I awoke this morning to brilliant orange sunlight breaking through the opening in my curtains right into my eyes.
Good morning sun, I thought. I know there is a book titled Good Night Moon … is there a morning equivalent?
Each and every day, to varying degrees depending on the weather and other sciency factors, the sun rises for everyone, everywhere.
Think about that. This same sun woke your ancestors. This same sun has shed light on good and bad alike since time began. This same sun shines on us and reminds us, to paraphrase L.L. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley, that this very day is a new fresh day without any mistakes.
We tend to focus too much on the mistakes, but the sun invites us just to shine, at least for a moment, before the clouds cast shadows and diffuse the light.
I am praying these days with a little book of meditations on the sayings of John XXIII. I happened upon this saying this morning, entirely appropriate for this train of thought (and heart).
“See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.”
The sun, like our loving God, sees it all. We see where the light shines and presume much in the shadows, at least I do. But today my prayer is that I focus on the good, give people the benefit of the doubt, and help shine the light where I can.
Today is the feast day of St. Angela Merici who died in 1540. She was a visionary woman who gathered others around her. She won approval from her Diocese for the first rule written by a woman for a community of women.
The first chapter speaks about the need to have a breadth of vision and includes this powerful quote from Angela:
‘This charge must not be a burden for you; on the contrary, you have to thank God most greatly that he has deigned to see to it that you are among those he wants to spend themselves in governing and safeguarding such a treasure [as] his own … Do not be afraid of not knowing and not being able to do what is rightly required in such a singular government. Do something. Get moving. Be confident. Risk new things. Stick with it. Get on your knees. Then be ready for big surprises.’
She wrote these words just before her death. They were written for the Company of Ursula, the small community she had gathered just five years earlier.
Given my new adventure, I have been struck by her words in a particular way, but I think they apply to so many people and situations. If we waited until we had everything figured out, then nothing would ever happen. Sometimes we have to just do something. To move. To risk. To stick with it. And to pray. And when we do, to be sure, God has even more surprises in store.
Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online. As someone who herself has been slowly growing into her own identity as a writer, I have a special affinity for that aspect of her story. I’m willing to bet that if she were alive today, she’d be using social media and blogs to spread the gospel of peace!
Since God has been pleased to give me a gift of writing,… I feel I would be ungrateful to God and undutiful to the Church if I did not use my poor efforts on the side of truth and peace.