November, the Month of Change

How did we move so quickly, it seems, into the month of November. Halloween has passed us by. This month of November has always been special to me. We have so many special feast days such as All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We ponder this change into the new life of which these two feasts remind us. We ponder the loved ones in our life and the change their passing on has brought us. We rejoice in their love and trust in their unwavering caring. And we ponder our own changes.

Peace…comes within the souls of humanity when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells WakanTanka (God), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”

Black Elk
Oglala Sioux

The trees have changed, for some, the leaves hang on.  Some leaves are  radiant colors of gold and red,  others brown, earth color shows their change. Other leaves form a blanket beneath the strong branches from which they came. We have much to learn from the spring, summer, fall , winter and then again spring seasons of leaves. They bud forth, grow, mature surrender and then provide nourishment, new life for the soil. We can resonate with these changes, changes of the seasons of our life. Are we willing to radiate the joy, the love, the dazzling colors of life and perhaps the more subdued but ever rich earth tones of life? Are we willing to let go of control and dance in the winds of life, eventually becoming that nurturing blanket at the very roots of our existence? Are we willing to be transformed so as to nurture and bring forth new life in unknown ways?

Yes, November invites us to take some time and reflect upon change. To what are we being invited? Is there anticipation in you, is there delight, is there fear, is there willingness to risk the unknown for the sake of life, for the sake of love?

November also brings us Thanksgiving. What a time of delight for many, a time of melancholy for some.

Gratitude can bring about change. Being intentionally grateful these days can open our hearts to healing of hurts, to renewal of friendships, to caring for others, especially those most in need.

Spend some time these days with the gift of gratitude and see what change it may call forth in you.

As November moves us from Autumn into the “Holiday Season” I invite you to consider what change do you hope to make in your entering into this sacred season of celebration. Perhaps you would like to look for simplicity. Perhaps you would like to be more aware of others, those beyond your closest circle of friends. Perhaps you would like to place Advent, a time of waiting and anticipation and preparation , a time of quiet prayer, place Advent back into your life.

Here at Nazareth Retreat Center we are surrounded by so many trees and are constantly reminded by them to ponder change. We are blest with the quiet space for reflection and meditation and we can walk in the midst of the crunch of leaves. And we know we are blessed.

We invite you to come and join us in whatever way you can. You are always welcome at Nazareth. Come walk with us amid the crunch of leaves and the colors of trees. You may want just a few days of what we call “Time Apart” to get back in touch with yourself and your God, to simply rest. You may want a companion to walk with you, a Spiritual Guide, to help you listen to your inner invitations to a deeper and richer life. You may want to join us for Mass or Taize Prayer.

We invite you to come to our Advent Retreat on the weekend of December 7 – 9.

We are so grateful to have Dr. Dianne Bergant, CSA present our Advent Retreat, starting on December 7. Dianne is a nationally known scripture and author as well as a dynamic speaker who will lead us to the voice of scripture as our guide through Advent.

Our prayer is that you may walk with gratitude and grace during this month of November, open to change, trusting in grace.

Sharon Gray, SCN
Nazareth Retreat Center

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Ps 98

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