Amma Sue - June 2015

posted 8 Jul 2015, 04:18 by Richard Jones   [ updated 8 Jul 2015, 04:18 ]

Dear Friends 

As I write this I am beginning to wonder whether or not we shall have a summer at all! Hopefully by the time you read this we will be enjoying the sunshine of long June days. Whatever the weather may be we shall of course be approaching the longest day, which, depending on your temperament is something to rejoice in or a marker that the countdown to winter has already begun. I remember in a previous parish being greeted by an old farmer, each mid-summer with the words “Well Vicar, t’longest day. Soon be winter.” 

The seasons of course progress whatever the weather bringing both times of celebration and times of remembrances, good and bad. During the interval between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday, at our daily offices Sister Judith and I ‘join in’ with our sister community in South sea to pray and contemplate a “Novena for Ascensiontide;” a series of nine readings, reflections and prayers for the nine days between these two great festivals. This year’s theme has been the gifts of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – Galatians 5, 22-23), and each day we have been presented with a question to ponder related to each of the fruits. For example: 

Joy – Do I experience the joy of life or is my happiness dependent on things going smoothly in my day? Peace – Do I find myself frazzled by the crashing waves of turmoil in my life? Patience – Am I easily set off when things go wrong or people irritate me? 

What has struck me most is the fact that although the fruits of the Spirit are God given blessings the fact is that we need to cultivate some new thought patterns and habits if we are going to be able to enjoy them to the full. Just like my farmer, do we concentrate on the negative at the expense of enjoying the positive? So as we approach the longest day at mid-summer let us see it as a time of rejoicing; not the superficial happiness that comes and goes but the deep down joy that is the gift of the Spirit. God’s love an anchor in the storms of life that unlike the weather and the seasons remains constant and true and a firm foundation to rest upon. 

The fruits of the Spirit, just like the fruits on the trees that are beginning to ripen during June days, need care and attention, new habits of mind that begin with the knowledge of the goodness of God and spill over to change the world.

 With every blessing

Amma Sue