At the beginning of this month, in which we especially remember our dead relatives and friends, this image appeared on social media. The text is by Linda Hogan, from the book Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Natural World (WW Norton) and I am reproducing it with her permission.
The words are a lovely reminder of the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles we have known, whose love has created and nurtured us, and of the generations before them, whose love created and nurtured them, and who were loved into being by those before them... and so on ad infinitum. I can look back, hear their whisper and say that yes indeed, I am the result of the love of thousands!
For RSCJ November is also the month in which we celebrate the birth of our Society and remember that small group of our first ancestors in religious life. It can also be a time to remember with gratitude our more recent RSCJ ancestors, whose love, fidelity, example and prayers have supported, challenged and inspired us since the day we entered, and those who did the same for them. If, as the Yoruba proverb says, it takes a whole village to raise a child, it also takes a very large community to form an RSCJ - a community stretching back over two centuries, embracing saints, superiors, missionaries, mystics, educators, formators, nurses, cooks and so many more, whether prominent, in a named role or simply there, quietly, faithfully, lovingly there. With them too I can look back, listen and say yes, I am the RSCJ I am because of the love of thousands!