Tuesday, October 22, 2013

O Source of all Life, a prayer

O Source of all Life,

as once you looked with compassion
on the weary crowds
who seemed lost and without a shepherd, 
look again upon your people
so desperately in need of renewal. 
Send your spirit to  blow over our dead bones
resurrect in us a surprising new life. 
Blow away negative thoughts,
replace them with hopeful dreams. 
Blow away critical thoughts;
replace them with affirming words.  
Blow away busyness;
replace it with a desire
to take more time
for building a rich interior life.
 Blow away anxiety;
replace it with trust.  
Blow away indifference;
replace it with love.  

O Breath of God,
 transform our unconscious way of living
into a vibrant, enlivening way
of being in this world.

©Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

Friday, October 18, 2013

In Praise of WONDER

This poem by  Czeslaw Milosz  invites me into the grace of WONDER.  Read it slowly and think of some thing in your past that filled you with wonder.  


We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness. 

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand. 

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture. 

O my love, where are they, where are they going?
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

~ Czeslaw Milosz ~

The flower above is one of my memories.  It, too, no longer exists in the way I once beheld it.  It does, however, still exist in my mind, in my memory.  Its visit once filled me with wonder.
As we reflect on some of the gifts of the past and the WONDER they brought into our lives we might also reflect on the importance of living mindfully.  There are many people who wouldn't give a 2nd thought to the things that the poet is so lovingly remembering.   Remembering is important.  Mindfulness is important.  We can choose how alive with wonder we are.   Right now, today, make plans to choose wonder.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The gift of a word

For those of you who have been 
keeping up with my WORD FOR A MONTH prayer 
you may think I forgot all about my monthly word.  
Actually I didn't, although it is true
that I have failed to post some of them.  
So how about a little review.
  1. January: the word was VESSEL, with emphasis on allowing myself to be poured out for others.
  2. February: SIMPLICITY, reminding myself of how clutter oppresses me.  It was an attempt to keep my mind, my heart and my space uncluttered.
  3. March: During this month I tired to be grateful and present to the wonder of my HANDS.
  4. April: During this month I reflected deeply on the importance of GRIEF in our lives.
  5. May: This was the month when I put forth much effort be present and live in the PRESENCE.
  6. June:  RESILIENCE, After weathering the storms of the seasons I became aware of how much springing-back power nature has and I wished the same for myself.
  7. July: The word, RESILIENCE, didn't want to leave me so I allowed it to stay for the month of July.
  8. August, SILENCE entered into my life during this month.  I encouraged it with much enthusiasm.
  9. September:  WILD, UNTAMED visited me during September.  I tried to get in touch with those undomesticated parts of my life, my original self.
  10. October: As I write this,  leaves are beginning to fall.  I chose the word,  SURRENDER, asking my whole self to let go of what is no longer needed.
  11. November will be MINDFULNESS.
  12. December, PEACE.
I found it so helpful for my prayer to focus on a word each month for 2013 that I decided to use this idea for my annual 2014 calendar.  Below you will see a composite of the photos I've used for my calendar this year.  Each month I give you a word to pray.  Your word is splashed across the picture for the month and a prayer poem describing the process can be found on the last page of the calendar.  If you would like a calendar check our website or gift-shop.  It should be advertised soon.  www.stscho.org

Think of  a journal that is empty.  The pages are waiting for your words.  Each year is somewhat like that.  The hours, days, weeks, months await your words, your dreams, your actions.  The 2014 year of prayer calendar is offering you 12 words for your pilgrimage through the year.

Write on your heart 
that every day is the best day of the year!
~~Ralph Waldo Emerson~~

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tracking the Mystery

Have I actually been away from this blog for two months! 
 My apologies for staying away so long. 
 I've been tracking the Mystery. 
 Many things have happened while I was away. 
 A ten day silent retreat in Colorado.
A month of re-wilding myself--spending 30 minutes outside each day.
The adventure of trying to live mindfully!

But now I'm sort of back.  Actually I am in transition and this blog will eventually be part of my website which is under construction.  If I had time to fetch an orange barrel to keep in line with all the highway construction going on these days, I would do so but for the moment I will leave that to your imagination.

Getting ready for my Heart of the Hunter retreat 
which is sometimes called Tracking the Mystery.

We are all trackers. We are all hunters!  And the crucial hunt in life is not the hunt for BIG GAME but the hunt for meaning and purpose, for fullness of life, for God.   The tool we have been given to serve us on this life-long hunt is the heart.  During this retreat we will explore the power of the heart and delve into the truth that we are both the hunters and the hunted, for the HOUND OF HEAVEN is tracking us with the most powerful heart of all.   And so, in this hunting season I am remembering the forest again and I  am reminded of how hunters find clearings in the forest where they set up food-traps for their prey. 

On my hunting-retreat I, too, will set up food traps for you.  It will be a holy trick to lure you into the astounding beauty of your own heart’s forest where you might find a little clearing to sit down and wait and perhaps be found by God.  And who knows but you, too, might die because all forms of surrender include a kind of dying. 

Whether you are attending this retreat or not I suggest you prepare yourself for the Hunt.   Find a path in the forest of your life.   Follow the path.  

Find the clearing.  Sit down and wait.  Eat what is provided for you which is nothing more or less than beauty and terror. Allow yourself to be found by God.   There is always a sacred place--a little clearing made ready for you; a place where the light will fall on you if only you arrive, and pause for awhile waiting for transformation.

To be hunted by God is not to die but to fall in love.  
The spears of God’s love slice through your being
 and you are both wounded and healed. — Macrina