November is the month of remembrance, with Remembrance Sunday last week, and with a weekly Requiem on Wednesdays, and the funeral of our dear sister Clare last Monday.
And these shorter Autumn days, as the leaves begin to fall, loss is all around us as the spring and summer growth on the trees let go of their moorings and fall to the ground.
Loss is a great challenge for us all. This could be the loss of a loved one, or of a job, or the loss of a certainty we might have taken for granted, or the loss of good health. Whatever it may be, loss is hard.
Although it may be difficult to see at the time, loss can bring its own gifts too. It is perhaps only in our losing that we truly recognise our finding; it is only in our falling that we recognize our rising; and when we are stripped of self we discover our true self.
Meister Eckhart, a thirteenth century German theologian and mystic talks of the 'upward gravity of love'. He writes:
There where I fall
is where you wait
and how you call
O fall with me
all the long way down
and so reach me
through the call
that rises impossibly
as the upward gravity of love.
For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness', who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
With the assurance of my prayers