Having typed (computerized) our Rule and Constitutions (as a postulant) and frequently listened to it read, I am quite familiar with many of the texts.
So it was that today, when making apple muffins with one of our residents here at St. Anne’s, a phrase came readily to my mind: “the joy that creative labor brings.”
I could tell my helper was having a good time, getting back to things she used to do with her “mamma.” It was sweet and gratifying for me to see her enjoying herself.
Although there are certain principles that must be followed and recipes are very helpful, baking can be a ‘creative labor.’ This afternoon, both of us ‘tasted’ the joy that our Constitutions allude to.
I thought I’d look up this passage (I still have the file saved on my flash drive), and see in what context it was written. The full text was touchingly fitting for this very busy day (complete with oodles of apples, receptionist duties, and a little dance for our residents).
The full passage reads:
The inner strength for effective activity and selfless service comes to us
- from our encounter with Christ in Word and Eucharist.
- from our experience of a genuine community in prayer, work and relaxation,
- from our sense of responsibility to all those with whom we live and work,
- from the joy that creative labor brings,
- from the spiritual help of our sick and elderly Sisters,
- from the life and example of the Saints.
I would not have thought of joy as a source of strength, but the writers of our directives must have seen a connection, for they included it as one of the noteworthy sources of strength.
As I prepare to work the night shift, after fruitless efforts to find a substitute for a sick aide, another passage comes to mind. This one is from St. Paul’s writings: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
I thank Him for giving me the strength and grace to face each day as it comes, apples and all.