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Our trees don't usually wear colorful Fall dresses. You see, I live in the South and decorate the chapel or dining room table with orange, yellow and red leaves from the Dollar Store. Year after year I am amazed by the beautiful photographs of autumn foliage from the Chautauqua and Allegheny Country of Pennsylvania and New York or the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Having ministered in the Pacific Northwest I've been to the western side of the Cascade mountains and I've seen with my own eyes the Columbia River Gorge with its scenic beauty.

Fall of Freddie the Leaf book coverAnnually, I am made aware of the life cycle of leaves and jolted into cherishing the delicate balance of life and death in all human existence. I am reminded of a book The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia in 1982. What an inspiring allegory! Originally touted as a book for children "to explain death," anyone who has read it knows the offerings in the tale are ageless and timeless. It is warm hearted read and quite thought provoking as we listen in to the conversations of Freddie and his companions over the seasons - embracing death and ultimately new life.

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by Emily Dickinson 

Bee on yellow flowersSome rainbow coming from the fair!
Some vision of the world Cashmere
I confidently see!
Or else a peacock's purple train,
Feather by feather, on the plain
Fritters itself away!

The dreamy butterflies bestir,
Lethargic pools resume the whir
Of last year's sundered tune.
From some old fortress on the sun
Baronial bees march, one by one,
In murmuring platoon!

The robins stand as thick to-day
As flakes of snow stood yesterday,
On fence and roof and twig.
The orchis binds her feather on
For her old lover, Don the Sun
Revisiting the bog!

Without commander, countless, still,
The regiment of wood and hill
In bright detachment stand.
Behold! Whose multitudes are these?
The children of whose turbaned seas,
Or what Circassian land?

REFLECTION: What comforts or challenges you in this poem by Emily Dickinson? Let it move you to be more attentive this summer.  Really notice more around you when outdoors: sitting, walking or riding. During night prayer, take time to reflect on the beauty of creation. Perhaps write your own poem or journal a few thoughts in praise of God’s marvelous creation. "O Lord,  how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens." (Ps. 8:1)

Photo by Sr. Judith Gomila, MSC taken during Way of the Cross - Way of Justice.

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Blue Dove for PentecostBreathe in me, O Holy Spirit

that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me, O Holy Spirit

that my works, too, may be holy;

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit

that I love but what is holy;

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit

to defend that is holy;

Guard me then, O Holy Spirit

that I always may be holy.

St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)

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