At Home in the Darkness

Winter Landscape with a Church
Caspar David Friedrich, 1811

Caspar David Friedrich, 1811


“Each time you go into your temple to dwell, go as though it is the first time you have ever really prayed.  When you do something for the first time, you may be excited, but also a little fearful.  Let this be your winter-way of approaching God.  As you enter into that sacred space within, let this become your prayer:

I am the one for whom God waits!
I am awaiting the One who is awaiting me!

Embrace the season of winter with hope.  It is a good teacher.  It will lead you to your inmost depths where God is contemplating you.”  (Macrina Wiederkehr)

Taken from:  “The Circle of Life.  The Heart’s Journey Through the Seasons”, by Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr.  This excerpt is from the reflection entitled, Winter, a Season for Deepening, pgs. 254-255 


7 thoughts on “At Home in the Darkness

  1. Sr. Dorothy and I talked about much of this yesterday as we had our monthly candidate/associate meeting. It really is nice to read something that validates our discussion on the topic of prayer.

  2. I know you’ve had more than enough of the white stuff, but I long to be able to smell the fragrance of snow, to watch it fall silently…**sigh**

  3. It would make me cry, and does, to think of anyone contemplating me, but most especially God! What a wall-crumbing thought. If not for holy spittle, and then, a holy breath, and then, baptism into the Son’s loving sacrifice and resurrection for our sake, I’d be only a handful of dust! So would we all. But God loved us first, purposely fashioned us into being and personally came to rescue us, His eternal beings, some of whom even have Panis Angelicus in the desert, but all of whom have Mother, to plead and solace and obtain what we haven’t a clue to ask. It’s astounding, isn’t it?

    I’ve been amazed lately to see that winter exists in many more states/countries than I knew, at least to the degree that there is earlier dusk and some lessening of the green and growing. It breaks my heart for those who have the most horrendous winters, really. Winter is not only the loss of some beauty–peace for the eyes which runs as water to the parched and cracked soul, but winter is when everyone sickens and suffers the most, and certainly most of all the homeless and the bus-riders. But a wintering as a holy seed can come to anyone, in any means, in any season. What flowers He hopes for, and I can personally attest that He loves any little sprout, even weeds.

    The day’s earlier darkness, if nothing else, makes us slow down and contemplate the One Who (*gasp!) contemplates us. We loved all the seasons when we were children–welcomed each one’s unique personality. Now we have to look at them again as adults, and re-find the gift-ness, spiritually. Thank you for this. Without it, I’d have gone on hating winter.

  4. I am the one for whom God waits!
    I am awaiting the One who is awaiting me!

    I just love this…not only will it inspire my time in the quiet, but I will share it with those I know who yearn for the same loving stillness. Beautiful.

  5. Cathy, that’s really good to hear. I hope your candidate/associate meeting went splendidly. I’ll be over to see tomorrow, I hope, because you may have posted about it.

    Pia, we’ve had quite a few storms already, and the snow is piling up, but plenty of breathtaking beauty as well; some nights I could just stare at the snow-covered pines for hours…and do…

    Carol, I love the painting too! And I know what you mean about being surprised by winter in other areas; I was surprised at the snow in the Assisi video Pia put up at Christmas, and also over at Beth’s (Louie, Louie) she has a photo up of deep snow at the Abbey of Gethsemani (I had no idea Kentucky could get that much snow).

    Re re-finding the delight in the seasons that we had when we were children, that is something both Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr speak to as well. Rupp, for example, talks about how natural it was to adapt to winter as a child, and the fun of playing on the “mountains” of piled-up snow, making snow angels, digging out tunnels…I’m sure we can all remember the joy of those things too. She recalls the wonderful smells inside the warm house, curling up with her dad while he read, etc. We don’t all have the same memories, of course, but I can really relate when she writes: “What I experienced and learned about winter in my youth is that it was natural, normal, to have the dark, the cold, the snow. I went with the flow of the season, took it in stride, and rarely complained or whined about it. Winter was just winter and it brought its own unique colors, feelings and challenges. I have especially longed for those childhood days of acceptance when I’ve found my adult-self fighting the natural unfolding of the season.”

    Kirsten, welcome! I found it very inspiring too. I just love this book; it takes you through each season, so it becomes like a real friend as you make your way through the year. It’s perfectly fine reading it all on your own, but also, because it’s filled with so many different kinds of reflections, songs, rituals, etc., it’s perfect for a small group of people who get together for prayer, and also for workshops/retreats. I highly recommend it.

  6. Sorry everybody, I accidently deleted half the post! I’ll come back and re-input it when I have a few moments, so your comments will make sense to anyone reading later! Big oops.

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