Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

The Autumn of My Life

October 1, 2012    


As the fall colors begin to paint the landscapes of our lives, our own memories begin to surface of the people who have walked with us on our journey in this lifetime. We have the saints and angels all around us, we have friends and relatives in heaven, and we may be gifted with the friends who still continue to accompany us as our feet brush through the fallen autumn leaves.


Our Community of Benedictine Sisters had the fortuitous opportunity to experience a workshop for the past two and a half days on Meeting God in Times of Transition. Our facilitators included: Sr. Ann Billard, O.L.M.; Sr. Mary Hopkins, O.P.; Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, M.M.; and Br. Mark Knightly, C.S.C.. This cohesive team led us in sessions that were filled with varied tools that could aid us in going within ourselves, finding layers of shaded leaves that only time could display, and imagining our loved one’s faces on each leaf. It truly was the appropriate season to leaf through the past pages of our earthly mortality.


We were able to view a DVD entitled, “Grief Has Its Seasons” where it gave us quotes i.e.


“The long sobs of violins in autumn pierce my heart,”

“He, who lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.”


We learned through this process how to let go of past pains, throbbing hurts, and people who have meant so much in our lives. The media tool that best portrayed our feelings and emotions was the DVD that gave us vivid colorful photography of flowers, leaves and trees in their four seasons. The memory of relationships in our lives was so beautifully exhibited as, for example, two tulips: one so full of life and another tulip leaning or drooping next to the other; showing us how we have life and death before us daily. Our prayer, meditation, and photographs bring (heart’s pearls), our tears before us as we release the pain that we carry for a short time or for decades in our hearts. When we go within ourselves to a place where we can only see, we, along with God, have the ability to release their spirits and let them ascend like butterflies to the heights of the stars. Now we can breathe more easily. More quotes that stand out in my mind are these:


“Now that you live here in my chest, anywhere I go is a mountain top,”

“They can walk inside me; they can finally come to live inside of me as pure love,”

“Life: you and I are at peace.”


The team gave us an African proverb: “When a person dies, a complete library burns to the ground.” This is so true because our minds, bodies, and spirits contain so many stories that give us our heritage. Sometimes when our grandparents/parents tell us a story, we may not be fully attentive to it and miss it. When they pass away, the stories go with them. A very important tool is keeping a family storybook for generations to come; write them down.


So as the leaves shower the ground with their many autumn shades, remember your loved ones with fond thoughts and smile knowing that their spirits are everywhere around us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

My song du jour is: “We Remember.”  By Marty Haugen

We remember how you loved us to Your death,

And still we celebrate for You are with us here.

And we believe that we will see You when you come in your glory, Lord.

We remember, we celebrate, we believe! 


 “In all things, God may be glorified.”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, O.S.B.

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