October is one of my favorite months. I love everything about the beginning of autumn: the sights of the glorious colors, sound of leaves crunching, the taste of a freshly baked apple pie, a slight chill in the air, the smell of fireplaces in homes, and sound of the geese heading south. This time of year delights all of the senses in many ways, each of us where we are at the present moment.
The month also hosts so many individuals who are excellent guides and role models for our Spiritual life. We start off the month with St. Therese of Lisieux (Therese of the Child Jesus) and her little way. Next the Feast of the Guardian Angels, helping us to realize that God is always with us and at times we can miss the angels that come into our lives. Oh, then there is St Francis of Assisi who teaches us how to “rebuild the church”, not the buildings but to care for the whole of creation. We are all part of this marvelous earth we call home. Along with building and reforming we must not forget St. Teresa of Avila. She along with St. John of the cross have left us with a rich treasury of writing that can help us ‘rebuild the church’. I could go on and on with the list of Saints celebrated this month, but I think you get the idea!
What do all these ordinary people have in common? As the saying goes “when the student is ready, the teacher arrives”. They recognized the teacher. They were aware of God in their life. They wanted to learn to grow. It was Thomas Merton who said, “The most dangerous person in the world is the one who is guided by no one.” To be alive and aware one needs to live in the present moment. That does not mean that the moment isn’t moving for that is the natural flow of things if you wish. We need to hear, see, and come to know what is happening to us and within us. Also, this is not a solo journey. It calls for a companion other than God. Each of these Saints had someone to be and talk with, to help them be their best self. They offer us good advice; listen to it!
I don’t want to forget Mary who highlights the month. She, more than anyone else, is the perfect model of someone who was aware of all that she was being asked and yet did not know all the consequences. Her journey can be like ours. We can look to her for guidance. Why not spend some time this week looking at the lives of all these special people, and perhaps sharing your learnings with another? Be ready when the teacher appears so you can learn to be your best self.
Till next week,