Edwina Gateley opens the Glasgow Ignatian Spirituality Centre's year
About 50 people came together for a day of reflection led by a woman described as a writer, a poet, a theologian and speaker amongst other things.
Edwina Gateley began by speaking of her own transformation as she heard and sought how to respond to God’s call to serve him. She spoke of the need to be open to God to recognise and to nurture God’s presence in the world and in ourselves, allowing ourselves to be transformed. Edwina does not do things by halves, but had spent a period of time living as a hermit in the Sahara desert.
In her talk she included many short stories after the style of Anthony de Mello. One of these was ‘The Salt Doll’, from which I quote: The salt doll came to the sea. Who are you, said the salt doll. The sea smilingly replied, Come in and see. The doll wandered into the sea. The further it walked the more it dissolved until very little of it was left. Before that last bit dissolved the doll exclaimed in wonder, Now I know who I am!.
We need to know who we are - children of God. People lose their way on the journey through life in this world because they have not met God or been aware of his presence. Having learnt to ask God who we are and what is the nature of our vocation, we must know that the answer may not be what we wanted or expected. So in the case of Edwina she has spent much of her life giving retreats and conferences in the USA and reaching out to the needs of women suffering from the effects of being prostitutes and drug addicts.
At the conclusion of one of her books of poems, Edwina wrote, ‘ There where the forest fell, dark and deep, there was no path. So I trod one.’
Our day with Edwina has given us much to ponder on as we continue on our own journey through life never losing sight of God and learning the part we are called to undertake with him in the transformation of our world.