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Autumn and the Courage to Let Go, Let God

[caption id="attachment_5732" align="alignright" width="233"] Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP[/caption] I don’t remember a September/October when I didn’t feel a resistance to the coming of Autumn, though the fall colors never cease to surprise and delight me. Though a recurring part of the changing seasons—the prospect of trees inevitably letting go of their glorious foliage, soon to be stripped down to their bare branches for winter--gives a poignancy to the fleeting beauty. Autumn Trees demonstrate to me much courage and faith: to let go, let God when Spring is nowhere in sight. Recently in a phone visit with Associate Pat Krause, as she shared about her ongoing ministry to/with her brother who suffers from dementia. For both of them it is a daily letting go.  She recalled a reflection that she had shared as an Associates’ Prayer Page in April, 2014 and how it still holds much meaning, and continues to be a source of inspiration and strength for her today. Since so many people in our lives today have a family member, friend or acquaintance with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia—and suffer with them—Pat’s reflection is relevant for all of our readers. TRANSFORMATION by Patricia Krause, OPA “Will you come and follow Me if I but call your name?  Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in Me?“ –“The Summons” by John L. Bell As I knelt there in St. Anne’s Church after Communion, these words from the song “The Summons” were being sung. Tears began to roll down my cheeks and I could hardly restrain my sobs. You see, just that week my brother who has dementia had to be placed in an Alzheimer’s Unit. As I pondered these words they appeared to be spoken to him, and I could only imagine how frightening these words could be for my brother and any person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s,  if they did not have faith and trust in God. In Alzheimer’s and dementia, one is called to a place where one does not know and never will be the same. Accepting God’s call to the unknown allows God’s love to be shown to those who care for them and love them. That person is asked to leave themselves—who they were—behind, and in doing so risk the hostile stare of others who cannot, or will not, see who they are. We must enter into their world in order to meet the person they are. The person themselves and we who love them are asked to love the person they have become. They must wrestle with the fear of who they are, and through this, reshape  the world by admitting others into this sacred space. God has called my brother and so many others on this journey and though this summons is not to anyone’s liking nor what the world would recognize as anything but folly, God has selected these precious people to be His gift to others. God and God’s love is revealed in these chosen—through our sight, sound and touch—if we are willing to see beyond what was and what now is. Now is the moment of our metanoia – A season of change; a time of forward movement. Together we rejoice in the abundance and fullness of life Which we are called to embrace and to share. Our Transformation.  Our Spring. (Ministry of the Arts) I will not die but live and declare the deeds of our God.  Ps 118:17  

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