Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Year, a new experience

I have missed writing my article ‘Notes from the Orchard’ in the Diocesan paper Journey. Fr. Leo and I have talked for a while about the blog format for our parish website. Father likes the idea, and so here goes!
Over the 19 years of writing the piece in Journey my reflections evolved to take on the perspective of an observer sitting on the middle of an orchard. There was and is a real orchard. It is the apple orchard at the Jesuit Spirituality Centre ('Loyola House') in Guelph where I have been going on 8-day retreats for about 18 years. My interest in a ministry of Spiritual Direction was nourished there, but along the way the orchard became very special to me. It is a place to stop. To stop and look at nature. You see trees, apples, bees, groundhogs, bugs, birds, and grass, yes grass. Is it just me, or do we walk over and around things all day and not notice them? In this orchard I am able to see Creation and marvel at how it reveals the Creator, the Orchard Master. I came to view the orchard as a template for my life back home, where I also fail to see so much - mostly especially the way God reveals himself. More on that later.
Meanwhile, this is a wonderful way to return to those reflections and to voice them 'out loud', so to speak. From my perspective, the blogs will be short personal reflections on an array of topics, appearing minimally every couple of weeks, and maybe every couple of hours, depending on what is transpiring. Mostly they will follow the ‘Orchard’ pattern of spiritual reflection. At the end of the day, their purpose will be to stimulate thought, discussion, and prayer.
A very Happy and Blessed New Year.

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