Tag Archives: contemplation

Hearing God’s Word in Creation

27 Apr

After a long absence, I thought I would share with my readers this poem “The Word”,  by the 19th century American poet Richard Realf, which was a focal part of my meditation and prayer a couple of days ago. I continue to be moved by ruminate over its message even today.  Here the poet sweetly lauds the Cosmic Word that reverberates throughout all of Creation for all that have ears to hear.

“The Word”

O Earth! Thou hast not any wind that blows 

Which is not music; every weed of thine 

Pressed rightly flows in aromatic wine; 

And every humble hedgerow flower that grows, 

And every little brown bird that doth sing, 

Hath something greater than itself, and bears 

A living Word to every living thing, 

Albeit it hold the Message unawares. 

All shapes and sounds have something which is not 

Of them: a Spirit broods amid the grass; 

Vague outlines of the Everlasting Thought 

Lie in the melting shadows as they pass; 

The touch of an Eternal Presence thrills 

The fringes of the sunsets and the hills. 

 

“The Great I AM” (a brief poem)

25 Oct

20131025-001541.jpg

The great I Am
Is the ISNESS
Of all that is.

Each IS
As He IS

Though we
Might not
See IT
Such as
It IS.

(c) Thomas C. Webber 4/16/2013

“The New Day Greets Me” (original poem)

17 Oct

sunrise over misty rolling hills

The New Day Greets Me

The new day greets me like a middle-eastern girl —
A young Bedouin virgin, enshrouded in mystery.

A single amber eye peers out to charm
And beckons me from behind the cerulean veil
Which drapes and falls over her woolen green robe,
Revealing barely a hint of her rolling beauty and form.

Oh how I find myself ineluctably drawn to follow
With hopes of savoring her promised delight!

By Thomas C. Webber
2/27/02

“My Heart Is A Tree” (original poem)

10 Oct

Silouetted Tree Against Night Sky

My Heart Is A Tree

A tree cracks the evening sky
Standing tall through the turning of seasons
Yawning and yearning to break out of itself.

It is fanned out, standing on tiptoe
Groping for the sky like a trembling hand
Reaching for the elusive harvest moon
Which drifts lazily by across night’s velvety curtain
Hoping to catch even one fleeting movement of light
Before the coming golden dawn.

(c) Tom Webber
4:45am on 2/22/2002

Tiny Truffles of Heaven

3 Jan

Tiny truffles of heaven
appear each moment, wrapped
like shiny, tin-foiled presents

shyly awaiting our tug
at the ribbon of time.

(c) Thomas C. Webber 1/2/2013

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“The Winter Pilgrimage” (a poem of mine)

1 Feb

The Winter Pilgrimage


The winter landscape passed

swiftly, like an author’s preface

to a good novel.

Trees and grass rose grey-on-white

blurred, like a badly erased

master’s drawing.

 

All this as I was gazing out

a clear stained-glass window

Sitting in the pew of this bus

which sang and hummed

its hymn of plainchant

As we pilgrims sped on

to make the Mass

and celebrate the liturgy of Creation,

donned in its vestments of white.


© Thomas C. Webber  1/20/1990

 

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Note: I realize that it has been over a month since I last posted but, as they say, “life happens”!  (Okay, maybe it is usually put a bit more crassly than that!) Inspired by the blizzard we are presently experiencing, I decided to dig deep into the coffers of my writings and finally pulled out a poem I wrote over 20 years ago while taking a bunch of youth up north into Michigan on a ski trip. This piece is one that I count among the best that I have to offer. It is certainly one of my personal favorites, and one that I believe almost rises to the level of deserving to be called “poetry,” a term I do not throw around lightly!  I do hope that you enjoyed reading it!

Your comments and feedback, as always are welcome and cherished!

Blessings,

Texas Tom (aka Tom Webber)

Advent Retreat At Home?: Some Resources for You!

