Awesome wonder

During this summer, I had the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls. This is a place that I had visited with my family when I was about 7 years old, and it left a deep impression on me. I have always wanted to return.

When I first rounded a turn in the street and caught a glimpse of those Falls, my heart just filled up with wonder and the beauty of the Falls really brought tears to my eyes.

Here, this is why: This is what I saw….

I stayed in that area for about 3 ½ days, walking down paths where there are rapids, and, even venturing out to the surrounding area of Lake Ontario where there is charming town surrounded by lush vineyards which produce Canadian wines.

It was an incredibly relaxing time, and the change in scenery and climate gave me some much need time to think deeply and to ask “What is it that God is calling me to? What needs my attention–my focus and the best of myself at Sacred Heart?”

Something that being near the Falls gave me in terms of priorities for the year was an insight into abundance.

Looking at the Falls, it is impossible not to have a sense of the enormous BEAUTY of the world. Beauty has always been a portal into God’s nature for me—as it was for the Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat.

Being close to this water, it is simply impossible not to be overwhelmed with a sense of God’s abundant nature—the abundance of beauty in the water –and how this generous love of God can flow through us into the world.

I wonder…

• Am I looking at the world from perspective of scarcity or abundance?
• Am I ready to give out of a sense of my abundant blessings, as the Widow who gave her last coin?

Feeling blessed and so loved, it is natural to want to share this with others.  I realize through these kinds of experiences, I truly become what I receive.



A Garden of Gardenia

“In all things of nature there is something marvelous.” (Aristotle)

The windows blinds opened this morning to a marvelous sight: a gardenia bush in my garden was full of flowers. Sweet delight. Enough flowers to make any gardener dizzy and any house no longer in need of air freshener for weeks. Not that I use that fabricated chemically concocted stuff. I don’t. A Southern home loves a good sprig of gardenia to remind itself about who it is, where it comes from and what’s important.

Gardenia are not only fragrant, they evoke powerful feelings and memories. My memory this morning was of my Mom who recently called me with the news that the gardenia bush I had given her was finally blooming. She said she cried when she saw it in bloom. I asked, “Why?” She said that her special Aunt Gertie loved gardenia and when she saw them in bloom she heard her Aunt Gertie tell her how much she loved her. Memories mediating God. A blessing, indeed.

Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.” (Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden)