Blessed is She
in Her Courage and Daring
Blessed is She
in Her Strength and Her Caring
Blessed is She
in Wisdom’s Wayfaring
Carrying the Great Gift of Light.


Blessed is She
in Her Heart’s Deep Perceiving
Blessed is She
in Her Boldest Believing
Blessed is She
in Her Humble Receiving
Joy leaping and Hope burning bright.

~Cheryl Anne Maris

Feast of the Visitation 2023/
10th Anniversary of Marian Consecration.
Song and rose photos from this evening’s prayer walk, offered with love, gratitude, and blessings for Tambrea and Seth; my Sister and Brother in the Heart of The Mother.

You Shine

You shine in the surrendered mind 
Simultaneously soft and bright
Comforting and clear
Our Lady of the Growing Light
Great Mother of the New Year

~ Cheryl Anne Maris
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Away in a Manger

I woke up this morning with the memory of my first time singing in public glowing softly in my mind. I was three years old, but I remember it so clearly. I was baptized in the Catholic Church as an infant, but my family did not attend church thereafter, though the church where my baptism took place was just up the street from our home. My mother was a non-practicing Catholic, and my non-believing father openly scorned religion. Hence my mother being non-practicing! He did, however, humor her by agreeing that I could be baptized, as this was very important to my mother. My earliest memory in this life is that of lying in my crib, hearing the bells of St. Thomas Aquinas ringing, and feeling their vibration through the coils in the crib mattress. The sound and vibration of the church bells were profoundly comforting to me.

As a toddler I became aware of a loving, protective Presence close by me at all times. I decided He must have entered the house through a little crack in the skylight at the top of the stairs. He knew when I was scared, and comforted me. He helped me fall asleep, and kept me company when I was lonely. I didn’t know His Name, but I knew He was my Friend and could be trusted.

At the bottom corner of our street there was a Methodist Church with a little staircase leading down from the sidewalk to a basement door. There was an ornate wrought iron railing that I liked very much, and I always felt drawn to go down the stairs and peer into the glass panels on the door. Finally one day my mother answered my plea, walked me down the stairs, and lifted me up so I could see inside. To my delight, it was a room filled with books and toys, and tiny furniture; just my size! I asked my mom adamantly if I could please go inside, so when we got home she called the church office and asked if I could attend the Sunday School class even though our family didn’t attend the church.

The next Sunday, my mother walked me down the street, and I happily slid my hand along the wrought iron railing and descended the stairs. We were greeted by Miss Ruth; the Sunday School teacher for the preschool aged children. I felt totally comfortable having my mom leave me there. I remember playing with a miniature wooden grandfather clock, and looking at several “Little Golden Books”. Then Miss Ruth called all the children to sit in a circle on the floor. She held up a picture of a kindly Shepherd, holding a little lamb. “The Lord is my Shepherd…”, she read out the words to Psalm 23 and had us gently pass the picture around the circle. When it was my turn, I gazed deeply into the Shepherd’s smiling eyes as I listened to Miss Ruth’s words, “…I shall not fear, for You are close beside me…”, and it struck my little heart that this Shepherd was the Friend I had felt close beside at home. Now I knew His Name; Jesus! I was overjoyed!

Which brings me to the joy of singing in the church Christmas Pageant. The three year old group took to the stage to sing “Away in a Manger”, which I had memorized and diligently practiced. I felt every word of it; the innocent stirrings of empathy for the Baby, for His Mother, for the animals. I wanted to comfort and protect Baby Jesus, and He would grow up to comfort and protect me. I sang out loud and clear, with all my heart.

It was so simple. And really, it still is.

I am now probably older than Miss Ruth was at that time. I have sung on many stages, and have studied theology and served in many churches. But this Christmas Eve morning, I awakened with a childlike song in my mind, tears in my eyes, and empathy and deep gratitude in my heart. In the midst of all that presently troubles me, and the world, I am thankful I can still feel every word; and know the comfort of the Presence of my Friend.

Merry Christmas and Deep Peace to All.

~Cheryl Anne

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.


By Your Invitation 
I sit and wait
Releasing thoughts
That agitate
To be whisked away
On wild late
November winds

Accompanied by
One dancing flame
And the sweetness of
Your Dearest Name
I rest here till
Your Wisdom
Reclaims me once again

From the chaos and confusion
And the collective cruel delusion
That we can be saved by
Anything less than
Unmitigated Love

O Lady of Advent
Find me! Grace me
And remind me
That for today
To sit and wait
With Hope
Is work enough.

~Cheryl Anne Maris
Advent I 2022

You Call Me Back

You call me back
to the window seat
and the Perfect Peace
I find at Your Feet.
Here I am healed,
fulfilled, complete,
from one Touch of Your Hand.

You call me back
where the great oaks grow.
Here I am held fast
and sweet time runs slow.
The gentle streams
of Wisdom flow
at Your gracious command.

You call me back
to a quiet heart.
The Spirit’s still,
simple, and silent art.
The Wonder of Which
I am part.
My soft, safe place to land.

~ Cheryl Anne Maris
a little song of sacred summoning

Her Kindest Hands

Silken threads of soul
pass through small, gnarled hands.
The frail fingering of delicate memories,
thoughts softened by age,
bold colors fade to the pastel
of a gentle seascape.

Be careful, Her furrowed brow seems to say.
Time can make us brittle,
and hoarded grief can burn
and consume our days like straw. 

It is only by courage;
this work of Her Kindest Hands,
and the surrendering bitterness and pain, 
that a soft shawl of peace
can come to rest 
upon the rounded shoulders
of a life's waning days. 

That the heart may remain
warm and expectant,
and eyes alight
with the soft glow of welcome. 

Be sure, wonder does not expire,
nor hope's happy labor retire.
Joy is persistent in her invitation to dance!
The Lady will go on weaving,
with skill and grace,
and  with Her golden thread interlace,
a great tapestry  to commemorate 
the legacy of heart, hearth, and home. 

~Cheryl Anne Maris 
sitting with the Crone 

Lady Iona

She came to me
bold, unbidden
Took me by
my heart and hand
Her eyes glistening
with mischief
Inviting me
to play and dance

As I walked
She swirled around me
Her laughter
tousling my hair
As I sat
Her joy jostled me
from shackles
of seriousness and despair

She floated above
the weight of history
Massacres, monks,
graves of kings
She burrowed deep
in Ancient Mystery
The Song
the banished sisters sing

She flew with tern
and splashed with otter
Yet still took time
to walk with me
She came to me
Lady Iona
Spirit of Earth,
Sky, and Sea.

~Cheryl Anne Maris

She Awakens

She awakens
in autumn
from Her deep
summer’s sleep

Having rested
warm and long
after spring’s
beauteous birthing

Now with the wind’s
first subtle stirrings
She takes up
Her colorful cloak

And dances
Her soul’s potency
to the whispers
and whirrings of
the coming cold

Betrayed by warmest
crimson and gold
leaves beneath
Her fluid feet

A decay
so delicate
and sweet
as to alleviate
all fear

The Lady
lets us know
She’s here
in kindling
Life’s soft inner fire
Reigniting dwindling desire

By leaf
By wind
the flames
leap higher

From earth to sky
From belly to heart

We are warmed and formed
through the gentle dying
into Life; the Lady’s Autumnal Art.

~Cheryl Anne Maris