Festivals/Seasons & Holy Days

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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sisters meeting 2012

Francis and Clare image

The Sisters gathered around their creation

The tree of life


This interesting interpretation (on the top left) of a picture of Francis and Clare was one of the products of the recent Sisters’ Meeting. Each of the 16 sisters present was given, by the facilitator, one small portion of the whole picture, which at that stage we had not seen. They varied from a complex part of the face, to a small part of the border. On a larger sheet of card, each then scaled up their portion, and coloured it, trying to match the existing colours as far as possible.When all the pieces were put together we were amazed to see how our different abilities and interpretations had all contributed to the finished picture, and how well the pieces fitted together. It became a visual parable of how we, in all our diversity, could contribute fruitfully to the ‘bigger picture’ of our life as CSF in this province.
Another exercise we enjoyed during our weekend involved the ‘Tree of Life (pictured top right). ‘Ruth, our facilitator, told us the moving story of this silver tree. She is a school chaplain, and invites the children to place a red jewel on a silver leaf when someone (person or pet) dies. One particularly poignant leaf has 2 jewels, placed by a child whose parents were murdered.

Ruth then invited us to write, in one sentence, what the tree symbolised for us. When all our reflections were put together, this amazing poem (below) was created:

A silver tree glitters with grief and memory Tree of acknowledgement Tree of pain and tree of hope Gift of love. The tree of remembrance is a tree of life and relationship A structure which enables people to express and record what is important to them, and allows all to honour this. The pain of loss is held in the Tree of Life’s embrace Important symbolism conveying what words cannot. Out of the darkness of sadness comes the light of God As the last leaf flutters so the living leave their loved ones, flying in ethereal luminance Each leaf separate, but part of the whole beautiful shape of the tree, reflecting light and colour. Leaves hang down, flames reach up, circular movement, life continuing Here is refracted life Holding the complexity of life’s joys and sorrows. Candle heat causes the leaves to move with life – symbol of eternal life – remember them and they are still alive. The jewelled leaves on the tree say – Pain acknowledged, like the wounds of Christ can become glorious scars things of beauty, enlightened by the candles of warm support.