Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Cross is a Tree

This Sunday's readings are laden with the paradox of our poverty, hopefully causing us to be reliant on the richness of God. The poor will inherit the kingdom of God. The hungry shall be satisfied. So, blessed are they.

But cursed are the ones who trust in man and the flesh and who turn away from God. They are cursed by dint of their own poverty.

These words of the first reading about the man who trusts in the Lord and becomes like a flourishing tree resonated with me:

"...does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."

Wonderful. With our trusting submission to God, we are asked and made to bear fruit in the year of drought - in addition to the other years. Will you be trusting enough to keep going - say, as personal or universal upheaval perhaps occurs, and especially when what you thought rich turns to poverty - and then bear even more fruit than before?

This fruit-bearing seems almost synonymous with the absence of anxiety and fear that is mentioned in the same passage.

I've always liked Michael O'Brien. I read all his novels, non-fiction books, articles, reflections, essays, newsletters; I read everything of his. In his most recent newsletter he ended it with these words:

"Where do we find such love within ourselves? Truly, there is always love within us. Sometimes it is sleeping, and sometimes it is buried or badly bruised, and sometimes it is awake, though not entirely awake. In order to love with our whole minds, hearts, and souls, we must ask our Father in Heaven for the grace to love Him and each other, and then respond to the graces day by day. I recall how my children when they were small, around the time of my birthday, would ask me for a little bit of money, and then they would go off with their mother on secret projects, and a few days later they would give me their gifts with beaming faces."
Think about that.


"little" said...

Love Michael O'Brien, too~ Great blog you have. Wonderful paintings, drawings. I'll have to return poste haste, but now the Sandman beckons.

Paul Stilwell said...

Thanks for your kind words!

Me likes your own "Little" blog.