Sarah Rudolph: October 2020

Go Gently

Go gently, now, where you must go.
Beloved teacher, may you go with grace and love
and peace of heart.
To find strength in days ahead,
and courage for a new beginning.
Free to be healed of pain from the past
and filled with hope for the future.

Go gently, now, where you must go.
Beloved shepherd, may you begin each day surrounded by love,
protected by the grace of God.
Warmed by the light of the sun.
Listen to your heart.
Let God guide you
down the path of forgiveness.

Go gently, now, where you must go.
Beloved friend, may you be refreshed and renewed
to continue your journey with passion.
Walk the fields, count the stars, listen to the waves of the sea.
Feel the glow of the sunset.
Always know that you are loved
and everything is made in God.

In the Chapel of the Annunciation

My God, I touched you.
With trembling hands and nervous breath,
I reached in to grasp you,
take you out into the open
and lay you bare before the world
(though not so bare in all your golden finery).

That you would touch my heart the same way.
Reach in and pull it out into the open.
Let it rest there, safe in your hands,
for all the world to see.

These past days I have sat with you.
Trying to listen,
but maybe with only half a heart.
You know my distractions.
We talk; I sit and ponder,
and listen to the melodies of groaning wood.
(who knew these termites were so musically inclined?)
My own private concert.

I look for you in palm trees and fallen leaves,
in newborn lambs and ancient lizards.
In sun and shadow; intense golden beam and darkened corner.
You are there: invisible to my eye but visible to my heart
(even half a heart).

I moan and groan at nature.
Grumble to the clouds and sun,
cry to the dry caked earth.

You listen.

So tenderly:
like a lover, you listen on the breeze,
for the rise and fall of my heart’s voice.

You listen with the gentle caress of raindrop.
You listen with the tiny humming vibration of mosquito,
fly, and sometimes wasp.

Slowly, with each day that passes,
I give you a sliver more
(the sliveriest bit)
of my heart.
You know I long to give it.
And, slowly, with each day that passes,
I will become your lover, too.

Retreat, August 2017

The evening sky
set the green and golden hills ablaze.
Flames that licked my skin
but did not burn.
The familiar caress of you,
Spirit upon flesh.

This place has history; my history is here.
Once I was so burdened,
so afraid to look you in the eye
and tell you that I love you.
But now
every glance,
      stroke of the pen or brush or pastel
speaks to you.
Is of you.

I find you here.
I knew you would wait for me.

Gently you have led me, hand in hand,
though I have stumbled,
scrunched my eyes up in fear,
yet bravely tried to follow.
Inasmuch as I could be brave
when I am mostly a coward
sometimes emboldened.

I am here now.

Both eyes open,
arms stretched wide,
ready to receive you:
make me yours.

The Wilderness of Poetry

I encountered you,
the wild man in the desert,
in bushy-bearded, hands-outstretched-and-waving
wild man in the university hall.
Eyes alight and heart ablaze,
he led us through the rain-drenched drought
to the sonnets of the coming Christ:
O root, O wisdom, O God-with-us.

The imagination seeks the truth and is its doorway.

He coaxed my mind awake and made heart to sing.
And now, I ache
to dive deep into the rich welling of words,
of images offered forth.

There exists in me a spring bubbling up,
ready to burst above ground,
through the timid soil,
erupting on to the page.

Give me the grace, my wild man – quick
to follow this guide into the wilderness of poetry.

Palm Sunday, Native People’s Mission

Incense rises.
Bodies cleansed and blessed,
we turn to you
and greet you in the winds
of the four corners of the earth.
We thank you (migwetch)
and honour all your gifts.

you bless and sustain
each one in turn.
Together, we are yours.
One body.

Amidst the palms and cedars
we shout our hosannas to the King.

Render our love in limited fullness.
On bended-knee we await your glory.

Love and Glory

Love and glory.

Revealed in conversation,
in friendship and in service.

I learn more each day who you are
(without getting so precise)
and who I am
(with more precision needed).

Passions, curiosities,
arise and lead the way
to fullness.

Always open and persevering.
It is enough to try.

All Things Remain in God

The greening of the world in spring,
viriditas, cries out to you in praise.
Upon the leaves a path is traced, pulls
from edge to centre, draws my gaze.

The flit of wings, silent, from tree limb to limb,
echo lovers’ open-hearted soaring;
high above the mud of sodden fields, the hymn
of birdsong this glowing world adoring.

In this ebullient paradise, I stumble.
A quiet prayer of breathless awe
for viriditas. Her lush beauty cause me fumble
my words for lack of what to say I saw.

Ineffable you are, Creator of all things.
You reconcile this bursting, blessed world to
your heart. In it, do we exist; we do sing
your praise. Our love is only Love in you.


I am a temporary professed member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Canada. I live at Loretto College in Toronto and I am currently a student in the Master of Divinity program at Regis College, part of the Toronto School of Theology. I am active in a number of ministries outside of my studies including being a member of the facilitation team of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a retreat program for men and women who have experienced homelessness and are in recovery from addiction. I also volunteer at a breakfast program for the homeless at St. Stephen-in-the-Fields parish in Toronto, and I am active in spiritual ministry at Regis College, facilitating First Spiritual Exercises retreats for fellow students.

Artist Statement:

Ever since I was a child I have loved to write poems and stories. I loved creating imaginary worlds and exploring the richness of written language. These days my writing, when not for theology papers and assignments, tends to center around my blog, Love the Driving Force, which is about my formation journey in the IBVM. I still write stories and poems although I have not shared them publicly yet (this will be my first time to share my poetry online!). Most of my poems emerge as a result of reading and praying with the writing of other poets: Malcolm Guite, Scott Cairns, Czeslaw Milosz, Robert Hayden, Annie Dillard, and Adrienne Rich are among my favourites. Often my poems are composed during prayer or shortly thereafter.

Leave a Reply