By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ties that bind us, like those so beautifully captured in the historic Baptist hymn, “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.”

We’ve celebrated the 25th anniversary of the deaths of our Sisters killed in Liberia. The ties to them, their families, our five Liberian women, Liberian friends, and other missionaries are strong and enduring.

A CD of reflective music prepared for the occasion links us to so many wonderful musicians and technicians including Carolyn McDade, Rory Cooney, the Newman University Troubadours, Teri Wells and the Cabrini Academy Children’s Choir.

Last week’s church feasts of All Saints and All Souls helped us reflect on the holy people in our lives. Ties to the people in that “great cloud of witnesses” reach through time, space, and death and are real and enduring.

The season of autumn itself is a period of watching the bonds of life in trees, gardens, and plants let go in blazes of vibrant color.

I love my elephant ear plants; when I need to cut back their leaves and consign them to a different kind of life in the compost, and when I dig up the bulbs to store until spring, I create a different tie to those plants, confident that new life will sprout from old roots.

The insult, injury and desecration of our land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by a pipeline company are in sharp contrast to our community’s deep relationship with Earth, and our heritage with the land that owns us.

Consider all the relationships you’ve formed with groups: family, friends, co-workers, parish groups, community, and others. You know people by name; they know you. Names link us together.

There’s a comfort, ease and security in walking into a place and calling people by name, even as they greet you with your name.  That’s another tie that binds us.

Perhaps one of the strongest ties that bind us is found in Isaiah 43:1: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”