August 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The summer is hot...and humid this year. There are some of us who love this kind of weather. I am not one of them, but, as in everything, there is hope. The weather eventually will change. Everything changes. All the time. I am looking forward to "the change" from summer to autumn and in the meantime I am trying with all my might to remain mindful and grateful to God for the summer. The autumn will come when the autumn comes and not before.

In this is a spiritual principal that keeps things real. Everything is impermanent. All that our senses perceive is changing and on its way out. Here are some beautiful reminders of this truth from varied sources.

The Bible (Psalm 39:4-6)
Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, the number of my days is small like the size of a hand.

Zen, the poet Shoetsu
Frailer than the thread, the spider hangs suspended, the autumn twilight, along a distant web of cloud, a passing wind upon the reeds.

Native American elder Crowfoot
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

Wise people from all traditions realize the impermanence oflife and celebrate it with poetry and liturgy and ritual and sacred writings. The key is to see it and embrace it with openness, with thanksgiving, and yes, with joy which, as David Steindl-Ross writes, is "that kind of happiness that doesn't depend on what happens." God is good. He is with us as the one unchanging Reality. On this we can rely.

Have a wonderful summer!

With love,
+ Fr. Antony