Flare Up Like a Flame

Quiet Pilgrim


This week Ranier Maria Rilke has captured me by the beautiful and mysterious tone of his poem “Go to the Limits of Your Longing” from the Book of Hours:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Longing is one of those things that is both painful and exhilarating—and therefore difficult to understand. By painful, I mean the tension of living in the already, but not…

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Quiet Pilgrim


There is this assertive presence in my life that has been persistent in both pushing me forward and calling me forth. The best I can do to identify this assertive presence is to call it “longing”—”holy longing” perhaps.

There is a beautiful passage from the book, “The Wounding and Healing of Desire” by Wendy Farley that reads:

Longing is the motion of the heart toward that which it does not or cannot possess. Our deepest desires are not always known to us, but our longings are their light footsteps in the snow. If we follow them carefully, we might be led deeper into the hidden structures of our heart.1

I’m facilitating a small group right now on discernment that draws heavily on the Ignatian discernment process. My spiritual director was telling me recently that all discernment boils down to three steps: observing, understanding, and acting. In my reading and preparation for this…

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The Year of Magical Thinking

17. Grief it turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days … Continue reading The Year of Magical Thinking

Love & Gratitude

Dear Dr. Masaru Emoto, A few years ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, Sr. Fids shared with us the story behind these two (well, three) inspiring words: Love & Gratitude. Your research on the water crystals enlightened us to see life on a different perspective: to listen, with more heart; to speak, with more care; … Continue reading Love & Gratitude