4 Dec

Many of us might wish or dream that we could stow away for an Advent / Winter retreat, but given today’s economy, we find that we can afford neither the time nor the money to do so. Advent is time provided us by the Church to intensify our ongoing conversion to the Gospel, to becoming more attune to God’s presence in our lives, and to grow more Christ-like in our love and service to others. Thankfully, there are many excellent free resources to be discovered right on the internet today that allow you and I, with a little discipline and effort, to make a meaningful spiritual retreat right in the comfort of our own home! I’d like to share a few. These are ones that I have either  personally found beneficial or they are resources on websites that I often visit and know to be of solid value.

It just so happens that in each of these cases, the retreat resources come from members of the Jesuit order. For those of you not familiar with the Ignatian traditions for prayer (another name for the Jesuit tradition), you will find it a scripturally-centered approach that emphasizes using one’s imagination and feelings as important tools for prayer. You will also find that wherever commentaries are provided on particular scripture passages, they are invariably well-written and enlightening. Here they are some links with a brief description of each:

  1. One Day Advent Retreat: If you are strapped for time, or have a whole day to yourself, and want to spend some time in prayerful solitude, an anonymous priest (from the internationally acclaimed site  Sacred Space, which is run by an Irish Jesuit community) has provided the materials for a guided mini-retreat here: http://www.sacredspace.ie/retreat/retreat200511_index.htm.  As you will see, there are three sessions comprising the retreat. You are instructed to make out a schedule for your sessions. Just scroll down to the bottom of the web page and then download the retreat materials, either as a Microsoft Word document or in PDF format.
  2. “PRAYING ADVENT”: I would call this excellent site provided by the Jesuit Community of Creighton University a kind of “Build-Your-Own-Advent-Retreat” or “Spiritual Erector Set” approach, aimed at helping spiritual seekers pray their way through the Advent and Christmas season. The link is found here: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/ In addition to providing a daily meditation for each day of the Advent and Christmas seasons, there are a large number of additional articles, prayers, devotions and and scripture meditations to be found here that can be personally adapted to your interests, needs and time, so that you can prayerfully escape the hustle-bustle of life. In the lower right-hand corner of the web page, you will also find audio retreats (from actual retreat sessions) led by Fr. Lawrence Gillick, S.J. and Andy Jaspers, S.J. You can listen to one session a day or once a week, making it a more extended mini-retreat experience for yourself. This can be done spending as little as ten minutes a day.  So that you get the maximum benefit of the materials found on this site, I suggest that you be sure and read this brief “Guide to Daily Prayer” article found on the site: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/dailyguide.html.
  3. Advent Devotions for High School and College Age Youth: The campus ministry program at Creighton University continues its long tradition of providing daily meditations on scripture written by various students. I have always been struck by how insightful and spiritually challenging these reflections are. Young or old, you’ll find these wonderful aids to making daily prayer an important part of your Advent and Christmas seasons! Go here where you will find the daily reflections displayed in a calendar: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/daily.html
  4. “Advent Reflections” On-the-Go (PODCAST FORMAT): Many people (and I am one of them) like to listen to podcasts on their iPod or MP3 Player. And I have a number of podcasts that I listen to that have spiritual themes. If you are one of these, perhaps you might try this Advent retreat podcast, compliments of the Jesuit community of the New England Province. There are four audio files that can be downloaded for listening to on your portable sites, one for each week of Advent, and each presented by a different Jesuit priest.  The topic themes for each week are: Anticipating Joy, Using the Examen During Advent, Imaginative Prayer, and Advent Gifts and Graces. One of the great advantages here is that listeners are introduced to and taught many of the elements of Ignatian prayer, including how to discern (recognize)  God’s presence (the Ignatian motto is “See God in All Things”), the prayer of the Exam (a wonderful prayer form used to help one learn to “hear” what God is saying), and the use of the imagination in prayer. The site is found here:  http://www.sjnen.org/AdventReflections

There are so many more great resources out there but I hope you find one or more of these sites helpful in enriching your prayer during this blessed season of Advent!

Maranatha! (Come Lord Jesus!),

Tom

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