Whereas My Soul

It is me or my actions?

Am I a thinker or is it my thoughts?

Can I do things, or am I a doer?

A mind informs the soul, but it is not the soul.

For there is only the presence tense, acting, doing, thinking.


Is this my real being?

Who I am?


This being observing myself.

Like A Child


Recently I heard a recording from a Fr. Richard Rohr presentation called the “Beginners Mind”. It reminded me of how a child reacts to the world. When we arrive in a room with small children, the child looks for the adult with a smile, the one who is open and friendly—the simple detective work of one hunting and searching for love.

Children detect hostility, unfriendliness, and those who are unauthentic in a way that is beyond words. Their agenda is simple; there is no agenda. There is no duality in their thinking, just looking for the one who is most friendly, open, and willing to love. Come play with me is mostly present in their eyes.

How much of this can we learn again in our relationship with God. How many have fallen prey to following the tradition rather than the love? Our Catholic tradition without love is meaningless. Particularly if we start to “preach” tradition in a way that divides us from others rather than unites us in the community of God; the Body of Christ. The Church universal.

We sometimes need a reminder the word Catholic means universal. For us this is universal love, and there is nowhere we can feel and hear that word more soundly than in love expressed by a child. A child cannot fend for themselves; they survive only with love. So do I. Without love, I am nothing, just someone looking for a cave to dwell in with a warm fire and a loving friend.

The loving friend we seek is the same one the child in the room opens their heart towards. The love expressed by the adult in the room is filled with the grace of God. And one willing to communicate it freely, willingly with the smile which requires no repayment. Just gift. Pure gift.

Let us return to the “Beginners Mind”, let us unlearn the prejudices and offer ourselves openly to listen to others, even offer love to those we dislike, without scowls or pretense. The child in us all brings us back to the Beginners Mind, when we did not judge, but loved.

And sat silently on the floor waiting for God to come and play with us. Forever.


Be ready like a child,

For learning is simple when we accept

For belief with a child’s mind

is like simple addition.

The result is pure and right.

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Gospel of Matthew

Reflection, Photograph and Poem by Michael J. Cunningham OFS


Not this time,

Don’t let me get my own way,

And add to the memory banks of wins,

And ways to influence others,

And to the place where I stop listening,

And go straight to my new home on the topic.

A pre-formed Opinion.


A Very Late Summer Afternoon


I think the color of my hair is changing,

Skin seems to be drying up, some of it is falling out.

While this is not making me unattractive,

I do feel different.  

Less taut, perhaps.

Not in need of a facelift; yet,

But, nevertheless, showing features of weathering.

So, now, the question is …

Does it matter and will she still find me attractive?

Without Motive

All the searching was not pointless,

But was without destination.

All the learning created thoughts and memory,

But did not bring me peace;

Rather, the hunger increased.


All the lovers brought experience,

To each other, but, like a lit candle, could not sustain itself.

All the suffering, did not produce meaning,

But rather fortitude, reinforcing the ego.


Only surrender gave me something,

As I looked desperately for meaning.

For the one within me,

And it too failed, through too much desire.


Now, my desire neutered,

I find myself placed, awaiting …


It has won.


So I contemplate nothingness, and wallow in my lack of purposefulness,

To determine if this is not another destination,

A dark night of the soul,

On my journey.


Or if I am home, and this is it. Being.