A Happy and Blessed New Year to each of you!
As I settled down to write this brief introduction to our Newsletter, I was attentive to what came into my soul as I pondered on the reality we have lived and are living. The following quotes came: "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19) and "All changed, changed utterly…" (from Easter, 1916 by W.B. Yeats).
The past year has been a challenge for each of us. We have lived through and are still living in unprecedented times. Who of us thought this time last year that our journey in faith would be tested in so many ways? It is the virtue of hope which can carry us through 2021.
It helps me to pray with the Isaiah passage in one hand and marvel at nature, God’s creation in the other. God is doing a new thing with every sunrise and with every life form with which we are gifted. The sun is becoming stronger and, despite everything, I believe that God is doing something new and leading us through the wilderness of Covid-19. Who ever thought we would have a vaccine in such a short time? Have we ever experienced such a deep sense of unity for all humanity, even if it is our being consciously united in suffering a pandemic with all its restrictions?
Things have changed and they will continue to change; we are invited to be present in faith, to the ongoing presence and activity of God in our midst as we embrace the “new normal” with hope in our hearts. I am grateful to Emily Dickinson for her poem “HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS":
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
May we be attentive to the new thing God is doing in our midst, and may we be as hope filled as the “thing with feathers”!
~Sr. Claire Mac Neil