Message from Father Rick
I remember very clearly my first October back in New England after having lived and worked in New Mexico and Colorado. It had been thirteen years since I’d witnessed the transformation of the countryside into a beautiful menagerie of color and light. I was loving it! One particularly beautiful fall day I found myself walking amidst the brilliant colors of the fall season. My mind drifted back to my students that I had left behind in Colorado and how they would love to see what I was witnessing at that moment. Colorado had the bright yellow leaves of the Aspen but none of the reds and oranges of New England. On a whim I began collecting as many different colored leaves as I could find and carry. I went down to the post office and mailed the collection of leaves, via overnight mail, to one of the schools in Colorado Springs that I had visited regularly. The leaves were a huge hit with students and staff alike and were displayed on the main bulletin board of the school. Most of the children, and some of the teachers, had never traveled to New England and were thrilled to see, for the first time, what you and I see every October.
It’s interesting how we can fail to appreciate beauty in the familiar. We don’t do it purposely – we simply take for granted the gifts we have in front of us simply because they’re ‘right in front of us’. That reality can happen in the created world, in our relationships, and even in our faith life. In all of these instances if we don’t make a concerted effort to stay focused on what is happening around us, we can end up taking it for granted, or worse, turning our backs on something that is incredibly good, beautiful, healthy and life affirming for us.
Faith is a sacred gift from God that should never be taken for granted. Let’s make a greater effort to see the beauty we have in our sacramental and relational life with God. When we get it right with God, we’ll get it right with each other.
Pope Francis wrote the following about the gift of faith:
Jesus is the door; and he knocks on our door so that we will let him cross the threshold of our lives. This means opening the doors of our hearts, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, asking him to stay with us, so that the Lord himself may bring us to the point where we understand our reasons for believing, and so that we can then go forth and proclaim him to others. Faith implies a decision to stay with the Lord, to live with him, and to share him with our brothers and sisters.
Enjoy this beautiful month everyone. May God bless you for your fidelity.
Peace and prayers,