One of the last roses of the season is shown below, its beauty standing out against the shades of autumn.

In our spiritual lives there are also seasons, of springtime, of bright summer, the muted colours of autumn, and the monochrome of winter. But in all these seasons of the spirit, our Lord is present, ever ready to be encountered afresh in each new situation, whether of trial or joy.

St John Henry Newman wrote in 1848: ‘God has created all things for good … God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it me. … Let us put ourselves into His hands, and not be startled though He leads us by a strange way, a mirabilis via, as the Church speaks. Let us be sure He will lead us right, that He will bring us to that which is, not indeed what we think best, nor what is best for another, but what is best for us’.

He wrote this prayer: ‘O, my God, I will put myself without reserve into Thy hands. Wealth or woe, joy or sorrow, friends or bereavement, honour or humiliation, good report or ill report, comfort or discomfort, Thy presence or the hiding of Thy countenance, all is good if it comes from Thee. Thou art wisdom and Thou art love—what can I desire more? Thou hast led me in Thy counsel, and with glory hast Thou received me. What have I in heaven, and apart from Thee what want I upon earth? My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the God of my heart, and my portion for ever’.

May God bless you this day.