A short time ago, I was humourously reminded that I am in the third year of my two-year term. I am now fully aware of why terms are for two years! Of course, the pandemic has made it a much more challenging extra year. I want my sisters across Canada in the same situation as I, to know I am with them and empathize with all they have had to face with the extra challenges and, nay, I say, work.
The feast of the annunciation, March 25th, gave me an excellent point of reflection as a woman. Imagine the fear, the listening, the questioning and the acceptance. Women do this every day—forge on when life presents difficult events, solve problems for themselves and their families, work through all manner of issues and ultimately say “yes” to God and their neighbour. It makes me wonder if things are the same today as in Mary’s time. God is still God, then and now.
The personal sadness of seeing the federal government adopt Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) is tempered by all the work done by invested parties. Those at Catholic Near-East Welfare Association, Catholic Missions In Canada, and Development and Peace—Caritas Canada, are also working tirelessly to help their neighbours in Canada and abroad. I have to believe the Holy Spirit will continue to assist Christians keep the faith, and continue to spread the good news.
During Lent, I have been following a 10-part video series Catholicism and the New Evangelization, moderated by Bishop Robert Barron (Los Angeles) and facilitated by my associate pastor, Fr. Peter Osbourne—a gift to myself. Mary gave birth to the Son of God, who gathered the tribes of Israel, cleared the temple, dealt with Israel’s enemies and now reigns as Lord of all the earth. Wow! I cannot imagine how much faith and strength Mary had despite all the suffering she endured. I learned and continue to learn that the cross of her Son demonstrated the victory of love over violence. Therefore, I have to be optimistic that the Holy Spirit will inspire good people to continue to evangelize in the world, as has been the case for two millennia, through thick and thin.
Because this has been a particularly taxing year on all fronts—uncomfortable measures to protect people during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving while others await their time in leadership in the League, trust in the process of moving forward—I have looked for the sunshine moments where I can. Here in New Brunswick, it has been a lovely winter with few storms. March has provided an early spring with nature allowing all kinds of outside activity that nourishes and provides therapy, while keeping the required two-metre distance, of course. I have met, virtually, so many women of faith and heard some of their stories. I have been provided names of my dear sisters who have asked for prayers for themselves and their families, and I have been blessed to be able to send greetings to beautiful women celebrating milestones in their long lives. The League has been blessed—I just need to remind myself I am part of this blessing.
In Henry IV, Part 2 the quote, “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” comes to me often this Lenten season. Jesus was more than uneasy but wore the crown of thorns anyway. The responsibility each of us bears as we wear our crowns daily, while seemingly some days too heavy, gives me pause as I know all are putting one foot ahead of the other (like the emu and the kangaroo), offering up any hardship for the glory of God.
With Easter on its way, members can patiently but joyfully reflect on the need to have the cross before the ultimate crown.
Until next time, I wish you a very Happy Easter season. God bless, and know I keep all of you in my prayers daily…