Just A Thought or Two . . .
The tree outside my window, outlined in the early morning sky, greeted the hues of a new day. Branches, lighter now, danced and held the remaining leaves of red and gold. I silently watched as one-by-one the stems broke free and with each breeze colored leaves carpeted the earth below. What a lesson this work of creation so magnificently shared.
It is hard to believe that we’ve already said “Good-bye” to the month of September. Within the whirlwind of preparing for school days, sport practice schedules, homework and the demands of the workplace, we know that September days demanded our undivided attention. It all takes a toll. It is now time to slow down.
Autumn is the season of reflection – a time to discover new perspectives. We are wiser now. Gone is the innocence of spring and the grand confidence of summer. Autumn is realistic and ready to graciously assume its role in God’s design. God beckons us to use the days of autumn to rediscover our own strength through Jesus Christ.
Strength is found in prayer. On Monday, October 7, we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the patron saint of the United States, understands the power and the promise of autumn prayer. Now is the time to gather in family groups to offer our prayers and petitions for peace.
And what does the rosary have to offer? We begin with our Creed of beliefs. This sets our focus. Then, we say the “Our Father” the prayer that Jesus taught us. The “Our Father” reminds us that God offers guidance and protection. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” “Give us this day our daily bread,” and “Deliver us from evil” are not empty promises. The “Hail Mary” acknowledges our Blessed Mother and asks for prayers “now and at the hour of our death.”
The children of today search for a structure that rituals facilitate. There is a great comfort in knowing that there is sacred time for the family to gather in prayer. Children embrace this simple ritual that encourages a daily family time and place to share joys and concerns. Autumn prayer is recited together as families. Whether walking to school or in the family living room, saying the rosary together promotes a feeling of unity, peace and gratitude.
Sunday’s Gospel from Luke tells the story of the ten lepers who raised their voices asking Jesus to heal them. Jesus said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed and one of them returned, glorifying God. Jesus said, “Ten were cleansed. Where are the other nine?”
Autumn is the season of change. How can we change our lives so we accept in real gratitude the joys and the sorrows of our lives? As we pick up our rosaries we hold the cross. Jesus is the Savior on that tree of Calvary. With outstretched arms, Jesus understood that the miracle of new life becomes a possibility only when the present is grounded in faith.
With grateful hearts we must return to God to express our thanks for daily blessings. Autumn invites us to new understandings. It isn’t easy to let go of our fears. We yearn to be in control. How can we learn to trust completely? Look down any tree-lined street. Autumn has much to teach us about the faith to stand alone.
Please join us on October 16 when the 5A class hosts the liturgy celebrating St. Luke at 1:05 in All Saints Catholic Church.