Fall is such a beautiful transition from summer to winter. It eases us into our winter wonderland from busy summer activities. The Fall sights and sounds can bring peacefulness to many.
How can nature have such an effect? Trees, grass, raindrops can’t think or reflect on what they are doing. Is the peacefulness we can feel not from nature, but our willingness to quiet our minds? Hearing leaves crunch under our feet, do we feel safe to pause and allow the Holy Spirit to move us?
Our mood or frame of mind sets the tone for what we see. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” I take this to mean that frame of mind dictates what we see. You might say a walk in the woods is calming. I would ask, what were you looking for when you went on that walk? Before you set your first footstep on that path, you prepared yourself for calmness. In daily life, what you see around you will be off “the color of your spirit” so to speak. Putting it another way, “color” is your bias or perspective on how you see the world and each individual.
We build perspective from events that happen to us and our particular character. No one can see or feel all the things we've felt and lived. We each bring uniqueness to the world. We're sent to use our uniqueness as the hands and feet of Christ. Our personal perspective isn't a yardstick to judge others.
What do we see when we look at others? For example, do you see teenagers just as kids with smart phones? Are parents just someone who makes demands? What about a homeless person, or immigrant. Do we see them as the priceless treasures that God does?
Unfortunately society tends to look for what is wrong with other people. Very often whole groups of people are labeled with one brush stroke. That doesn’t help the body of Christ.
Pope Francis states, “Too often, even Catholics do not understand that to belong to Jesus the Head means to belong to His Body, the Church". That belonging is meant to be a lived, relational, transforming reality.”
We show God’s love when we use our personal character to help others, not judge, others. The unique color of our spirit should illuminate the body of Christ here on earth. Actions begin with a personal choice. What color do we see when we look out into the world. Do we see from our particular viewpoint or “color of shades”? Or do we allow ourselves to look at it through the brightness of the Son?
On a personal note: I want to thank the parishioners of St. Peter and St. Paul’s. You have been so warm and welcoming to Theresa and me in my first year plus here. I have also heard from many visiting friends how warm and spiritual their experience is when coming to Mass. I thank God for my journey here. You most certainly are a gift from God to our community in so many ways. I am very humbled to be on a faith journey with you.