FCJ Sisters from the FCJ Spirituality Centre in London offered a reflection St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Finchley to mark the Season of Creation. Sr Ellen fcJ describes the day
On Saturday 23 September Sisters Margarita, Gloria and Ellen spent a lovely day at St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Finchley, North London. We were welcomed by Fr. John Dermody and his parishioners. We started the day with the parish at their daily Mass, followed by a friendly gathering cuppa and ‘getting to know you’. Margarita then led the group in a reflection on creation spiritually in which she wove the gifts of creation with the responsibilities we have of caring for it. In the midst of her talk, the group was invited to take some time outside in the beautiful courtyard taking in the gifts that creation has to offer.
Many exclaimed that they pass by the hedgerow and flowers every day on the way to Mass and they never noticed how beautiful the little flowers were!
After lunch, Gloria led the group in a prayer reflecting on the four elements. This was followed by a beautiful reflection on seeds and planting good seed in the soil of our lives. The group then had an an opportunity to plant some seeds whilst reflecting on the following poem, Garden of Your Mind:
Garden of Your Mind
What are you growing in the garden of your mind –
what do you water, nourish, feed?
Do you plant seeds of forgiveness, of love,
or do you fertilize weeds of anger resentment, fear?
What are you growing in the garden of your heart?
Do you allow sunshine to reach dark pain
in the corners of your heart –
Do you allow tears to wash it clean and nourish it
or do you put up fences to keep out the feelings?
Get on your knees, grow your own food.
decide what it is you want in your soil.
Know what you are cultivating, what you are growing –
a lot can grow in the garden of your body
if you let it seed, nourish it, allow it, watch it grow.
Ellen finished the afternoon reflecting on the readings of Sunday’s Mass from Isaiah and Matthew; pointing out that seeing with God’s eyes and living in right relationship with all of creation will help us to be more tolerant and accepting of others. Jesus’ parable of the labourers in the vineyard can be a sticky message to grasp. Keeping our eyes on the vineyard owner (Christ) will always help us to see the abundance of God’s grace in our lives. The day was drawn to a close with a prayer. All in all the participants went home with renewed spirits and with many new insights to cultivate and grow.
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