By Sister Lauretta
My message today reflects predominantly the thinking of Sister Joyce Rupp, O.S.M. Her thoughts seem so relevant as we experience the summer months and deserve to be shared. Sister is an award winning teacher and author who is also a retreat director and conference speaker. As a member of the Servite Order, she has produced both creative and practical writings, receiving four major awards during her long career as a spiritual director and religious leader world- wide.
Rupp begins one of her well-known books, The Circle of Life, with the statement, “The four seasons are wonderful inventions of the Creator” and goes on to tell us why and how we can best apply nature’s work to our personal living. Referring particularly to the summer months, I am sharing her reminders that these days bring us diversity and satisfaction, but they also bring nature’s storms and destruction. She goes on to identify the kinds of summer weather that challenge and leave damage, anxiety and concern in their wake. Most of us know these well or have experienced some of these situations. She points out that what is true of seasonal storms is also true for the storms that stir in our personal lives. These storms come unexpectedly and fiercely and can cause just as much damage as weather storms. They can bash our peace, joy and self-confidence and cause ramifications that can stay with us for years, reminding us with the scars on our heart. But, Rupp reminds us that there is also something beautiful about these storms; within them there emerges human care and concern, faithful love, compassion and understanding. Storms of life can hold the beauty of discovery and recognition of what truly counts in one’s life, of finding new courage, learning to let others enter into our heart, or identifying a hidden talent. Finally, Rupp consoles us with the message that, even the most severe weather does not last forever. So, too, with our personal storms. After our human turbulence there is an eventual return of light and peace. We need to trust reality. Peace will come again.
I have included some of the excepts from a summer prayer Sister Joyce Rupp offers us – a prayer that, hopefully, will bring that peace to our lives and to the lives of all who seek refreshment in these times of challenge.
May the summer months refresh and restore the tired places within us.
God of summer bless us with energy to enjoy each day.
May we enjoy these days of celebration and recreation.
God of summer give us enjoyment and joy.
May we seek and find spaces of peace and rest for all in our family during these summer months.
God of summer give us rest and a sense of peace.
May the beauty of God’s creation keep us filled with new life and hopeful energy each day.
God of summer keep us alive in your love.
Joyce Rupp concludes her thoughts on summer with this beautiful reflection: Like every season, summer will come and go and life will go on. “But…the joy of summer will return again to our hearts when it is time, for every season’s entrance and departure is part of the ever-turning circle of life.” Let’s make the most of this more relaxing and enjoyable season while it is with us!