Autumn — the seasons change, leaves begin to turn, coolness marks the early and late hours.
From centuries ago, the words of our founders still resound, full of wisdom and insight for today. As autumn days stretch before us, the saints and holy ones invite us to meet our grace with gratitude in the time and place that God gives us.
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Courage—hope—and heaven—He goes before who will crown our hope.
And that bright and glorious Cross which we now drag through the mud and dirt how beautiful and lovely it will appear when we find it opens the door of our eternal happiness to us. O, my dear friend, follow on with courage. You do not suffer alone, you well know.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL (Feast Day, September 27)
All of us make up a mystical body, but we’re all members of one another.…Every part of us is in such sympathy with one another and so interconnected that the pain of one is the pain of the other.
Make me hold my own in the face of adversities, without trying to escape or evade the difficulties of life in this world.
St. LOUISE DE MARILLAC
I rejoice with you, by thanking God for the graces His goodness has bestowed upon you, enabling you to continue to love His service by observing your Rules especially by the cordiality and support you show one another . . . You can be certain that God is with you.
BLESSED FREDERIC OZANAM (co-founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Feast Day, September 9)
Let us learn to defend our belief without hating our adversaries, to appreciate those who do not think as we do, to recognize there are Christians in every camp, and that God can be served now as always! Let us complain less of our times and more of ourselves. Let us not be discouraged, let us be better.
WISDOM FROM OUR FRIENDS
As we mark the 40th anniversary of the canonization of St. Elizabeth Seton, Sr. Constance Brennan’s words celebrate Mother Seton’s path to that moment of glory:
Elizabeth, your own journey knew many roads. Your God pulled many surprises. You walked the trodden road of marriage, of family, the painful road of loss and destitution, the uncertain road of discovery. And then you left all familiar roads – for a new home. A tragedy became a beginning. Exile became a foundation.
The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina led Sr. Claire E. Regan to reflect on her past five years of service in the House of Charity in New Orleans:
I have been accompanying people who have LOST EVERYTHING and yet who CELEBRATE LIFE at every turn and who know deeply the God who journeys with them. At this Katrina commemoration time, I want to encourage you to consider how life is to be celebrated. Consider likewise the love of our companioning God. Take to heart the example of the people of New Orleans and praise God in all things.
In her book Proclaim Jubilee, author Maria Harris wrote about our relationship to the Earth and its connection with “the land that we are”:
[The Biblical command to observe] Jubilee teaches us to honor our relation to earth by letting it lie fallow….[An implication of this teaching is that] we need to be listeners: not only to the creation surrounding us but to the creation and the land that we are, regularly praying that God will teach us to sit still.
Pope Francis reflects on Our Lady of Sorrows, a woman of faith:
At the foot of the Cross, Mary is at the same time the woman of sorrow and of watchful expectation of a mystery far greater than sorrow, which is about to be fulfilled. It seemed that everything had come to an end; every hope could be said to have been extinguished. She too, at that moment, remembering the promises of the Annunciation could have said: they did not come true, I was deceived. But she did not say this. And so she who was blessed because she believed, sees blossom from her faith a new future and awaits God’s tomorrow with expectation. At times I think: do we know how to wait for God’s tomorrow? Or do we want it today?