Remembering when...tea parties

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Posted from Maureen Leahy

In our first year's offerings, the Band of Sisters gathered at Avila Retreat Center to reflect on the lives of some of the consecrated women who walked before us and among us in faith. We did this monthly. At the conclusion of our time together, we sat quietly and meditated on a cup of tea. A cup of tea you ask?

As we began our meditation, each member selected a cup and saucer from the table - which had been set with a pretty cloth and flowers. Many of the cups were donated by members of the Band of Sisters, family, and friends. Some held special meaning as they had belonged to our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts…as well as ourselves. They were all lovely - and quite special. We selected our cup carefully - as it was to be taken home as a reminder of our time together. Those who returned in the following months knew to bring their carefully chosen tea cup and saucer with them.

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The meditation encouraged us, first, to have a grateful remembrance of the past. Noticing the uniqueness of our cup, we became conscious of our unique selves - like a cup resting in God's hand. Next we reflected on living in the present with passion. Placing the teabag into the cup we recalled the stories of our lives and the lives of those we loved. As the warm water of God's grace seeped through the teabag, we came to know that God's grace transforms the ordinary of our everyday lives into extraordinary life in Christ. Finally, we reflected on our embrace of the future - with hope. We were invited to sip often from the Divine wellspring. Our cups, once filled to the brim, now had the space needed for us to be compassionate - holding others in the love of Christ.

As we concluded the guided meditation, all were invited to partake of baked goods, more tea, and each others’ faith filled presence. It was a sweet time!