Trees in Solitude by Michael McGirr

Michael McGirr

Michael has shared with us the pictures and prayers that were inspired by his new-found 'friends'. Below are three three of these prayers. All 18 can be found here.


I often meet this tree in the first hour of my day.

Holy Spirit, thank you for the gift of wonder.
On a cold morning, as the sun breaks through,
the world feels fresh and new.
But we know it isn’t.
We know you have been at work for countless
ages, asking the human family to spread our
branches to welcome your light.
May we find beauty in ourselves this day and
in all the people we meet.


When we moved into our house, our children
were still little. They loved this tree in the
backyard and called it the ‘eye tree’ because
it appeared to be looking at them. It tickled
their imaginations. The kids have grown a lot,
but the tree is still much the same. In the
days of lockdown, we enjoyed having lunch
under its shady branches. Sometimes, the
kids had their online lessons sitting there.

Holy Spirit, thank you for your gifts of
knowledge and insight.
May we always look past the surface of our
lives to see what is really sheltered there.
At the start of the Spiritual Exercises,
St Ignatius prayed that may we want and choose
only the things that help us reach the end for
which we have been created.


In the late afternoon, this pair are often
together. Perhaps they are married. Perhaps
they are just friends. They often share
something to eat.

Holy Spirit, thank you for your gift of fidelity.
May we appreciate the grace of intimacy in
our lives and never take our closest
relationships for granted.
May we bring freedom into the lives of those
we love, not keep them hostage to our own
anxieties and insecurities.
St Paul says you are not the spirit of slavery
but of love, helping us to find again our baby
words to say ‘abba’, ‘daddy’, no matter how
old we are.

Click here to download a PDF of all of the Trees in Solitude prayers.


Click on the images for more information

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