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Up From the Earth

            Lately I have been pondering the Paschal Mystery that we participate in during our personal lives. What strikes me particularly this season is the passing from death and darkness to life and hope, and even the presence of hope during times of trial. The new beds of bright, shining crocuses and other bulb greens in our backyard pushing up from the dark, sleeping earth seem analogous to me of our own spiritual experience of the Paschal Mystery.

            Our winter here in Alton has been unique this year, fluctuating between cold and warm spells, complete with December flooding and winter snowstorms. The result is that daffodils and even summer bulbs are already rising up from their dark winter sleep to pierce the wet earth and greet the sun. Many of us Sisters have marveled on the beauty of the glowing yellow-orange crocuses that have emerged from their beds of dead leaves and wet soil. They make me smile and remember that life and hope can spring from death and darkness in our own lives, just as these little tendrils and delicate flowers do. 

What are the situations in our lives that move us to draw closer to God in suffering or darkness? These times call for our acts of faith, hope, and trust in Him – in a loving God who desires the best for us in His Will. Thus, even in times of “drought,” as we read about in the Readings for Thursday of the Second Week of Lent, if we feel like a “barren bush,” but trust in the Lord, we can stretch out our “roots” to Him and find strength and grace (Jer. 17:6-8). God and His promises are trustworthy; He will bring us safely from the Passion to the Resurrection. Then we will blossom and flourish like new growth from the winter ground, pushing up through the bracken of our trials to meet the sunlight of His Love and Grace.

- Sister M. Christiana, FSGM


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