Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB., is an author and spiritual guide and a Benedictine monastic of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She travels throughout the United States and Canada as a retreat dirctor. In her retreats seekers are guided through experiences of silence, contemplation, and faith sharing. Many of her retreat themes come from her writings. She also draws extensively from literature and poetry and enjoys creating rituals.
Wiederkehr is a master of everyday spirituality. She has taken the Benedictine tradition of Lectio Divina (divine reading) and expanded it into new fields of wonder. To her, sacred texts are all around us. She discerns evidence of God’s presence in nature, relationships, and the daily rounds of life. As a skilled and creative devotional writer, Wiederkehr can always be depended upon for images or personal anecdotes that are brimming with beauty and insight. She weaves these together into books that combine observations with prayers and suggested passages to read — making them perfect for personal and group retreats. (Spirituality & Practice)
Macrina says: “My work is a ministry and an invitation from God to help create a better world. Each day I spend a little time in prayer asking that those who read my books and attend my retreats will receive the blessings they need for the day. As a spiritual guide I encourage you to take time for prayer, remembering that words are the least important part of prayer. Just open your heart and become a space for God. Create a little space for silence. There are some things we can only learn in silence. Commit yourself to a spiritual path.” (St. Scholastica)
This poem is from the book I’m reading in the mornings, “The Circle of Life” by Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr. I really identify with it because of its theme of bending not breaking. I’ve always loved the Tanya Tucker song “Strong Enough to Bend.” And I think if more of the world could bend instead of break we’d be in a whole lot better place!
All Through the Night
All through the night
into the morning hours
cold beads of rain
ice the tree’s dark branches.
The trees are strong; they do not bend
and this becomes their downfall.
When you do not bend, you break.
The icy day becomes my classroom.
Near the ice sculptured trees
frozen little bushes, vines and cedars,
are bowed low in adoration
bent, but not broken.
The frozen trees, sad and beautiful,
moan and sway with the weight of reality.
Lovely ice sculptured arms
yield to the bitter truth of the moment
as the silence is harshly broken.
In its wake, a deafening silence
rises up from deep inside
where my tears are frozen
like the beads of rain
that fell through the night.
How do we name what happens
without condemning it?
This is nature’s way;
there were no developers present.
Was the rain unkind to freeze?
Did it have a choice?
Do we have a choice
to bend or break
to destroy or build?
Sometimes I fear reality.
Picture Source: Richard G. Petty, MD