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Life is changed … not ended

Late fall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Late autumn at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

It is autumn and the earth reminds us that life is full of changes. Sometimes we resist change with an “Oh, no!” At other times, we welcome it with “At last!”

In the cycle of life, as the seasons change, each one has lessons to teach.

Autumn, in all its beauty and decline, reminds us that this is a time to harvest our blessings in a spirit of thanksgiving, as well as a time for letting go and preparing for the season ahead.

Day by day, hour by hour, the leaves drop — sometimes with a quiet gentleness and sometimes harshly amidst strong winds and rain. They appear to die, yet rather, they are transformed into a rich mulch that nurtures the dormant life within the tree until once again spring arrives.

So too, the barren trees, their bare branches reaching upward, hold life within in a different way, a way we do not see. Though we cannot fully understand it, our faith assures us that all of life is interconnected and ongoing. All things are in a constant state of transformation toward new life.

So when our loved ones die, we turn to the words from funeral liturgy which says “In death life is changed, not ended.” We believe it is a transformation from a very limited existence to a new reality with the fullness of life and love that God promises.

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has ready
for those who love Him.”

When our loved ones die, because we are incapable of understanding, we turn to grief and contemplation. Our grieving is necessary. It is the natural healing companion to loss.

We recall how that person lived and loved in God and how God lived and loved them and continues that life and love for all eternity.

Our faith reminds us to have no anxiety about the future. For, we know with certainty, that though the sun sets, it is not gone. It will rise again and while things appear to lie dormant, spring will surely come.

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Sister Carol Meyers

Sister Carol Meyers

Sister Carol Meyers volunteers as a Montessori consultant and as a tutor at The Dominican Literacy Center att St. Cyprian Parish in River Grove, Illinois. She also serves as lector and offers time to a Kindergarten class and the RCIA program.

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  1. Avatar Peg Benson on November 16, 2014 at 8:04 am

    “Autumn, in all it’s beauty and decline, reminds us that this is a time to harvest our blessings in a spirit of thanksgiving, as well as a time for letting go and preparing for the season ahead.”

    Thank you, Sister Carol, for these perfect words of meditation.

  2. Avatar Geri Herber on November 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Thank you Carol!

    Life is changing for us as we become “SENIORS”! IT’s a blessing to have the opportunity to think and meditate in a positive manner about the end of our life and those whom we love!

    Just for you: Having lived with you in the Providence Juniorate and loved you dearly…Excitement was mine as I saw your Photo on the Providence Blog! You are beautiful! Incidently, we have Montessori in common! I was a Direstress for 35 years! God bless you and your adventures!

  3. Avatar Carole Symes on March 30, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Where does “Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended” appear in the bible?

    • Amy Miranda Amy Miranda on April 1, 2022 at 8:50 am

      It is actually from the Catholic book of common prayer, Commemoration of the Dead

  4. Avatar Ged on September 20, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    Where in Scripture does it say, ‘Life is changed, not ended’? Is it not from the Eucharistic Prayer?

    • Amy Miranda Amy Miranda on September 21, 2022 at 8:41 am

      You are correct. I have updated the article with that correction. Thanks!

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