Autumn Reflection - 1st October 2023


I am writing as we move once more into the golden days of autumn, days of fruitfulness and a time to bring in the harvest. My mind turns to our sister Mary Cuthbert who died on 30th July, a death in the fulness of time at the age of 90. It was a peaceful and beautiful death with three of us and also her brother and sister-in-law present with her in hospital. Just three weeks previously several of us celebrated her 90th birthday with her at her care home. She was in good form and enjoyed the party – a lovely memory for us to hold. A golden autumnal light suffuses my memory of her passing as her life found its fulfilment in Christ.

So much in our culture tries to deny death but without death and decay new life cannot arise. Continual economic growth has become an idol even as it threatens to destroy the earth that provides our home. We need to be able to embrace natural cycles of growth and diminishment and to live within the rhythms of our biology.

Our spiritual life reflects these natural patterns. As Jesus said, seeds have to drop into the ground and ‘die’ in order to germinate and grow. He was speaking of his own death but also the death that each one of us must die even as we continue to live this life. In our prayer we die daily as we let go our own thoughts and open our hearts and minds to God. What has to be let go is different for each one of us, and will change as we move through life. In the end all is let go as we embrace our physical death. That daily letting go brings us into a place of freedom to live life to the full in the present without fear of the future. As the singer Kris Kristofferson put it: ‘Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose’.

Mother Anne - 1st October 2023