My beloved speaks to me and says: âArise my love, my fair one and come away.... The flowers appear on the earth; and the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in the land. The fig tree pots forth its figs and the vines are in blossom, they give forth fragrance. Arise my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards - for our vineyards are in blossom.
Read the Reflection
(Reference: âA Hunger for Wholenessâ by Joan Hutson)
Iâve read a little reflection on smallness and it really touched my heart, about how it applies in so many different ways in our lives. So Iâll share it with you now.
SMALLNESS, I have let you disintegrate my life in countless ways. You clutter my heart with multitudes of tiny arrows which bleed my vigour, enthusiasm, and endurance. You light upon me with such a graceful descent that I donât feel your treachery. Yet, when I have allowed enough tiny irritations to assemble, their united force is strong enough to destroy my composure.
One major misfortune does not have the same power to cripple me that many small mishaps do. The small bombardments shatter my oneness and I am so divided that it seems I cannot gather myself for defense. Each stimulus seems insignificant on its own, but I should understand by now that it always gathers close relatives to grow in power. A small envy seems to combine forces with a small greed. A small pride can combine forces with a little anger.
SMALLNESS, I canât pretend any longer that you donât matter. Rather, I must recombine you with different partners. Small envy could be combined with small detachment; small pride, I could pair you up with small humility. Then the powers can be neutralized, and not able to gather the momentum that shatters me piece by piece and peace by peace.
SMALLNESS, you can also attune me to the small things it is so easy to miss in life. You can make me aware of the tiny sparrow, or the tui, of faint cricket cheeps, of little skink tracks in the dust. You can awaken me to quiet things: to sunrises, whispering leaves, soft starlight. You can train me to a fine sensitivity for colour: the blue of the sea, the blue of the violet, the blue of my little boyâs eyes. You can tune me to sensitivity of taste: the sweetness of the honeycomb, the tartness of a pineapple or a cherry, the mellowness of the pumpkin.
But most of all, use your fine tuning to enhance my awareness of peopleâs needs. May I understand the different sounds of hurting humanity, help me to see the varying colours of suffering and the nuances of joy. Sad is sad in a thousand varying shades; happy is happy in a thousand different tones. Help me to be aware of the small differences, for only then will I have the proper word or touch for those who need my understanding. SMALLNESS, tune me to perfect pitch.
So there we have it. I found that deeply moving and helpful. Because most of the time, I think all of us feel quite small, and yet in that very smallness there is grace, and in that very smallness, we have the capacity to live as Mary, in her smallness, and at the same time, through placing our trust in God and surrendering our smallness to the Holy Spirit, we can sing âMy soul magnifies the Lordâ like a tiny magnifying glass can magnify the rays of the sun into a burning fire.
Share from these reflection starters:
Simply use these questions to guide your sharing
What strikes you most from the Scripture? What might the âlittle foxesâ refer to?
Tiny irritations can build up and destroy composure. Share from your own experience about small irritations building up and how deal with that.
Share some practical ideas on how to âcatchâ the little issues and choose to combine them with their opposite virtue to neutralise their impact. (e.g. use humility to resist envy)
How can being attentive to small things in the ordinary moments of our day, help fine tune our attentiveness to people ?
What is one thing you can take from this reflection to put into practice this month?
Charter No. 4
A Christian mother knows she is loved by God.
God gives her many personal gifts; Jesus offers His friendship and love;
and the Holy Spirit strengthens her.
â What the Spirit brings is love, joy, peace, patience , kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control.â
Concluding Prayer Time:
Our Lady of Antigua
As mothers our heart and prayer is so often for our children.
Pray for your intentions and those of your community then our final prayer is slightly amended from WYD PanamĂĄ 2019.
You may like to each share a line or say it as a group.
You call us to live our lives as a way of salvation. Help us to recall the past with gratitude, to embrace the present with courage and to build the future with hope.
Lord Jesus, our friend and brother, thank you for looking upon us with love. Let us listen to your voice as it resonates in the hearts of each one with the strength and light of the Holy Spirit.
Grant us the grace of being a Church that goes forth with vibrant faith and a youthful face to communicate the joy of the Gospel. May we help to build up the kind of society we long for, one where there is fairness and fellowship.
We pray for the Pope and the bishops; for young people; for all those who took part in World Youth Day in Panama and in the Weaving Life Marist gathering.
Our Lady of Antigua, Patroness of Panama, help us to pray and live with generosity like yours: âI am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your wordâ (Lk 1:38). Amen