Divine Design

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Divine Design

By: Sister Linda Wiggins

Autumn splendor stops the heart with its fullness of color,
blaze of presence, demand of attention, and splashing of
beauty at the breath of a gentle wind. Crisp blue skies, cool
mornings that produce exquisite afternoons, and evenings
with fire-evoking memories. Musky, earthy fragrances
waffle through wood and countryside. Bustling energy
culminates with the family cat curled up on a lap and hot
apple cider warming all (except the cat) before bedtime.
Autumn brings such generosity with its “letting go” of such
finery which, in turn, trigger sighs of gratitude from us
because it came into our lives once more, even though its
time passes quickly. Here lies the true teaching of autumn.
All life is impermanent. Life has its time of fullness, but
always death will follow on “extended wing.”

Poet Wallace Stevens wrote his elegant poem “Sunday
Morning” about this impermanence and observed,

Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams
And our desires.

Death creates impermanence, and this impermanence
creates meaning because we love more fully that which will
leave us. Rarity makes a person or a commodity far more
valuable. When we experience the pain of loss of a loved
one, a relationship, a beloved pet, we understand how all
is impermanent and must be loved dearly for as long as it
is with us. Otherwise, all is meaningless, Coming to terms
with the inevitable reality of death gives real meaning to
life, Shakespeare’s sonnet 73 carries the same message:
“… To love that well which thou must leave ere long.”

The autumn equinox brings a day when we experience
twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. The
transformative changes autumn brings serves to remind
us of how precious this time is. For soon,
the bleakness of winter will come with its icy beauty
and colorless days. We always need to see the checks
and balances on the earth, for they are the patterns of all
life. Light would not be appreciated if we did not have
darkness and vice-versa. Impermanence is a great gift
from God. Without it, no transformative growth would
be possible. What is permanent is the changing cycle of
life and death. Thank God for such great love he makes
visible on our earth.

Especially autumn splendor.

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“Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict