The winter of our positive intent - Madonna Magazine

The winter of our positive intent

Sr Mary Tinney RSM 05 May 2020

The darkness and bleakness of winter is no match for our belief in the healing love of God.

Winter time

the season when we learn how
to honour the darkness of life’s
mysteries without losing faith . . .

the season for learning how to
live in darkness and to keep
hope that the light and the sun will
return . . .

the season to recognise the seeds
of growth and nurture them in
our own inner warmth
until the light returns . . .

the season for being fallow
and letting roots go deeper . . .
the season to learn how to dignify
the elder who always lives within . . .
to face that we are always growing older
and to do so with serenity and faith and power . . .

the season to learn that even in our
darkest moments, health, serenity,
and healing energy are available
to us when we focus on them with
positive intent.

Look around you at the falling leaves and thinning vegetation. The snakes are in hibernation. Growth is slower, if at all. It is time to enter within. Even the liturgical year has entered into ‘Ordinary Time’.


Ecospirituality calls us at this time to be consciously aware that in Jesus Christ, the God of Love embraces the cosmos in healing solidarity.

Jesus was a prophet who gathered people around him with a message about a different way of living: a way of love, rather than of power; a way of healing rather than hurting; a way of collaboration rather than of competition.

He proclaimed God’s creative dream for the world where the blessed would include those who are poor in spirit, whose who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful, those who are poor in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted in their pursuit of right relations. He spoke out about corruption in both church and society.

We know what happened to Jesus as a result of his efforts. He endured a tortuous death at the hands of his enemies. Jesus entered into his darkest moments with fear, anxiety and a strong sense of his aloneness. He cried out to God in his anguish. He entered into depths more intense than Winter darkness.


Our country Australia has recently entered into a dark period for those who experienced the intensity of the horrific fires, for others the floods and, for all of us, the pandemic.

The grief and suffering of those at the heart of those disasters cannot be underestimated. There are other sufferings within the human community where violence spills over and takes lives that are entirely innocent. There is rage and fury when ignorance seems to prevail in public decision making. There is the constant facing of the limits of our physical, bodily existence.

Jesus entered into solidarity with this suffering, even as he experienced the wonder and beauty of our earthly and cosmic home. His close followers struggled to make sense of it all. They hid themselves for a while until they had a took strength from the fire and power of God’s spirit within, and the deep conviction that Jesus the Christ was still with them, albeit in a different mode.


In Jesus, the God of love embraces our whole cosmos. Jesus, too, is made of stardust.

Jesus, too, experiences pain, suffering and death. Yet the Christian community kept hope alive after his death, and so do we.

At Easter we celebrate the feast of the light of the resurrection, of the promise of fullness of life and love. At Pentecost we celebrate the fire of God’s love present with us.

If we dare to go deeper into the spirit in this Winter season, we will continue to learn how to live in the darkness, find strength within, and how to live in hope.

And we do this in the knowledge that the God of love accompanies us at all times.

 This is the third in a series of reflections by Mary Tinney, who is founder and facilitator of Earth Link, a project of the Sisters of Mercy, which encourages ‘deep bonding within the Earth community’.
If you wish to follow up this material in greater depth, you can find more in her book
When Heaven and Earth Embrace: How Do We Engage Spiritually in an Emerging Universe? which is available at

Image: Getty Images