Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The WOW Prayer

(Photo by Nancy Bauer, OSB)
I remember a retreat time in which Brother David Steindl-Rast shared his reflections on how our senses connect us to our God. He invited us to find a “holy card” before the conference he was going to give on what our eyes can discover.  The holy card he envisioned was simply a 3x5 card in which a pinhole was made with a large safety pin.  He then invited us to use that hole to look very closely at the structure of a leaf or flower, the legs of an insect, or maybe the fibers in a piece of cloth.  It was his way of giving us a pathway into what it is like to shut down enough of the details around us to focus on just a small aspect of something in our environment. This tender gazing can give space to sacred awe, to the inner and outer expression of “Wow”!  The twin sister of awe is gratefulness. Steindl-Rast has written a book entitled, “Gratefulness the Heart of Prayer”.  Maybe whether we are looking at a person, creature or a breathtaking event and “wow” comes to our lips, we have spontaneously opened a grateful place in the heart.  Is every “Wow”, actually the vibrating presence of God-life and one of the simplest heartfelt prayers we can utter?

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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