Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his mercy endures forever (Ps. 136:26)
The arrival of spring can be a harbinger for more than the visible new growth we see bursting before our eyes. The opening of nature to reality can symbolize for us the need we have to open up to all reality as well, especially if our spirit has become routine or deadened over the hard, long, and cold winter months. Class reunions, scheduled at this time of year, can enkindle in us a re-birth to the pleasures we once enjoyed with certain people long ago.
After such an occasion, most of the people we joyfully greeted may recede into the outer rim of our consciousness again but, occasionally, a few may take a more active role in the fabric of our lives. It becomes more than a matter of re-acquaintance. Over the long haul, we begin to become keenly aware, through the accumulation and variety of such relationships, of the rich giftedness of our whole lives. I think of a favorite high school teacher who, though not of my religious persuasion, taught me more than anyone else the meaning of the word, “ecumenism.” There were other significant people: priests who, in some way or other, turned my life around during a retreat; a published writer/teacher I met at a Writers Conference; a favorite classmate, and so on.
We may only communicate with these people once a year or less, but each time we do, the life-giving qualities of their relationship never fail to bring us new joy and gratitude. Spring indeed can recreate such wonderful feelings but greater than all of these are the love and gratitude that flower in us for the God who provided these gifts and countless others. Is it accidental that the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is always celebrated in spring? May our reunion with Him this year be vibrant and full!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, open our hearts to Your love!
–Mary E. Penrose, OSB
Sister Mary E. Penrose is a Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. She edits readings for the liturgical Hours and writes reflections for the Community. And she is a tutor for the African Sisters attending The College of St. Scholastica. She was editor of a journal, Spirit & Life, for 18 years.
Read all Sister Mary E.’s reflections.