A triple cord, strong and sure: A reflection on our school’s Feast Day
“The views we have of the world and the ways we approach life may make a difference to many aspects of our being. In the basic elements of our lives – in striving to achieve our purposes, in our relationships with others, in our sense of who we are – our orientation to life makes a difference” (Spirit Matters, Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes, Alan Black). These authors are referring to the ideas, beliefs, practices and traditions that we hold and are part of, the way we interpret the experiences we have and indeed the experiences we seek out and make possible – in other words, our worldview. The way we are begins with the way we look at life.
Today is our school’s Feast Day – Loreto Day – and as we reach out and celebrate who we are by walking alongside others – and this year it is the women and children of Zambia who are part of the Lukulu Baby Milk Project – it is also a time to pause and reflect on our community and the tradition we are part of.
There is a parable Jesus told about the fig tree: “Take the fig tree as a parable”, he said, “as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near”.
This is a great image to hold before us. The fig tree is brought to bloom in summer; it does not conceptualise summer; it undergoes summer. In the same way we undergo the presence of God in our lives. And when we do, we see the fruit of it. As I have been mulling over Loreto Day and who we are as a Loreto community, the identity we are celebrating today, I thought of this story of the fig tree. And I thought of all those Loreto women – from Mary Ward to the Sisters today – whose lives have borne witness to the presence of God. We remember Mary Ward and her courage and vision four hundred years ago, her love of God and her willingness to listen to God’s dream for her and to do everything for God’s glory. We remember Teresa Ball whose faith and dedication enabled her to establish a number of convents and schools in Ireland and elsewhere in the world in the eighteenth century. We remember Mother Gonzaga Barry and all those Loreto Sisters who left their homes and came to this faraway land – Australia. We remember their courage, faith and dedication to girls’ education as they left their homes and ventured into the unknown, far from all that was familiar. There is a beautifully moving story about Mother Gonzaga who, the day before she set sail, was asked by one of the sisters how she was feeling, and she replied: “My hands are in God’s hands. He can lead me where he wills”. This was Mother Gonzaga’s orientation to life. And that made all the difference. Like the fig tree undergoing summer, bearing fruit as summer acted upon it, so too she acted under the influence, the presence, of God in her life. She gave herself over to it.
Ms Kerry McCullough
Spirituality and Liturgy Coordinator