Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Fruition and promise

Late summer is gently oozing into early autumn. Hedgerows are bursting with berries, apples are nicely maturing: spring's buds and blossoms have become autumn's generous fruition. Today's walk along the towpath became in reality a stop-start meander, as I kept stopping to add plump, glistening blackberries to my rapidly filling bag. Our days are still summery, skies brilliantly blue; but the sun is now setting that bit earlier. Everywhere there is a lush, abundant greenness - but look closely, and you can see that it often masks the death and drooping of flowers.

In the midst of this greenness some early autumn leaves, already red-gold or coppery, stand out. The other day I picked up a particularly striking, multi-coloured one from the Woodstock Road, where it was lying alone, and brought it home, placing it in a spot where the sun could highlight its colours. By the following morning it had shrivelled up, desiccated, so I immersed it in water and waited. Within a few minutes it had begun to uncurl, to open up, stretch, revealing its beauty and diversity once again... and in the process revealing its damaged, broken bits, which are, of course, all part of its beauty...

Last week I saw an announcement from RSCJ in Chile, about their new candidate. Here in England we too will soon have the joy of welcoming a young woman into her candidacy, as she begins this new stage in her discernment and quest for God. In many of our provinces - particularly in the northern hemisphere - this is the traditional time for receiving new candidates and novices: in the midst of autumn's letting go (very appropriate for beginning religious life!) we have the spring joy and promise of new life and potential coming among us.

All of life should centre on discernment, growth and increasing openness to God, but this is especially true of the initial stages of formation in religious life. So when you read this please say a prayer for all our discerners, candidates and novices, and for all those women who are only just beginning to hear Love's call. As they are increasingly immersed in God may they grow in openness and generosity; and may their promise and potential come to fruition in ways none of us can even begin to imagine...

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