Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Life is in you like a seed'

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed
that a person took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and 'the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'
Luke 13:19

A passage from today's Gospel--a wonderful little kernel of truth to tuck away and meditate on this day and each day of our lives. God is the gardener. Christ is the tree that grows from the tiny seed. We are the birds, called (as our Fr. Ephrem Carr noted in his homily today in the Archabbey Church) to nest and rest in its branches. Each bird, Fr. Ephrem pointed out, is not distinguished by its color, age, size, or ability. Rather, he said, what distinguishes the birds (and us) is that we come together in the shelter of the tree--the very Life of Christ.

On that note, during lectio this morning, I also ran across the following passage from Caryll Houselander, who is a favorite of mine because of the consistent imagery she uses. Houselander was a British mystic and writer in the 1940s and 50s. (If you haven't noticed already, I have somewhat of a soft spot for women mystics, or as our Br. Luke would say, "Mystic Babes."). Enjoy:

Learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, to be kind to yourself, by looking outwards to God, by accepting the fact that you are infinitely loved by Infinite Love, and that if you will only cease to build up notions of the perfection you demand of yourself, and lay your soul open to that love, you will cease to fear, and you will cease to be exhausted as soon as you stop fighting one part of yourself with another.

Realize that in you is the power, strength, and love of Christ, that you can carry all that darkness and not go under. If you realize that in you Christ lives his risen life, you will soon be convinced that you will also come right up through the darkness into the light. Try to believe that life is in you like a seed, pushing, striving, struggling up to light. Instead of fighting yourself, let this seed of supernatural life fight its way out through the darkness, just as an ordinary seed fights up through the darkness and heaviness of the hard, frozen earth.

First it has to sharpen its own green blade in the night and cut through the ground, but suddenly it breaks into flower, and when it does that, it does not see its own beauty. The world outside sees that. What it sees is the glorious sun that drew it up out of the darkness and into Light.

-- The Letters of Caryll Houselander, Her Spiritual Legacy

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