Not Just a Routine Christian

By Sr. Nun Other

Recent events revealed two important things to me: I rely heavily on routine, and I’m people dependent. I spent the early days of a recent Tuscany tour (pilgrimage, actually) re-defining my faith. I’m strong in my home environment, but when surrounded by the unfamiliar, not so much. While grateful for progress on my Christian walk, I realize I have miles of journey ahead to become fully grounded in Christ. As autumn transitions to winter, I trust and rely on His love, that spring waits on the other side.

The Community of Jesus

Life and Leaf

By Renaissance Girl

It seems like the cold weather creeps up when I’m not paying attention. Yesterday I sat outside to eat my lunch, and this morning I pulled my scarf closer around my neck. I love this season as we turn towards winter. There is a unique beauty in what happens when the sun sets earlier and the leaves change color.

This morning I took my dog for his morning walk. He is a particular fan of leaves and carries one in his mouth for the duration of the walk. I think it makes him feel useful. Or perhaps, he just likes to hang on to something beautiful. We passed under a tree just as a red leaf, its corners slightly turned up, released itself from its branch. It floated down, turning gently like a lazy Susan. I like to think maybe God releases each one at its own moment with a puff of air just strong enough to free it from the tree it grew on. Such an interesting image for life.

The Community of Jesus

 

Creative Genius

By Melodious Monk

Back in the spring, there where some extra zinnia seedlings available near our potting shed.  Not really knowing what a zinnia was, I grabbed a flat of tiny seedlings, figuring I would try planting them somewhere. With almost no root, and just a short razor thin green top, I worried these wispy seedlings would never last outdoors. But with nothing to loose, we planted them quickly in an empty corner of the front garden bed were a small tree recently had been removed.  The seedlings got partial sun and I watered them occasionally at first, but mostly just left them to Mother Nature. They started to grow, albeit slowly, not looking like much, and I was often surprised they were even still alive.

Last week I walked by and saw a beautiful purple flower!  I stopped and starred, almost in disbelief, at this large single purple flower beaming atop the end of a sturdy three foot stalk.  It made me smile, and marvel again at the genius of creation.

The Community of Jesus

Autumn of the Soul

By Renaissance Girl

I stepped outside for a quick breath of fresh air this morning and found a patch of sunshine. The warmth on my back felt wonderful, having emerged from an air-conditioned office. I think I sighed out loud which only my dog heard — a moment of relief.

The moment was shattered by a gentle gust of cold air, a whispered reminder that today is the last day of summer and we turn our face towards autumn, my favorite, and then winter. I shook off the breeze and headed back inside. And the thought blew across my mind — Truth is like that sometimes.

Sometimes we’re tempted to seek out a tiny patch of sun in our life and curl up to soak it in, halting any forward motion.  In that moment a cool breeze passes over us carrying with it a word of truth we need to hear, or a poke to get us to keep going so we don’t settle for the little bits of sun.

And the question is, will we turn up our collar and tuck our head down to keep it out?  Or will we let the breath of God shake our branches free of old leaves so they are ready to bloom again?

The Community of Jesus

 

Six Times Five Years

By Sr. Nun Other

Six Times Five Years At Lauds on Sunday, we celebrated The Feast of the Holy Cross. The bright, summer-remnant September day seemed out of sync with the singing of Good Friday’s traditional Latin Hymn. Perhaps the unfamiliar setting freed the words for new interpretation. I shed my usual somber Lenten reflections, newly fascinated by these translations:

Verse 1: Six times five years now completed, the time of the body fulfilled, choosing himself to be born for this, given over to the passion, the lamb on the cross is lifted, crucified on the tree. And from Verse 5, You alone were worthy to carry the ransom of all time, and, as a captain, to prepare a port for the shipwrecked world.

Think of it!  Jesus was just thirty years old — at least according to the hymn writer — when he shouldered the burden of a world gone wrong. His worthiness outshone my unworthiness, his courage outweighs my fear. The cross, no longer an instrument of death, glows as a symbol of unbridled life.

The Community of Jesus

Gifts That Keep On Giving

By Sr Nun Other

Galations 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I’d like to add one other: the fruit of beauty. Not just that achieved through man’s creative efforts, but the beauty of a soul transformed. I watched as hydrangeas outside our kitchen window passed through their cycle of life. From the first budding of leaves, to a radiant burst of blue, purple and pink, they quietly moved toward the delicate colors of fall, the petals no longer supple, more like lace that can be broken.

The Community of Jesus

 

Inevitable Change

By Sr. Nun Other

A  tricolor leaf on a sandy pathway signals change. It’s arrived much too soon, this autumn leaf that rests by itself on sun baked sand. I ignore its message as I make my way around it. My lunch in one hand, and a folding beach chair in the other, I wish that summer would stay awhile. But the truth is, I’ve noticed days growing shorter and nights a little cooler. I hear back-to-school chatter and discover stores filled with enticing note books, pencils, and flower-shaped erasers. Leaves change color as they react to the environment around them, shedding the green of summer to reveal colors that have been there all along. Who can judge which is more beautiful?

The Community of Jesus

Simplicity

By Sr. Nun Other

Springtime is a season of wordless beauty. It’s quiet response to God’s will gives witness to His love and faithfulness. When open and aware, mind clutter disappears, my unruly spirit subdued without a word being spoken.

II Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with earthly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have our conversation in the world.

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Hope

By Melodious Monk

“Be Joyful in Hope”  Romans12:12

Springtime is one of God’s many reminders of hope. You can smell it, almost taste the hope in the air, and visually it is everywhere: dried-up grass coming to life, plants you forgot are underground pop up, the air shifts, there’s more sun and people smile more! Hope is so many things. It’s everything positive. It’s the best of spring, the best of our desires. It’s the substance of things not seen. It’s dreams, ambitions, goals and longings all placed at the feet of Love. Being hopeful, especially joyfully hopeful, is another way to pray without ceasing. With God there is always the possibility for change. And in the limitlessness of His hope, no matter how crummy I may feel, there’s always something to be hopeful about.
 
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All Things New

By Renaissance Girl
 
Every day now there is a new flower open, or news buds on the trees. Birds are putting the finishing touches on their nests and baby rabbits are already appearing. It seems this year, perhaps due to our long, cold winter, the Resurrection itself was the catalyst for Spring and new life — as if the earth, unable to contain Christ, couldn’t contain itself and exploded into growth and color. I looked out over a nearby orchard with fruit trees covered in pink and white blossoms and thought of the verse from Revelation, “Behold, I make all things new.” And I feel hopeful that the God who loves to create beauty — new EVERY day — will draw new life out of me.
 
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