When I’m questioning my life, wondering if I am playing it safe or living fully, I turn to a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. I invite you to practice an abbreviate form of Lectio Divina, sacred or divine reading, as you read this poem. I’ll have some questions at the end to reflect on and write about. Read the poem slowly and pay attention to what line(s) or word pops out for you.
God speaks to all of us as he(she) 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.
Flare up like 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.
Sit with the line or word you chose for a bit, then turn to the following questions.
- 1) What feelings are evoked within you?
- 2) How does this line/word touch you?
- 3) What does this line/word say about your life?
- 4) What struggle or longing in your life today is speaking to you?