September 2017 - Lessons of Autumn
In times gone by, the season of autumn meant for man the reaping and assessing of fruits sown in the summer and the necessary preparartions for winter; it is the same for the interior life. If we were to examine our soul, what fruits would we find in our stores? Should winter come tomorrow, what account could we give before our Lord's judgement seat? Perhaps it is time for a retreat; God forbid we neglect our soul and find ourselves as the ten foolish virgins with lamps unlit at the coming of the Bridegroom!
LESSONS OF AUTUMN
September 24, 2017.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
As if unwilling to obscure these last beautiful days, autumn stealthily advances. Delicately, the trees display colors in astonishing harmonies and offer a splendid spectacle that elevates souls towards God, inviting them to celebrate His glory.
Autumn is also the season when men harvest the summer fruits and prepare their homes to face winter. But it is especially the time when other fruits are collected, more valuable in nourishing generations to follow and to protect from harsh futures.
Indeed, when in the evening of his life a man transmits his knowledge and his secrets to the generations that come after him, he then knows one of the greatest possible joys. He perpetuates himself in those who follow him and takes his place, a simple but essential link in a long chain. His task done, he lives now in a higher sphere where, released of the burden of his likes or dislikes, he is able to judge according to what is, and, even more, in the shadow of He Who Is.
Autumn is also the hour of assessment, either of a summer or of a life. However, living at a hectic pace that is neither human nor divine, we have developed the habit of racing ahead. Instinctively, we feel that this race is an avoidance of something important; but we prefer to keep going rather than to make the effort to stop and change direction or, at least, pace.
We are wrong.
Isn’t it time to stop and make a retreat? We always put it off for later, as if we were the masters of the world and time. But the seasons pass and our lamps fade. We are the foolish virgins of the Gospel. Will we be ready when the Bridegroom comes without warning? Will we neglect the divine warning for even a longer time?
Much more than the state of our storehouses, it is the state of our souls that must occupy us. Which fruits do we collect? Are we workers faithfully toiling in the Lord’s vineyard? Do we pile up treasures with Him or do we scatter our goods at the whim of our infatuations?
The time of autumn is given us to put order in our lives. Let us not delay. Eternity is at our doors; it would be disastrous to live an eternal winter because of our autumnal negligence. Let us occupy ourselves first with our souls!
And now, dear friends, allow us to bring up a completely different sort of accounting from the one we have been discussing. As often happens in September, the assessment of our finances painfully imposes itself....
Seminarians do not reside at the seminary during the summer, but are occupied with tasks of apostolate or, together with their families, restoring their strength. But our expenses remain. Actually, they are often increased, because it is when the seminarians are absent that we can undertake heavier work... expensive, of course.
Therefore, once again, we allow ourselves to knock at your doors asking for your assistance in order to help us to face winter peacefully!
May God repay your generosity with choice graces. And may He grant a beautiful autumn to all of you.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. le Roux