Saturday, September 27, 2014


Wonder is our prayer word for the month of September which is just about to slip into October.  In his many beautiful words Thomas Merton once wrote,

“Some people never see a tree

 until they are ready to saw it down.”

You are a creature of wonder.  You are a poet.  You are a poet not because of what you write but because of how you see.  Not everyone has discovered the hidden poet in their souls.  In the following reflection I am offering you some images that will hopefully draw forth the poet in your soul.   Where do poems live?  How well do you see?    Bring forth your receiving eyes.  Come forward with a seeing heart.  Listen carefully, and you will hear a quiet voice murmuring:  May I have your attention please?  We will never be people of wonder until we learn to pay attention.

Where do poems live?

In the early morning hours
---they fly through the sky singing.
They ride on the rays of the sun
---and breathe open the sleeping buds.
They fall from the sky
---in a thousand tiny raindrops.
They dance in sunlight
---on shining waters.
They sing through the darkness
---of the star studded night sky.
They flash forth lightening
---from dark, stormy places.
In tall swaying poplars
---they build their nests.
They rise up like blessings
---in the steam from your coffee
They gaze in your window
---from snow covered branches.

Where do poems live?

In new budding leaves
---and in dying foliage
In all that is blossoming
---and in all that is withering,
At birth and at death
---between birth and death.

Wherever you go
---they are waiting to greet you.
When you return home
--they meet you at the gate
Wherever you stand
---they stand beside you
Persistently they call out
“May I have your attention please!”
                       ©Macrina Wiederkehr

And what about you?  
      Where do poems live in your life?

It is there you will find the gift of WONDER.


Saturday, September 6, 2014



I just turned the page of my 2014 calendar and drank in the new word that is to be the theme for this month.  My word to live for the month of September is   WONDER and I am in dire need of sitting in its shade.   But then I remembered that I hadn't written about my August word yet so I turned the calendar back to August and gazed at the word SOLITUDE.  

The picture for the month depicts my friend and sister in community sitting in a lovely outdoor dwelling with a cup in her hand, presumably coffee, and I ask myself, "does this really depict deep solitude?"  What would need to go to truly depict solitude?  Probably the cup and the caffeine!   But let's not get hung up on semantics.  This is just my take one it.

Recently I saw a lovely outdoor scene with a woman lying on a diving board reading a book.  The caption was:  SOLITUDE!   I found myself saying, “wrong!”    Throw the book in the lake.  Get off the diving board.  

So truly, what is solitude?  Are you afraid of it?  Do you find it healing?  When you are in solitude, do you look for distractions?  Or, do you slowly begin to taste the sweetness of solitude?  I believe that can happen only after we learn to be comfortable with the gift of stillness and silence.    When I truly learn how to be alone by choice—how to embrace solitude as friend, I slowly cease looking for distractions.  I learn to melt into being.  I begin to be comfortable in being with the self that is me.

In looking at the word solitude I see a relation to the word latitude.   The sol of solitude suggests aloneness which also points to space, the space around us and even within us.  The word, latitude, points to space: geographical space, universal space:  the breadth, width, size of something.   Why not personal space?  Although I have not taken the time to look this up entomologically I can see a kinship.   And so when I use St. Paul’s beautiful words from Ephesians 3: 16-19  I find myself being moved into solitude.  The space around me seems to grow larger and I find myself move into a greater stillness.

The more I practice this kind of solitude alone, the more I will discover that when I am with a group of people some of that  space around me lingers and it is easier for me to remain calm in troubling situations.

Out of his infinite glory, 
may you be given the power,
through his Spirit, 
for your hidden self to grow strong,
so that Christ may live in your hearts 
through faith, and then,
 planted in love and built on love, 
you will with all the saints
have strength to grasp the 
breadth and the length, 
the height and the depth; 
until knowing the love of Christ, 
which is beyond all knowledge,
you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

Ephesians 3: 16-19—Jerusalem Translation

Find a space alone and ask yourself,  What is the latitude of my heart!