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October Reflection - An Image of Life - the Kaleidoscope

Posted 9/27/2018

Most of us remember playing with kaleidoscopes and being fascinated by the combination of colors and patterns that emerged when we shook it to change the shapes and designs.

The following selection was taken from a talk given by Gloria L. Schaah, Sister of St. Joseph, in her talk at the National LCWR (Leadership Conference for Women Religious) in August, entitled: In the Image of Trinity: To Be is to Be in Relation.
“The kaleidoscope, from the Greek, meaning a ‘beautiful-form-to-see’ is a structure that creates a myriad of patterns from fragments of colored material, when illuminated by a source of light, and reflected by mirrors positioned at different angels.

The materials that produce the patterns are commonly broken shards or fragments of stained glass. However, while the shards are the stuff of which the image is formed, the mirrors of the kaleidoscope are its heart. These mirrors, or reflectors, if you will, vary in quality, quantity, and perspective.

• The better the quality of the mirrors, the sharper the image.
• The keener the angles of the mirror, the more accurate the image.
• The greater the number of mirrors, the more inclusive the image.

When directed toward the light and rotated, the casing which contains the shards of various forms, colors, and densities creates an interaction with the mirrors to produce a mandala, a universal symbol of oneness and wisdom. Obviously, while each of the elements of the kaleidoscope can be defined and discussed independently, it is only in their collaboration with one another that the beauty, clarity, and variety of patterns can be produced.”

Listening to Sister Gloria speak of a kaleidoscope can be likened to how aspects of our lives are so interrelated. The people around us, the activities of daily living, our work, our play, our joys, our challenges, the weather and the seasons of the year, our beliefs and values, our blessings and gifts, and especially our relationships with loved ones – all become the mirrors, the angles, the shards in our kaleidoscope of life. Most of all, the colors of our lives are intermingled to create beautiful patterns and a sense of unity and harmony. Is it not true that many times God enters our lives through the cracks, the fragments and most unlikely places?