|St. Clare in the Snow|
About twenty five years ago, my parents, now both deceased, gave me a picture album of old photos taken of themselves when they were first married, and then of me at various stages of my early existence. As I debated with myself whether or not to go out into the winter wonderland of today, I remembered a picture of me at about the age of 2, all bundled up and chest high in snow. My face gave every appearance of a toddler on the verge of a temper tantrum. That settled it. From the very first instant of my encounter with snow I have not liked it and now it is high time that I admit the truth. Or perhaps it is not snow in itself, but rather the fuss and bother of getting all geared up to go out and make some sort of attempt to enjoy it. One thing I do like about snow however, is its consummate beauty, especially when the sun shines to make it sparkle like a scattering of diamonds. But I can see my fill of this loveliness from the many windows of our monastery while my bones suffer not because they benefit from our heating system. Nor are these same bones in any danger of being broken from the winter activities the younger sisters are fond of pursuing. So this year, I politely decline their invitation to join them, but not at all begrudging them their fun. We each have our own gift as St. Paul reminded us in our second reading at Holy Mass today. There are gifts for enjoying as well as gifts of function. Mine is to enjoy the snow from afar and theirs to go out and play in it. It is a part of our Franciscan tradition to respect and foster the differences of persons so that community life is not a dull uniformity, but rather a pleasing harmony.
Another winter Franciscan tradition is to feed “our sisters the birds” as St. Francis Francis liked to call our feathered friends.
|Mother Abbess on her way out to the courtyard on her mission of mercy|
|Little friends enjoying their feast|