Standing in the midst of nourishment..

Macrina Wiederkeher in her work, A Tree Full of Angels, reflects on the spiritual emptiness we who live in this vast land of plenty often face. She writes:

“We stand in the midst of nourishment and we starve. We dwell in the land of plenty, yet we persist in going hungry. Not only do we dwell in the land of plenty; we have the capacity to be filled with the utter fulness of God (Eph 3:16-19). In the light of such possibility, what happens? Why do we limp? Why do we straddle the issues? Why do we live so feebly, so dimly? Why aren’t we saints?

Each of us could come up with individual answers to all these questions, but I want to suggest here a common cause. The reason we live life so dimly and with such divided hearts is that we have never really learned how to be present with quality to God, to self, to others, to experiences and events, to all created things. We have never learned to gather up the crumbs of whatever appears in our path at every moment. We meet all of these lovely gifts only half there. Presence is what we are all starving for. Real presence! We are too busy to be present, too blind to see the nourishment and salvation in the crumbs of life, the experiences of each moment. Yet the secret of daily life is this: There are no leftovers!

There is nothing-no thing, no person, no experience, no thought, no joy or pain-that cannot be harvested and used for our nourishment on our way to God.”

~Macrina Wiederkehr

The more I reflect on how I traverse the landscape of life, I realize the fleeting nature of it all. Kids grow up too quickly, joyful moments tick away as if they are but a teaser for the eternal fulfillment we were all made for. The weeks go by faster and before we know it years have mounted up behind us with fewer before us to get us excited. A source of anxiety, perhaps? What Macrina says above can be a healing balm for the “blah-ness” that often overwhelms us. Her suggestion can also help tear us away from the false dichotomy of the secular and the sacred. It can help us connect with God in each moment of our lives; with our kids, in silence, at work…they are all an eternal gift before our eyes, if we would only pick up the crumbs and recognize them as a form of manna from heaven.

Some nourishment in my life…


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2 thoughts on “Standing in the midst of nourishment..”

  1. Oh my, your kids are darling! What a beautiful family you all are :)

    I think my assignment this week is to read this post every day. Thank you for the point about seeking freedom from the false secular/sacred dichotomy. As a new mom of two little ones, I can struggle with how “unspiritual” I have become as my days are now filled with all the crumbs (literally!). Thank you for giving me a little much-needed reorientation here.

  2. thanks Erika…

    This quote was one I discovered in my morning prayers…it was a reading in the weekly rhythm. This week was about the abundance of God’s mercy.

    I think i need to read this each day this week as well. No matter how hard I seem to try, there is a silly tendancy to live in that false dichotomy and it seems the only way to avert that is through intentionality and persistence.

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