The Annals of Saint Anne Summary
May - June 2018 by Lucie Ricard
It's a bit peculiar to write about rebirth as these days, we accompany Mom in her last days with us. At the same time, I find that yes, it floats in the air sort of a perfume of rebirth. We can see the end, the end of the suffering, of the tears, of the painful moments and the more we think about it, the more we see the memories of happy days, sweet summers, magical and memorable family moments or the simple ones that painted the daily life of our childhood. And, we know that soon comes the day of her great encounter with God and we know above all that she longs for this meeting and that she has been preparing for it forever. So, despite the pain and sadness, we feel the joy of knowing that she will soon be happy, completely fulfilled. So happy, in fact, that just thinking about it makes us feel happy too. Yes, death brings a painful earthly separation but also brings a heavenly, divine presence that will never leave us.
The arrival of spring also has that same effect of "end of death and return of life in another form". As you read this issue, you will see how a foreign seminarian could not believe that life could come back after winter, his first, spent here. And what was his exuberant joy at the sight of the first buds. You will discover a book helping in how to live a meaningful life in our later days. You will read about memories, deceptions leading to new joys, stories of rebirth, renewed faith, happiness following the sadness... that's what awaits you in this hope-filled issue, filled with God in our everyday life, filled with joy and, yes, divine presence in so many things.
Happy reading and may God bless us all and allow all of us to feel his love through this new season. May His presence helps us to see life coming back through our various sorrows and trials.
Woman…His Channel of Peace
May - June 2018 by Barbara T. McElroy
Seasons of Life, Love, and Beauty
May. June. Oh, how thinking of these months encouraged me during the long, dreary weeks of winter. How I have been anticipating the coming of consistently warm, sunny days.
Where I live, Mother’s Day means that most seeds can be sown outdoors and potted plants can be dug into soil with little danger from late spring frosts and snowfalls. All winter, I thought of the time when I could begin to renew my garden.
During the past three summers, an unusual number of invasive weeds took up residence in my little piece of paradise. For three summers, I removed rather than added anything. During Year One of this gardening “plague,” I could not determine early in the growing season if the abundance of different looking green sprouts were from fallen seeds or were weeds, and I did not want to risk pulling up something that might turn out to be beautiful. So later in the season, I spent a lot of time attempting to eradicate what I finally realized were undesirable usurpers.
Year Two, in very early spring, I broke my shoulder which required surgery to repair the injury. That meant no gardening for me. So a friend, who is a professional landscaper and master gardener, and her assistant helped one day. They performed yeoman duty, even lying on the ground as they tried to remove weeds that had grown among the flowering groundcover. Alas! Weeds eventually prevailed!
Last year, when so many weeds still appeared, I decided to go beyond just “pulling up” or “digging out.” This time I shoveled deep down --- really deep down --- and lifted up huge amounts of soil along with tiny yet intricate root systems of violets plus those of the other interlopers. By late summer, I realized I had not labored in vain. Fewer weeds were sprouting! Last year I also divided many spreading perennials and removed huge quantities of old growth.
Before winter arrived, I asked the ground crew who care for the lawns in our complex to remove the small remnant of grass that remained in the middle of the garden. They also spread over my now enlarged space a deep layer of rich compost, which filled in my “craters,” too.
Can you now understand why I’m so excited about May? I’ve been planning both botanically and financially for my visits to local plant nurseries! As I write, it’s too early to see much more in the garden than the green tips of some bulbs that survived my shoveling. I’m experienced enough to know that weeds will appear. But I remain hopeful that most of my gardening time this year will consist of adding some new perennials and a few colorful annuals. Deadheading the blossoms later in the season will be pure joy for me. I won’t even mind pulling weeds --- as long as there are just the usual few!
Additional blessings this summer include special visits here with two of our sons. Usually my husband and I would be able to visit with them along with the married son’s family at my husband’s family reunion in faraway mountains. But my husband’s health prevents our attending this June.
We have six adult children. When they were young, we spent much of our time doing things as a family. But I remember how special it was when I could spend one-on-one time with just one child at a time. Today we cherish the visits with our children when they come with their families to visit, usually at least once a year. (How I wish we could see our out-of-state grandchildren --- and their parents --- more often.)
But occasionally our children come alone, without their families, for business, class reunions, or to help us. We’re looking forward to one such visit in May, the other in June.
I am so grateful to live in a climate with four seasons. It makes me appreciate the beauty and warmth of spring and summer. During these seasons, it’s impossible to ignore the glory of God and his goodness when a dormant garden comes alive again in what seems to be a miraculously short time and when children who love us gift us with their presence. For me, it’s an extension of Resurrection promise.
I pray that you, too, will find beauty and love in your lives during these months.