Reflection by S. Ellen McClure
Before I entered our community, I thought about becoming a contemplative nun. In high school, I was taught by the Visitation Nuns so there was some grounding to my desire. When I became a nurse and entered our Franciscan congregation, I learned that ours is the ‘mixed life’ where we live and minister in a wholeness. Not that I have always held it together, but, by and large, the Lord has kept calling me back to acting out of the love that unifies and heals. At times my soul has been dry and shallow. At times the gentle rain has softened me and made my soul receptive. I am a lifelong grower of tomatoes. They are trying to make the best of five good hours of sun on my balcony right now. If I don’t get the box watered soon enough, they droop piteously. When the water gets there, they are happy.
Teresa of Avila wrote in The Life of the four waters of prayer. She was so wise. I think her description of water fits this coming Sunday’s Gospel, and she gives us each an image of who we are called to be.
With the isolation caused by Covid 19, I am sure now that I was never called to be a hermit! But I have found contemplative moments with my sisters in these disturbing times. I did learn through Vatican II that contemplation is a gift to the whole Church and that it is the body and soul of Franciscanism.
So, we will hear the Gospel and be the soil this Sunday. May the rains be gentle and soaking in our lives in this time of stress and isolation.