A seminarian in the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, Ruel Strachan II, reflects on a Holy Spirit week retreat undertaken as a member of the Lambeth Palace-based Community of St Anselm.
On our Community’s recent Holy Spirit week retreat at Sclerder Abbey in Cornwall, I was given a wonderful quote which is attributed to Mother Teresa, “The more a thing seems small to me, the more love I put in it”. In my own experience and reflection, I understand this as doing small things with great love.
The notion of smallness or small things is one that has taken on great significance for me lately in my coming to the Community of St Anselm. Many of my brothers and sisters come from countries which are geographically larger and much more densely populated than my country, The Bahamas. I embody a small thing but with great love.
Listening to an All Saints’ Sunday sermon by Fr Denrick Rolle, a Bahamian priest serving as Rector of St Agnes Church in Miami, helped me as well to put this in perspective. He spoke of how Caribbean persons in the past, although not possessing great material wealth, still managed to help those in need and that many great blessings have come from such acts of love in giving of the little that one has.
During my years as a boy scout, we promised to do a good turn each day. There were occasions when I wondered if that really made a difference as it was often one small thing that many of us did each day. However, when we gathered together and shared stories of the good deeds we had done each day, it brought me to the realisation that those small things did matter and I likened them to jewels in a crown or pieces to a puzzle, each unique but taking on real beauty as a part of the whole.
Now comes the greatest example of great love in small things. As we prepare to begin the new liturgical year and the journey towards Christmas, we should do so ever mindful of the great love which came to all mankind through the baby Jesus, small in the worlds’ eyes but possessing an unending and all-encompassing love.