Have you ever been to Spain? I do not know how the season of Autumn presents itself in that beautiful country. I do know, however, how Autumn/Fall gently lands on us and makes her presence felt in Canada. I have lived in many provinces in our great land and still believe that Nova Scotia provides our souls and our senses with the richest feast of beauty!
Now, how did I begin in Spain? As I was walking around our beautiful property feasting on the blaze of color of the leaves and the sky, listening to and being touched by the breezes, hearing the water ripple in the pond, smelling the rich earth and gazing in wonder at the harvest brought about by our New Growers for our nourishment, I thought that St. Ignatius of Loyola may have had the same experience in his environment. This may have led him to develop the exercise called the Application of the Senses. This exercise is presented as the retreatant contemplates the Incarnation.
The Word of God is, of course, presented to us in Scripture; it is also spoken through human relationships and through the beauty of creation. The Word is also alive and active as we embrace the change of seasons and celebrate the action of God in the transformation of our earth, and of ourselves. The gift of our senses allows us to see, touch, taste, smell and hear this transformation taking place. It does not matter if we are in Spain, or in Antigonish, God speaks in various ways and has given us all we need to stand in awe at the sound of God’s voice. As I walk, I say with Annie Dillard who ended her book, The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek with the words “My right foot says 'Alleluia' and my left foot says 'Amen'.
- Sr. Claire MacNeil