Uplift Spring 2021
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Springtime Reflection

As we greet another new season, what is in store for us? What gifts does God plan to bestow?

Just as the caterpillar goes through a transformation process, how eager are we to open ourselves to be transformed by God's unconditional love? Springtime is a season of hope and resurrection. Signs of new life are everywhere. It is an invitation for us to shed the hardened shells of anger, bitterness and pessimism to become light-hearted butterflies basking in the sunshine of our Creator's devotion. Will we accept the offer? Where do we go from there?

At a spirituality workshop I attended, our speaker encouraged us to say the traditional meal prayer at the start of each day and as often as possible throughout our day" "Bless me, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which I am about to receive from Thy bounty..." That idea had a great impact on me. I began to incorporate the practice during the Lenten season, and strive to continue it today. It necessitates, a mindset where we anticipate blessings, knowing that God will send them our way. Can we see with "new eyes" so that we are able to recognize them?

Appreciation for God's gifts may start with moments lost in wonder at a brilliant sunrise. It may continue with gratitude for having food on my table at breakfast. An encouraging word from a friend or co-worker makes me realize how blessed I am to have a caring support team. Feeling the sun and the cool breeze on my face as I enjoy lunch at a picnic table helps me relish the springtime weather. Accomplishing a task adds purpose to my life. Getting a whiff of fragrant flowers during my afternoon walk encourages me to use the gift of all my senses. After helping an elderly person load groceries into the car, there is a lingering echo of the Great Commandment, "Love God. Love your neighbor." Observing a young child taking such joy in patiently watching as a daddy-long-legs makes it way up a wall awakens the desire to slow down and really take the time to see life in all its fullness, to "smell the roses." A relaxing evening out with family or friends reminds me to make room in my life for fun and laughter. The day may end with thankfulness for the many blessings received, and even gratitude for a comfortable bed and soft pillow that generates a refreshing night's sleep.

Jesus often said to his disciples, "Stay awake. Be alert." I believe He is inviting us to see things from a fresh perspective so that we can develop a more open-minded attitude. Let life happen; let life flow with its blessings. In order to create that kind of change within ourselves, we are encouraged to embrace a different outlook that makes us receptive to new possiblities. We pray for the courage to widen the doorway of our hearts, and allow ourselves to be graced by all of God's bountiful gifts. Let the butterfly within us soar free!

Bette Meyer
VM Ministry Assistant
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows



Belleville, Illinois

It seems like this pandemic has lasted forever. We are surely blessed for the vaccine and the renewed hope of being together as we once were. We have come a long way to recovery and God has been with us through it all. Our Belleville VM Chapter has kept in contact in several ways:

  1. We have a text group where

    members share their thoughts, pictures, prayers, scripture, family moments, struggles, joys and hearts of love. It has been a vitual connection for us.
  2. Phone calls continue so we can hear our voices and know how we are doing. It reminds us that the Spirit of God is alive in each of us as we connect with one another.
  3. Daily prayers for our chapter members and our brothers and sisters in all
    VM chapters. We are very much connected in love through our God.
  4. May this season of spring be a time of growth and renewed beginnings in each of our lives.
    Blessings to all of you!


Do you expect cocooning
To be easy.
It is not a time of rest
But of rebirth.
They used to think
That the Caterpillar
merely slept there,
Awaiting the wonder of wings.
This is not true.
To cocoon means
The breaking down of self,
Of letting go of all
that may be considered
Yielding to the chrysalis call.
Dropping all that is old identity,
All that is desire,
All that is hungry,
All that is eating, eating, eating,

When the moment comes, called
To go to the cool dark underleaf, underlog place,
To spin the silk of silent self,
The Caterpillar dissolves,
Touches the point of nothingness
Of being;
Become now
Neither Caterpillar
Nor Butterfly
Become simply, potential,
Until new form is found,
Until the self-made tomb is too tight
And Butterfly is birthed,
bursting blessings, beauty.

A journey through stillness
Into freedom,
Into flight,
No one who knew the Caterpillar
Would know it in the Butterfly,
no one who knows the Butterfly
would see in it
Even the memory
Of Caterpillar,
Yet within there is
A continuity of being
A new recipe out of old ingredients
A life remade, a seed flowered,
a potency fulfilled,
There is pain in this
I am sure.
How could there not be?
There is always pain
In surrender,
In transformation,
In a new life, new birth
Death before resurrecton,
Letting go, before letting be
This is the divine order of things
This is why there hides
Even here, even now,
In all your old Caterpillar desiring,
In the hunger at the core of your being,
The promise of Butterfly
If you would but surrender
To the call
Of the cocoon.
If you would know,
even for a day,
The wonder of wings
The freedom of flight.

~Penned by Brother Richard, a priest-friar of the Irish branch of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, on 8 May 2020. He is currently guardian of the Ards Friary and Retreat Centre in Donegal, Ireland.

Used with permisson.

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