As August starts to come to a close and our summer season is about to leave us, there are many things that we may need to sort through and think about. The year 2020 has been one of many changes and challenges. Take the time to reflect on how you have faced them. Has isolation caused you to become bitter or creative? Have you taken the time to be kind to another in need, even if it is from a distance? Have you prayed for and acknowledged all those who put their lives on the front line to help others, or have you complained that you couldn’t go on vacation as you always do? Do you complain that even though the churches are open you need to follow certain regulations, like wearing a mask and making reservations? Or, are you so grateful that you can finally receive the Eucharist again?
Lot of questions, lots to think about. Some of what I have experienced during this time has been the rich goodness of people. They need to be commended, thanked, and encouraged to be the examples that we need in today’s situations and world. As people struggle, we can continue to respond creatively, generously, and kindly to changes that are being asked of us. But how can we do this? I believe that all those who have answered the question in last week’s Gospel -- “Who do you say that I am?” -- as Peter did -- “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” -- know how to do it, for they have found Christ in their center. Although at times it may be a challenge, they allow the peace from within to flow out onto others.
With all these questions and thoughts before us, I dare to share with you an old piece of writing that I found. I wrote it in 1979. I think it fits with what I am trying to share here. Maybe in some way it can help with our new daily lives and give us courage to continue on this journey with hope filled hearts.
by Sr. Theresita Donach, CSFN, June 27, 1979, Howe Park, Spencer, MA
Peaceful, quiet, serene. Almost as if taken out of time.
Yet a gentle breeze brings life to a now rippling lake and
To the slender, awesome pines that surround and seem as to protect
It from anything that would mar its beauty.
So silent and peaceful is my being as I feel the warmth of the afternoon sun.
The blood running through my veins would seem to be the only sign of life,
And yet that is within. Does not all beauty, life come from within?
Is it not protected by an outer covering?
Could it be that in the hustle and bustle of daily life,
We can find that peace, beauty and serenity within ourselves?
For you God have placed it there.
I leave you with this last thought from Hermann Hesse: "Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”
Till next week,