, light for those shadowed by death, a guide for our feet on the way to peace.” 

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  1. Katie Mindling

    Profound. Thank you.

  2. Margaret Platte

    Well said, Pat, “hope springs eternal”.

  3. Cathleen Cahill

    Oh, thank you, Pat. We needed this.

  4. Joan Margret Schwager

    Thank you. This has been almost disturbing event and it breaks my heart that has been filled with tears these last few months. Your words help us to frame our hope.

  5. Deborah Watson

    Thank you, Pat. What a beautiful reflection as we wait for a new dawn in government and an end to such blatant displays of our deepest darknesses!

  6. Carren Herring

    Thanks for this message of hope, faith and love

  7. Rachelle Harper

    Pat, I am heartened by your words, gentle, true, full of tenderness of our God! Thank you!

  8. Cathleen Cahill, RSM

    Just what I needed this morning, Pat. Thank you.

  9. Ellen Vopicka

    Thank you Pat for this prayer filled commentary. May we all help one another to find our way to peace.

  10. Rita Specht

    Thanks for your message of hope

  11. Mary Mason

    Thank you, Pat. Your words of wisdom and hope touch my heart.

  12. Jeanne Christensen, RSM

    Beautiful, hopeful— thank you!

  13. Sister Mary George O'Toole

    Comforting, inspiriting, faithfilled and welcomed reflection. I am grateful.

  14. Mary Sullivan

    Thank you so much, Pat. Your reflection is profound and beautifully written. My love is with you and all of us.

  15. Sheila Murphy

    Thanks Pat for such a heart-warming, hope-filled reflection

  16. Mary Louise Yurik

    Thank you so much, Pat for your words of hope to us. We truly need them!

  17. Peg Maloney

    Thank you for this beautiful reflection.

  18. Karina RSM

    Thank you,Pat, as usual you know our
    hearts, and the Holy Spirit guides you reflection.
    PEACE that blocks out all that is not of God….leaving lots of room for Joy and Love .🤗🙏💞

  19. Nancy Chesniak

    Thank you Pat. We really needed this! Beautifully said.

  20. Carolyn McDonnell

    So inspiring of Hope. Thank you.

  21. Bernadette Kramer


  22. Anna Saltzman

    I resonate with you Pat, thank you. Out of God’s deepest Mercy … our whole confidence must be i that. Our dear Catherine reminds us to put our whole trust in God as well.
    God is at work in all things.

  23. Doris Ann Gottemoeller

    Thank you, Pat. We watch for that guide for our feet on the way to peace.

  24. Kathy Wade, Mercy Associate

    Thank you, Pat, for your words of wisdom and comfort. May we still look forward to a “season of singing.”

  25. Janet Ruffing,rsm

    Beautiful piece! I sat in my living room crying, and awoke to new a day. The remaining days of this term feels like an eternity even now.

    How long is it going to take to repair the damage to our democracy wrought by this man”s damage to the country?

  26. Renee Yann, RSM

    Strength from a tender heart. Thank you, Pat.

  27. Maureen Mulcrone

    Thank you, Pat, for articulating what so many of us have felt.

    Blessings for a new and more just and peaceful year.

  28. Fran

    So beautifully written…and hope-filled. Thank you, Pat!


    Great reflection and comes at a perfect time. Much thanks

  30. Noreen Sullivan, Mercy Associate

    Bless you, Pat, for your comforting words

    I’ve read your reflection over and over again. I kept remembering a hymn we sang on Good Friday years ago entitled “And Then Comes the Morning”. The last line included the words “Mercy comes, it’s morning”. I pray God’s mercy will envelop our nation and bring us the healing we so desperately need.

  31. Ann McGovern, RSM

    And God did not disappoint on the morning of January 7, 2021. On the grounds of Mercy by the Sea in Madison, CT a beautiful sunrise/kiss evolved. It healed some of the hurt, dismay, and anger I was feeling. It is going to take us all to heal this nation from the Covid-virus, and from the viruses of racism and white supremacy that are destroying any respect this country had in the world.

  32. Louise Simon, Mercy Associate.

    Dear Sr. Pat,
    Thank you for your beautiful words of support and the comfort they bring.

  33. Judy Herrmann, rsm

    I first read your profoundly inspiring reflection, Pat, when it appeared but was also involved with a relatives death. Your beautiful and life-giving message continues to touch my heart. Thank you for sharing words of hope.


    We are praying with you Pat .

  35. Marian Uba

    Thank you for this message of hope!

  36. Charlotte Emmons

    You captured all my thoughts and concerns of Jan 6 so beautifully. Our hope always springs eternal.