Season of autumn provides an opportunity for scrutiny, soul-searching and improvement
In this week’s edition of the Northwest Indiana Catholic, we have several pages devoted to fall home improvement, including those advertisers who generously support our Catholic press. While doing the edits on these pages, I began ponder how, while many of us scurry to get our homes ready for yet another winter, how many consider needed interior improvements?
By that I mean, are we taking an inventory of our spiritual selves? Are we doing anything to prepare our souls – our spirits - in the months to come? Isn’t this a good time to take our own inventory and determine how we might better grow in the Lord and our faith?
I’ve always viewed autumn as a bittersweet time. Though I will often joke that fall is God’s way of apologizing for winter, the season brings with it a great lesson on life in general. Autumn is a beautiful season that can and should be a visual reminder of, not only the way of nature, but God’s plan for us. Autumn is undeniably another step in the life process – new life, growth, death and then, joyously, rebirth. It is a grand time to reflect and pray on the never-ending miracle of the life cycle.
As eager as I am to plant my flowers in the spring, I also immensely enjoy clearing my flowers and putting my beds to sleep in the fall. Some might say it’s silly, but while I’m doing it, I say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gift of the plants and the beauty they brought into my life over the last several months.
Usually, that will lead me into a reflection on life itself; as I prepare the earth for my next growing season, how am I preparing my soul for its period of rebirth after death.
I’m always puzzled by those who believe there is no life after death. Even if one does not believe in God, does not accept that Jesus died on his cross only to arise glorious and triumphant, Wouldn’t you think that, through the example of nature itself, one would see that life, death and rebirth are a part of who and all we are.?
Even without faith, nature reveals God’s way, God’s plan. As God’s highest form of creation, why would we expect anything less than what the earth experiences? As believers, we live, we die and are most certainly reborn. Nature is one of the many ways God makes himself present and known to us; it is a way of speaking to us, teaching and assuring.
Listen to Scripture: “But now ask the beasts to teach you, the birds of the air to tell you; or speak to the earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this? In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mortal flesh.” (Job 12:7-10)
So we need to ask ourselves, what can we do during this season of autumn to improve our interior condition, to make ourselves ready for the unfolding of God’s plan to come? Let’s use this time wisely.
“Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse.” (Rom 1:20)