By Sister Maggie Beaudette, CSJ, Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
Did you know that it is the intense heat of a forest fire that releases the seeds of the pine cone so that new growth can take place?
…tall, black tree trunks scarred from fire, now delicately outlined with fresh, white snow;
…the lush, green of the forest floor in spring, following a fire;
…the pinkish, purple blossoms of the fireweed plant growing in the spaces left vacant by fire.
These are images I see as I drive along our highway and roads in the north, after several years of intense summers of forest fires. These are transformation images for me.
As I reflect on the encounters I have had in my varied ministry, they too, speak of transfiguration.
…from two seven- year- old children in First Communion, one sharing her time when she talks with Jesus and the light in her heart as he speaks to her, and the other child telling of seeing Jesus, authentic, true and transforming;
…to the man who asked if I would come with him to a tele-health conference call…holding his anxiety;
…to the Inuit woman, sitting on my living-room floor, sharing for the first time her story of pain, trauma, and abuse, she, being transformed in the telling, me being transformed in the holding of story;
…to keeping vigil with my dying friend and eventually being able to say, “It is okay to go.”
In this second week of Lent, Jesus invites us to go up the mountain with him. He had a conversation with Moses and Elijah about his imminent death. Yet, in the intensity of that conversation, new life, glory, is proclaimed by the Father.
What conversation will Jesus have with you, with me? What transfiguration moments do I recognize each day?
Sr. Maggie Beaudette, CSJ, has lived and served in the north for some 32 years, including the past 22 years in Hay River, NT, on the south shore of the Great Slave Lake in the Catholic Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. She is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada.