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The following is the essay Barbara read for the lunch-time meditation on Saturday at the retreat. Also note her meditation on Lent, below. --egh

Transformation: The opening of a Soul
By Barbara Mooney

Transformation: What is that? Is it a formation of a new order? Is it a type of form? Is it an order? If so, what would it be? If there be order, would we have chaos? Can we have one or do we need both order and chaos? Is it like a trans-fat and we remove all the excess of fat in our foods to eat healthy?

All these come to mind when I reflect upon transformation and try to understand what it means. What Jesus means by 'transforming our lives'. I do know that Jesus life and ministry had a definite impact on the people He lived with and among. It moved them, influenced them and were not the same people. As a result of that and the crosses He had to bear, the crosses we now have to bear will not be emptied until we totally open to accept Jesus and the sacrifice He made, then the crosses power to transform human nature will be made. That , that alone will last.

With that said and done, life is what we make it and it's a road, a journey we take and how we take it. It will have crosses, valleys, oceans, rugged mountains,stony paths, avalanches, calms before the storms, tempests, sunrises, sunsets, volcanic eruptions and transcending ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis. That's life.

It's by Gods' grace we are touched and moved. This is reflected by our conscious and unconscious levels coming together that we then feel, experience the true meaning of conversion. God will be a fire within us like the flames of Pentecost we get from that baptismal experience. Our relationship with God will become like a relationship between a mother and child --prayer and surrender-- to ourselves and to God.

It is that communion, that communication which enables us to understand the way of life God speaks to us about through Jesus teachings and deeds on how we ought to live. He goads us to challenge ourselves especially on change and how that change should take place within ourselves no matter how we do it. It's a matter of doing. We need to understand that and that change will happen regardless of when. It's what life expects of us and what it asks of us.

We will then understand ourselves, commitment, unconditional love, transcendence- a clarity of light and truth of Gods will & word and acceptance. It will become as much of a necessity as water, bread and clothing. We will be comforted and taken care of-- not even anxiety, daily woes and strife will overcome us. No. We will be free; free to be ourselves, our soul will become open and one with God, just like a cocoon becoming a butterfly. Then we will be free and be who we are meant to be.
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The starkness of the Lenten tree in the church against white walls hits me to the core since it is reflected on the trees outside the windows against the grayness of the skies-- stark and naked. Just like being in the wilderness of the sands of Israel or of the Sahara without food and drink. Just abandoned. Thinking about it; that is what Lent is, being alone, just you and God. It is that communication which develops into inner strength, our faith.

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