#Snacks

Overtures of Autumn

“Rejoice because your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:18

I’m not a biblical scholar, but I’ve always visualized it was autumn when Jesus sent ou.t his first disciples. The message was leave everything behind, bring nothing except the sandals on your feet. Shake off the dust of evil. The end of summer ushers in a new cycle. We once again hear the call of the Holy Spirit, urging us to leave our burdens behind and move forward. Leave the things we don’t need in life like fear and resistance to change.  Stop avoiding problems. Take that adventurous vacation and find peace. Shake the dust off your heart and “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” With the arrival of the fall season, we are given a chance to break free and leave the unnecessary things behind. We can endure the turbulent times of our generation because it’s heaven we’re bound for. It’s where our names are already written. Today’s anxieties will become a speck of dust loosed from our sandals.

by Diego

 

Wisdom Takes Time

A lot of unfortunate events have happened recently that have sent our country into a deep grief. This month’s theme, “The Wonders of Autumn,” makes us ponder those whose lives are so hard that to dwell upon such sweet spiritual ideas is untenable; and for those whose lives have been cut short and will never have the opportunity to grow old like ourselves. Wisdom takes time and experience to sink into the soul. While many of us have the grace and facility to ponder the beauty of the natural life cycle, do our brothers and sisters suffer because somehow we are not more empathetic?  Have we lost Jesus’ core message to pay attention and take care of the poor?  Until the Christ of the gospel shows up in the polling booths and out on the street, the cycle of life and death may only hold meaning for folks like us, the privileged few, while the rest of the world suffers, sometimes at our own hands. Yet all of us must go on, holding the tension, recovering the natural wonder of each moment.

by Andrew and DC

Autumn Sunsets

One of the most beautiful blessings of where we live are the amazing sunsets that God gifts to us every day. With the changing of the seasons, there is also a change in the sky’s color palette:  blazing red and orange turn into softer shades of pink and gold. Each is equally beautiful. This is sort of how life is. In our prime, we are all red and orange and ready to go, but when we begin the autumn of our years we tend to become more subtle. David Jeremiah writes “The autumn of life is a strange mixture of nostalgia, blessings, and potential. It yields the harvest of seeds we’ve sown throughout life and braces us for colder days to come.” How very true. While the enthusiasm and energy of our first few decades may wind down we still have many blessings to count and many opportunities to continue God’s work here on earth.

by JAM

The Paschal Mystery

Autumn, for me, starts one morning when my bare feet are surprised by a pleasant nip of coldness from the concrete patio. The air is crisp and clean. After the passions of spring and summer; unfolding leaves, and kaleidoscopes of colorful fruits and flowers, nature seems to be winding down. Foliage is thinning on trees. Branches are becoming bare. But there is one magnificent creature at the hight of her glory: Araneus diadematus, the Cross Orbweaver. In spring the newly hatched spiders are tiny and build miniature versions of the orb web. This time of year their gold and brown abdomens are large, plump and sometimes decorated with a white cross. The span of graceful legs is inches in diameter. I spotted a big one in the park recently. My heart swelled with gratitude, wonder, and a little sadness. Soon she will lay her eggs and die. In spring the cycle begins anew. This is the Pascal Mystery. All things must pass away to be resurrected in glory.

by Nathaniel

Question for All Seasons

For me, the energy of autumn has always represented the changing out of the old and making way for the new, which leads to the pondering of something eternal. Recently, a friend called to say she was incredibly inspired by a homily given by a priest speaking during a mass at the Caruso Center at USC. After spending several years in Calcutta serving the poor with St. Mother Teresa, he was sure this work was his calling and asked if he could stay and permanently. But when she asked him if he would give up his American passport in order to stay, he realized that he couldn’t do that. Mother Teresa replied, “Then, this is not your Calcutta. Go back to the US and find your ‘Calcutta’.” I am inspired by this question. How can I serve God and how am I already serving God in a way that administers to the immediate needs of others?”

by Gracie

The Dance

Autumn has arrived. Maybe not exactly in piles of colored leaves but in the few leaves that dance with abandon in the morning sunlight. They dance because they hear the music of nature calling them. I hear the Lord calling me this day, to join him in this dance of life. Can I allow him to lead and surrender all to the one who knows all the steps? Today, I think about what C.S. Lewis called: “a kind of dance,” the dance in the heart of God: the dance at the heart of the universe, the great dance to which each one of us is invited in the Lord Jesus Christ. He continues to say, “Each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made.” I like to think of it as simply twirling daily in the grace of God.

by Cathy

Reluctant Welcome

Nature brings me into the

transition of newness.

The birds that have left the nest,

the leaves feel the turn of fall coming,

Waking up to the sun that has moved in the sky.

The crisp air creating goosebumps on my sun-kissed skin.

Turning the page to autumn

feels like a start to a hibernation,

to let go of carefree summer days,

to reflect on life as it is right now

coming to newness,

embracing the next phase.

Aging parents,

adulthood for kids,

aching back,

God’s way of renewing the soul

to hold the many new passages of life

I reluctantly welcome.

by Liz

A Shift Inside

Something about fall has always made me feel more like the beginning of a new year than January. The calendar is set for the coming year and opportunities abound. Nature’s response to the fresh, crisp breeze moves me to seize this beautiful, new start. As the season shifts, I feel something inside me shift, too. Light-hearted summer is over and autumn awakens my thoughtful side. These new opportunities require me to open my heart and trust in the journey. Like a tree shedding leaves, I must allow all doubt, insecurity, anger, and anxiety to fall away. I become a bare tree, exposed to the elements, open to the warmth of the sun and the hostility of the storm. Nevertheless, I am ready and prepared for re-birth and growth. I trust you, God. Teach me to blossom.

by CMM