A word that has gained prominence over the past months is “essential.”  We speak of essential workers: doctors, nurses, researchers for vaccines, firefighters, police, ambulance drivers, paramedics, soldiers, teachers, grocery store employees. Of course, they are undeniably essential and deserving of gratitude and admiration, as well as the last spot on the nightly news. As the pandemic drags on, more and more persons join the list, such as counselors and psychologists, truck drivers and postal workers, IT personnel and maintenance. I am grateful for all these essential persons, and I make a point to show gratitude to those who serve me in any capacity. Today when I left our local library with six DVDs and nine novels from which my community of four can choose, I said to the librarian, “Of all the essential workers, today I put librarians at the top!” She gave a grateful sigh. I had seen during my visit the dedication and pace at which the librarians were restacking and cleaning. As I walked to the car, I felt confident about a weekend in the company of book and movie characters.  Had the librarians not been at their job, the weekend would have been lonelier.

God said, “Let there be light!” and God created things that keep creating themselves from that first burst of energy. Everything and everyone is a creative continuation of God. The Trinity is Love, an energy of love, a relationship of love. Richard Rohr writes in The Sacred Dance: “God’s nature as relationship creates ours, and ours is constituted by this same bond, which is infinite openness and capacity to love.” Do you sense the relationship of everything?

Glaciers are melting, land is falling into the sea, thousands of acres are burning, hurricanes are tripling in number: this is not the creative continuation of God’s “Let there be light!” Nor is it the relationship that we are invited into. We humans must make an about-face to direct ourselves toward union with everything and everyone. We are running out of time.

We Sisters of Notre Dame are preparing for a General Chapter. Perhaps one question will be “What will be our mission and ministries in the future in order to unite our world in love?”

October sets a splendid table across the land. Orange pumpkins, checker brown fields. Green and red apples peek through leaves turning a rusty hue. Gray clouds like puffed rice predict cold nights. Startingly white full moons belie “the blue moon.” Baskets of yellow mums, like centerpieces, rivet the eye. Corn fields beckon for a-maze-ing adventure. Feast in the outdoors, and then come inside. Doughnuts, pumpkin pie, caramel apples await. Enjoy a cup of warm mulled cider. Outdoors and inside, October is the month for gourmets. Praise the Lord of the Seasons! Acclaim the bounty of creation!