Sunday, April 24, 2016

This Week in Madonna House - April 17-23

Well, this week in Madonna House was a fairly quiet and ordinary one from what I could tell. To be honest, I was so busy in my own corner of things, catching up from my time away out West that marching bands could have been passing through the dining room daily and I might not have noticed it.

The sugar bush has ended for the year, the warmer weather finally bringing in something that resembles spring, more or less. And so the men who manage this operation have pulled the taps and buckets from the trees and are now in the process of cleaning everything—taps, buckets, barrels, lines—finishing up the final syrup making and bottling everything, and then putting it all away for the year.

All of which needs to happen because with spring of course comes the great push in the farm and in the gardens. In the gardens there is a great raking going on to clean up the ground for the new growth. The farm is just beginning the field work, and the vegetable gardens have begun the greenhouse planting (it is, of course, still far too cold at night for anything outdoors).

The lambing season ended with some unexpected late lambs born this week. I did not hear a final count on that. Speaking of the farm, while it is my firm policy on the blog not to mention names of my MH brothers and sisters, a number of transfers were announced this week involving it, and there is a whole shifting around in the MH laymen’s department as a result of those moves. The particular men who have worked on our farm have been doing that service in the family for many, many years, and it is good to see some new blood coming in to take on that vital work.

The MH women, meanwhile, had an afternoon of reflection this week, an unusual event for them. All of the community is in a real time of transition these days, with the change in our leadership having a ripple effect in the lives of many of the staff, and so it was good for them to come together and reflect on the essence of our life while going through the changes that are the business of the day.

For our post-lunch spiritual reading in this year of mercy, the community has been reading my book Going Home, on the parable of the prodigal son. I ran across this very fine article, though, on the problems of technology and the spiritual ramifications of those problems, and we spent two very good days reading and discussing it.

Well, I hardly know what else to say. We are awaiting the arrival of all the local directors of our various mission houses and will be beginning our annual meetings shortly. I am quite certain that there is work going on in all corners of the house, much of it concerning spring and the change of seasons, that I am blissfully unaware of. I myself am basically spending my days going from person to person, my many directees, to pick up the threads of spiritual direction after being away for ten days.

And in all of it, know that we are striving to love God and neighbor, and offer our lives through, with, and in Jesus to the Father as an oblation of love for the world.

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