1 February 2009

Coldest Winter in Thirteen Years

Today, we have been led in a day of recollection by Fr Ron, a Jesuit at Manressa House, the novitiate in Birmingham, who prepared us for our forthcoming Lenten retreat. The Lenten retreat will also be led by the Jesuits, though, in fact, I will be on placement in Wolverhampton at this time.

As I looked out of the window during lunch, I noticed the first snows beginning to fall. Against the back drop of a lush green Lebanon cedar tree, the drifting snow was magnificent. The snow was falling in that wonderful wistful way in which it rises and falls with the air currents. The way that Hollywood film makers like to portray snow in those family Christmas movies. Immediately, I was transported back to my childhood. To the joy of playing outdoors, of dreams yet to be fulfilled and of wonder that such beauty could mask the whole world.

We read that it will be the coldest winter in thirteen years. With Britain set for heavy snowstorms coming in from Russia. The elderly, or those who are homeless, perhaps looked upon the same snow I was marvelling at, and were filled with fear and terror for the coming days. Certainly, I worry for my own family and those elderly people I know, and hope that they will be warm and safe.

I thank God for the wonder of creation; for the joy of seeing the snow, most especially when I am warm indoors, and I pray for the coming of the Kingdom, when we will care for the elderly and the homeless and those who suffer in the winter. What can I do to alleviate the suffering I see around me? How I can help bring the warmth of Christ's love to those who despair?

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