Last weekend a number of "Salesian Scholars" held a seminar on St Francis de Sales and the spirituality that has developed over the centuries in response to his message. We met where we usually do, at Stella Niagara, a bit up the river from Niagara Falls. Here God provides a spectacular display almost every morning; a living sunrise: orange and salmon colored mostly, a little pink, shifting patterns and shapes and tones, then swaths of smoky shades,lavender and gray. Inside the Womb of God and so very beautiful. To think of waking up each morning to that view.
To wake to the beauty of the Lord. Hundreds of thousands of young people, children, the ancient, the sick, the refugees, the victims of war and oppression all wake to a similar dawning. If you look only at the sky, it's the same firmament. In the Mid East, Africa, Haiti, all the many places on the earth--the colors are the same. The difference lies in the fact that natural beauty can hold different meaning to those whose experience is different. The oranges and salmons, the color of fire, the red is the red of real blood, and drifting across at the day's full dawning, the gray of smoke, the black of violence, the absence of light.
Francis de Sales and his friends lived in tumultuous times. Warfare was constant; cities and regions changed hands frequently. Let us pray together, as he taught us, binding our souls to those who are suffering, and remembering always that our bond is the bond of love.
Sr. Mada-anne Gell, VHM