Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Presence and Wisdom

There are several women in my monastic community that consistently make me feel as though “I’m at home” when I am with them.  What I notice is that they are relaxed about being where they are at the present moment. While they are listening, they would not think of scanning others who are walking by or interrupting an ordinary story telling time. They seem poised to allow tears of joy or sorrow to well up in their eyes as they listen or do not hesitant to burst out laughing if the conversation invites it.  Because of their natural attentive presence, they themselves are superb storytellers.  Their stories usually include persons, situations or questions that invite those around them to want to be just as candid and wise as they are.
No wonder Richard Rohr [Nov. 23, 2017 Daily Meditation] chose to describe wisdom this way: “I suggest that wise people are those who are free to be truly present to what is right in front of them. It has little to do with formal education. Presence is pretty much the same as wisdom!  Presence is the one thing necessary to attain wisdom, and in many ways, it is the hardest thing of all.”
I am sure there are days that it has not been easy for these wisdom-women to be fully present to what they are hearing.  But I get the feeling that they have developed their skill over the years by daily sitting still enough to invite what is around them and within them to teach them surprising things.

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB


  1. This is so inspiring. I hope to be able to visit sometime next year :)

    1. Come visit us anytime! We would love to have you! Christmas is very lovely indeed.