Across the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost make them flame: silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shrivelling leaves
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves,
and sad the robins pipe at set of day.....
From October by Siegfried Sassoon
The seasons have changed a great deal
during the last few years.
We have not yet had any frost.
Leaves are still green on trees and bushes
with only delicate touches of yellow and russet.
Some bushes have produced more flowers.
Today, the 8th October, the weather is overcast.
Rain fell in the afternoon.
in dental and medical surgeries
reveal how much the world has changed
since our childhood.
Papers which were, in our young days,
mainly columns of information
now contain photographs of recent atrocities.
Respect for the private lives of others
seems also - to a large extent - to have disappeared.
Sometimes it is a relief to be older
and to remember a different past ....
I have been reading an article in the
CATHOLIC HERALD entitled
The Composer of Silence
by Nathaniel Peters.
He was writing about Arvo Paerts compositions.
A noted conductor, Paul Hillier,
described his music as sounding icons.
The significance of icons in Christian worship
lies not so much in what they depict
as in the effect they have on the viewer.
Icons are more liturgy than art.
They not only work; they also work on you.
Consider the famous depiction of Christ
from the monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai,
with half Christs face
in judgment and half in mercy.
The eye in judgment confronts its viewer ...
Our magnolia tree has,
for the first time as far as we know,
some few pods opening and revealing seeds.
A History of Magnolias
informed us that magnolias have a long history
and are among the first flowering plants
known to mankind.
Magnolias emerged before the bees existed
and their blooms were pollinated by beetles...
Is that also true in the present day?
I have only just read a prayer by Bishop Ken Unterner
of Saginaw, which he later used to mark the martyrdom of
the Blessed Oscar Romero of El Salvador.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted, knowing
that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need
We provide yeast that produces far
beyond our capacities.
...It is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lords grace to
enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but we are workers, not master builders;
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
by Paula Fairlie OSB
The tall trees are swaying as the wind buffets them
while fallen leaves fly in the currents of the strong wind.
It is now early afternoon: the hurricane has reached Chester.
Shortly after midday the sun assumed a strange appearance.
A BBC weather presenter later said that the change came through
Hurricane Ophelia dragging in tropical air and dust
from the Sahara.
Later on Brunie came out for a short walk
while I scattered food for the birds.
We did not remain outside for long...
Crows tried to balance on the branches of strong trees
but it was difficult for them to do so .....
We can only pray that fallen trees
will not injure the wildlife
or the people still walking in the streets.
The sun is shining while the wind roars.
We began reading from a book entitled
A DAY BOOK OF GRACE
a short time ago.
Todays reflection has the title
One quotation comes from John Bunyan:
In prayer it is better to have a heart without words
than words without a heart.
This was followed by a quotation from an
recounting the story of a traveller in China
who visited a temple on a feast day.
Many pilgrims gathered around a shrine.
He noticed that several of them were pulling out
strips of paper,
rolling them in mud, and tossing them at the idol.
When he asked what they were doing,
he was told that the pieces of paper were written prayers.
They believed that if the mud-wrapped paper
stuck to the idol, it would serve as a promise
that the prayer would be answered.
If it fell off, it meant the prayer was rejected.
There is no easy way to know how God would respond
to our prayers.
But would we really want there to be ?
God is listening. And if we pay attention,
we will hear him speak back,
even if our prayers are not immediately answered.