It’s What Happens

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.

Pope Benedict XVI has spoken about Paschal Mystery in these terms. He says, "If we are prepared to suffer and die with Christ, day by day, His life becomes our life. It is upon this certainty that our Christian lives are built." Holy Week, 2006

REFLECTION: Take time to recall some of your favorite spots or seasons for prayer. Re-read or view the story of The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. What does the tale evoke in you? What personal images or stories come to mind? How do you identify with the words of Pope Benedict regarding Paschal Mystery? "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Psalm 139:14. Pray with Psalm 139.

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