A Reflection

Patricia Blayden sfo
26 November 1999

There has been much concentration and discussion on the Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit over the past three years leading up to the Jubilee. The faith of all Christians rest on the Trinity. We are even baptized in the name of the Trinity. The Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. I find it hard to separate Father, Son and Holy Spirit . I bless myself in the Trinity. I receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but it still comes to the Trinity. The Father sent his Son into the world to redeem us, the Holy Spirit sanctifies this offering. So we have Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is revealed in His mission in time. First we have God the Father, a god to be feared as it was an "eye for an eye" in the Old Testament. Then Jesus came through Mary, who taught us to love and with love and gentleness to care for each other. Jesus's Holy Spirit came to console and guide us, to give us a spirit of discernment and consolation after the Resurrection. The Spirit was sent to the Apostles and to the Church both by the Father in the name of the Son and by the Son in person once He had returned to the Father. The sending of the Spirit reveals in its fulness the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God said to Moses "I am who I am". In John's gospel we read "The Father and I are one" and Jesus said "I will send you my Spirit."

My faith is a simple faith. To believe. Even though this may seem childlike Jesus did say "unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." "A new commandment I give unto you: love one another as I have loved you." Through my years of growing up we just did as we were told. My father, a non catholic, had us children out of bed each morning even when the frost was two inches thick on the ground, to be ready and run up to the church for 7am Mass. When Benediction was on at 7pm on a Sunday evening we would be there. So religion was a routine. We never questioned anything; we just believed and I really think today I still believe and do not question whys and wherefors. Through the early years we were not encouraged to read the bible so what we knew of Scripture was what came from listening at Mass. I had a very special one from Matthew: Trust in providence. Not to worry about life what to eat and wear etc as He feeds the birds of the air, clothes the lilies of the fields, then it goes on to say "do not worry about to morrow, to morrow will take care of itself, each day has enough troubles of its own." Therefore we know we are not going to float on cloud nine every day as some trouble could eventuate. A consolation in Luke's version "there is no need to be afraid little flock for it has pleased the Father to give you His Kingdom." Over the later years when the family have gone their various ways my prayer is from Ezekiel which gives me great comfort. "I am going to look after my sheep myself" - then it goes on to say: "I, myself will pasture my sheep, I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and the healthy, I shall be a true shepherd to them." I have need of all of these in my family.

Then Mary has always been a backstop for me. At the foot of the cross Jesus gave Mary to us - even before He sent the Holy Spirit. He said "This is your Mother". Many times I have cried to Mary for assistance or protection. The journey of Mary's life finds expression in a song, a service and then silence as she ponders these things in her heart. So we must ponder upon life upon the word upon God's presence in the midst of life's ordinary happenings.

I came into the Franciscan fraternity after being in the Charismatic movement for a few years in Maitland. I needed a goal to help me. I have found this in the Fraternity as each one strives to be Franciscan and I love being with you all.

To me Franciscan poverty is not to be solicitous about worldly possessions, to be a servant to each other and to be obedient and to love and care. To sum, up Francis' attitude to the church is to be a servant of the church, to be willing to serve and to show God's love and respect for every creature, to honour Mary as she was the mother of Jesus. As Jesus came into the world through Mary, we can go to Jesus through Mary. So let us be caught up in the rhythm and movement as of our favourite music so that our Franciscan joy will overflow and spill out into the world. St Clare says "Behold Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, desire to be like Him. In Him all creation comes to completion. In Him we find Redemption. Then I bless myself and invoke the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen."

Contact: Jack Smith Tel: +61-2-6258 3824 Fax: +61-2-6258 3151 jacksmth@ozemail.com.au