It's been an unusually dry season so far. Yet, the bougainvillea plant blooms and it's brilliant flowers delighted all who came here for retreat. In addition, the trees are shedding their leaves and I have managed to resist raking them all up. Those I do rake, I compost. It has been fun over the years watching this apparent waste turn into nutrient rich earth. A deeper reflection makes me think that there is nothing too dry for God and God can take apparent nothingness and transform it into something good and beautiful and useful.
The retreat house has hosted many groups this lent. Special among them for me were the students. For morning prayer I took them around the garden stopping at various 'stations' to reflect and pray with different aspects of nature - the bougainvillea, the trees, the dry leaves, the compost, the water, the vegetables. The idea being to make them more aware of the need to be grateful, to reverence and care for earth and to show them practical ways of doing so. As I listened to them pray at the various stations I knew they heard and appreciated this way of the cross with nature.
Finally I took the opportunity to be retreated myself by attending our week long parish retreat. The theme was on mercy and the Director, a Redemptorist Father gave us this definition which left me with much food for thought: "Mercy is treating someone better than they deserve."
Where have your Lenten musings led you this year?
Gail Jagroop, OP
St. Joseph, Trinidad