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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feast of St. Luke

Today is the feast of St. Luke; tradition has Luke the author of both a Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He was a physician and companion to Paul. He was well-educated, had literary skill, and was a Gentile writing for Gentile Christians. Paul tells us in the first reading today, "Luke is the only one with me." He wants Timothy to send Mark to him to help in his ministry. Luke shows Jesus as a man of prayer and compassion. If you have not read his Gospel straight through for a long time, I suggest you do so. Acts reads almost like a novel but gives us insight into the beginnings of the Church.

The picture of Janet Erskine Stuart above leads me into a reflection on one of the last days of my trip (I will go back to chronological order after today unless the Spirit moves me to share differently.) I had been thinking about this quote from Reverend Mother Stuart: "Think glorious thoughts of God and serve God with a quiet mind." I feel that this was her gift to me during the days of my trip to Scotland and England. One of the graces of the trip was time to be alone with her in the Sacred Heart chapel where she is buried with Father Varin and Reverend Mother Digby. The rest of our convent at Roehampton was bombed, but this holy site was spared. I even had the joy of a Mass there; I remained afterwards to ponder some of Mother Stuart's poems published in a small book given to me by a dear friend in Scotland. Janet Erskine Stuart's Eternal Thoughts says:
"For Life is slowly broadening on-
The estuary to the sea,
The calm hour to the sinking sun,
Time setting to Eternity.

Those only, those eternal thoughts,
The few, unchangingly the same,
With mystic strength that cannot fail-
They feed the spirit's altar flame.

My marvelous trip allowed me space to reflect on
the thoughts that live, the hopes that fire,
Words that can bear the weight of life,
Troubles that can satisfy desire....

Beyond us ever lies the light,
And upward, upward let us seek
Eternal thought, eternal sight.

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