Macrina Wiederkehr has lived a monastic life for fifty years and makes her home with the Sisters of St. Scholastica, a Benedictine monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. She has written many books including A Tree Full of Angels and Seven Sacred Pauses. Wiederkehr is also a Living Spiritual Teacher on our website. Visit her personal blog at http://macrina-underthesycamoretree.blogspot.com.
Abide is an inspiring and imaginative collection of meditations, questions, and reflections on the Word of God. Our quest for the Holy One is a daily one which is played out in our ordinary lives and not in some magnificent cathedral. For example, Wiederkehr likes to walk at dawn when she can "romance the Word" without the usual distractions of people moving about and lots of noise. She calls this an in-between time when she is open to rich spiritual growth.
Wiederkehr opens fresh ways of perceiving tradition: for example, each time we prayerfully walk through a Scriptural passage, we are on our own private pilgrimage. Each time we sit down at "the altar of our own lives to evaluate our growth in Christ," we are on a pilgrimage. Here is a prayer that she presents in conjunction with these writings:
"O Pilgrim God,
You once led a people, dear to your heart, through the desert land of their exodus journey. Now I invite you on a pilgrim journey through the scenic and wilderness lands of my heart. Stop at the lovely shrines along the way. Enable me to see the beauty of many sacred places in my life. Together let us pray before the shrine that is me, created in your image. Show me my goodness and strength on the path that leads through the temple of my being. Pause also at the places where I am lost, deluded, and imprisoned in my own shallowness! Anoint those places with a glance of love. Transform all within me that yearns for renewal. Refresh what is stale. Open what is closed. Rekindle what has grown too dim to give light. O Pilgrim God, journey with me to the promised land of my own being. Amen."
In chapter two of Abide, Wiederkehr moves beyond our yearning for God to ways to deepen our relationship with the Divine. This involves a respect for the mysteries of God, the practice of deep listening, dressing oneself with virtues, and opening your heart to guidance. The last three chapters of the book deal with the struggles of daily life, not looking back, and returning to your original love.