(From A Reflection on Autumn Days by Joyce Rupp)
The season of Autumn arrived with its last burst of colors and its days of early falling darkness. Autumn is a natural season of transition. I believe it highlights a persistent message from God, to us, about life and change. I read recently, “Reflection on Autumn Days” by Joyce Rupp. The reflection expresses this persistent message about change in these words, “In the deepest part of who we are, there is always a call to continue our transformation process. We are Autumn people. We are always called to be in the process of growing and changing.”
While these are words of truth for everyone, they are prophetic words for those living in religious life today. They are prophetic words for those in the initial stages of formation, as well as those in the process of discerning a religious vocation. We are continually called to be open to God’s spirit of transformation.
Joyce Rupp’s autumn reflection led me to think about my own need for continuing transformation. It reminded me that openness to God’s call to ongoing transformation is essential to living religious life and to formation ministry. In fact, religious life in the 21st century is undergoing a time of great transition. We have learned during these years of rapid change, that our openness to “the process of growing and changing” is crucial to remaining viable and relevant as we move into the future. One of the most important qualities that a person must bring to the formation process is openness to God’s slow and sometimes challenging work of transformation.
In addition to being open to the process of change, recognizing the times when we are called to “let go” is also part of the transition process. I have learned that those times of “letting go” in my life have also been times of great personal growth.
“We are autumn people,” and autumn seems to naturally invite us to reflection. As you experience these beautiful days of autumn, I invite you to indulge in your own self- reflection. You may want to use Joyce Rupp’s autumn reflection as I did. You may also want to use another poem or writing that speaks to you. I invite you to sit with such questions as:
What changes might God be asking of you?
What are you being invited to let go of?
Where are you being invited to grow?
More importantly, what is your level of openness to self-reflection on any of these questions?
If your reflection leads you to feel God is inviting you to consider becoming a Sister, I invite you to give us a call.