FOR YOUR REFLECTION
Spring Openings
By Pat Pintens
(patpintens@gmail.com)

I have been walking and watching spring. I always do. As I walked and watched during this time of ‘sheltering in place’, quarantines and closed doors, closed shops and restaurants, it occurred to me that spring is so much about opening.

The ground opens to new shoots of grass, dandelions, crocuses and tulips. The buds on the trees are swollen, ready to open. The creek has broken open, free from the snow and ice that held it bound all winter. The days are opened up by more hours of sunlight.

On Easter Sunday Jesus’ disciples found his tomb open. We usually say ‘empty’, but what if we were to use ‘open’ to describe his tomb? How it was opened remains a holy mystery. Aren’t fragile shoots of grass opening a hardened earth, and tiny leaves emerging from dried looking twigs also part of a holy mystery?

I will continue to walk and watch. I will continue to wonder - as in ponder and as in stand in awe before it all. I will ask myself: What am I ‘open to’ during this time? What have I opened myself to? What am I, what are we all being invited to discover or rediscover? Are we open to the lessons of spring and the lessons of COVID-19 - whatever they may be? 

Yesterday I came across this poem   by Sara Teasdale. I found the ending a bit startling, but it left me pondering if perhaps part of the invitation from COVID-19 is to reexamine our relationship with the earth, to be more open to her wonders, and the lessons she holds for us. I encourage you, after reading her words, to take a walk, to keep your eyes and your ears open, to watch spring and to learn her lessons about opening - and closing. 

There Will Come Soft Rains”

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly; 

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.”


INVITATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES

During this time of quarantine and social distancing, it could be a chance to try new spiritual practices. Now is a great time to experiment with new forms of prayer and ways to connect with Holy Mystery.

Write a poem
Sing
Write thank you notes
Listen to a 15-minute guided meditation to end your day
Stretch
Practice Mindfulness
Do random acts of kindness
Memorize a psalm
Draw or paint a mandala
Try Lectio Divina
Click  here  for free printable mandala coloring pages
Although the Marywood Campus is closed until further notice, we remain at your service and are offering virtual programming. 

We invite you to join us for this opportunity 
for spiritual exploration. 

How to Register:
Please email gvanlishout@fspa.org and include the name of program in your subject line and then put your name and contact information in the body of the email. 
Pay by mailing a $15 check to Marywood Spirituality Center. 
3560 Hwy 51 N. Arbor Vitae, WI. 54568 

God of Holy Mystery

Wednesday, May 20th
9:30-11:30
Presenter: 
Sister Marla Lang, FSPA

Who is this living God, this Holy Mystery, who is present yet ever distant, calling forth and sustaining our spirit, our yearning, our weeping, laughing, loving, and wondering? Let us explore this Holy Mystery that is ever near, as found in the quest of seekers who have described their experiences. 

Suggested offering $15. Please contact gvanlishout@fspa.org for more information and/or to register by Tuesday, May 19.
Spiritual Directors Are Available
During this challenging time you may need to talk to a compassionate listener. Our spiritual directors are available for you and can connect via phone or other technologies.

Spiritual Direction is a safe, confidential, non-judgmental way for you to explore how the Holy Mystery is working in your life, with the help of a trained listener.

All are welcome to reach out to the Marywood Spiritual Directors and request a spiritual direction session.
 
Pat Pintens 715-453-4190
Sister Mary Ellen Green OP 715-439-9416
Sister Elizabeth Amman OP 715-614-1482 or 715-358-0176
Sister Marla Lang FSPA 715-385-2706
Rev. Grant Van Lishout 712-254-0057 gvanlishout@fspa.org

water lily

Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center engages persons seeking greater meaning in life and a deeper relationship with God, others, self and all creation by providing space for inspiration, reflection and solitude.

715-385-3750 
marywood.center@gmail.com