Today is the Feast Day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). As a Secular Carmelite, I have a great fondness for all Carmelite saints, but some more than others. I love the writings and conversion story of St. Teresa Benedicta. I pray that she intercedes for all of us today to follow Jesus.
The Gospel message today hit me in a powerful way. It began with the following from Matthew 16:24 - Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." All so not easy to do! I just want him to love me and make everything easy and good. But his message is clear - deny myself (lots that I can do in this area: time spent on computer, TV, eating chocolate in its many forms, and more), take up my cross (suffer! me! I don't do that well! But I know that what is impossible for me is possible for God!) and follow him (he is definitely worth following! I know he loves me and will love me till the end!)
Today I wanted to follow the Seasons of My Life so I made a chart for each season and then expanded on it.
January & February - harsh winter
March & April - early spring
May & June - spring turning into summer
July & August - heat of summer
September & October - early fall
November & December - fall turning into winter
My life is like the seasons - ever evolving, ever moving. I can enter into the harsh winter of depression and sadness, completely forgetting that spring is just around the corner. But it is from this darkness and cold that the appreciation for the beauty and newness of life that is spring comes! For it seems that I was blind during those harsh winter months and now I see. And what I see almost blinds me again by its newness and sparkle. And then I move into the passing of spring and the coming of summer. The newness wears off. The baby birds are growing up and flying away. The air that offered warm breezes is now getting heavier and I am not noticing so much anymore. And then comes the heat of summer. The air is heavy and difficult to breath. My thought becomes languid and sleepy. So much that happens will pass me by unnoticed, uncared for. This is a time for suffering, for trusting that God who brought life to spring, will bring life once again. Ad then we enter the early fall season that brings the crisp refreshing air that once again opens the mind and heart to the beauty of God's creation. The colors and aromas of fall open the soul's deepest longings for we see now how good the good God is. And then we enter the fall turning to winter and the colors go gray and the smells are bland but we receive a great treasure, the birthday of our redeemer who is love and his love will carry us through the seasons of our life.