This week has been pretty bittersweet. Gathering with members of our Ignatian family out in Moree was a great experience, but the parching drought that is making life in the country so hard on our farming families is hard to imagine; it has to be seen. (We are mobilising some of our community to try to support those out on the land who are struggling in these tough times. Stay tuned for more details soon.) The return of Father Tom Renshaw, SJ (OR1990) to preach and preside at our patronal feast of Saint Ignatius’ Loyola, followed by a day of service in various locations by our community members is always a joy. But I had the unwanted task of presiding at the funeral of a young man I taught at Saint Aloysius’ College immediately following our own celebration. I’ve watched Year 12 artists and artisans prepare their art and woodwork for marking for the HSC as we enter the season where another group of young men prepare to leave the College and apply what they’ve discovered about themselves to a big world that needs them. All of these things mirror our communal life; great joys and accomplishments, hard times and challenges which we don’t always feel prepared to face. But as long as we do these things together, we’ll be alright. And that’s something this community does exceptionally well. We travel together.
THIS WEEK’S REFLECTION
I was out in the country last weekend and the farmers in many parts of New South Wales are locked in a bitter drought. Fields are barren and cracked, animals are dying and being slaughtered because there is no feed left for them. It’s a very hard moment in a very hard life. It will rain again, but likely not before a lot of people lose their livelihoods and properties. It’s important to remember that even in the midst of terrible times, there can be beauty if we search for it.
What got you through a time of dryness? Can you be grateful for it? Can you send a thought or prayer for relief for people who are suffering right now?