During these days it is a great joy to go out for a walk through the grounds of Minsteracres. One after the other the rhododendrons show their floral splendour. The flowers slowly open up and reveal their beauty and full potential which, until that moment, was contained in the buds.

Rhododendron resized

I consider nature to be a great teacher. The natural world reveals something that is also happening in the lives of men and women who live in fidelity to their calling in life. As Christians we believe that we are all called to live our life to the full and thus reflect the glory of the God in whose image we have been created as God’s beloved children. Ireneaus, a fourth century saint, expressed this beautifully when he said: ‘the glory of God is a human being fully alive’.

At times it is helpful to take a moment to stop and reconnect with what we perceive as our life’s call and to listen and see if we are still giving the right response.

With this year’s retreat theme, ‘I have called you by name’, we try to assist with this. We explore our unique and individual vocation in life and the ways in which we have responded. We also take time to become aware of our resistance to the call and invite one another to renew our commitment to respond through the way we serve the community to which we belong.

Fr. Jeroen Hoogland CP