Remember the Little Things — Day #11
I love trees. Trees are magnificent in their audacious grandeur; sown in the dark soil they seek the light.
The trees which were bare a month ago are now in full bloom. Spring has come with all its glorious plenary pulchritude. We thank God for such beauty. Trees offer shade and colour; they even take our carbon dioxide and exchange it for oxygen. Trees are the lungs of the world.
The newly glorified Saint Amphilochios of Patmos (1888-1970) said: ” Whoever does not love trees, does not love God.”
In these hard times, it is a temptation to become despondent; but this spirit comes from the evil one. Our lives are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) like the roots in the soil. Our faith can defy the weight of oppression like the sap which defies gravity through capillary action. Our lives can extend to all like the branches. If we have the will, with that awesome synergy which is Christ’s gracious dialogue with us, through His mercy and our hard work, we may bloom in holiness and bear fruit that will last.
Hearts of Oak
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Luke 6:44: “For every tree is known by its own fruit.
“When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: “What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.”
St. Seraphim of Sarov
“It was said of Abba John the Dwarf that one day he said to his elder brother, ”I should like to be free of all care, like the angels who do not work, but ceaselessly offer worship to God. ”So he took leave of his brother and went away in the desert. After a week he came back to his brother. When he knocked on the door he heard his brother say,” Who are you?” before he opened it. He said,” I am John, your brother.” But he replied,” John has become an angel and henceforth is no longer among men.” Then John besought him, saying,” It is I.” However, his brother did not let him in but left him there in distress until morning. Then, opening the door, he said to him, “You are a man and you must once again work in order to eat.” Then John made a prostration before him, saying,” Forgive me.”
I hear Lord, there was once a Tree planted here in this place
A Tree so fine and so splendid, a Tree full of beauty and grace.
“Who planted this Tree of Life Lord here in this garden?
It’s said that its fruit was so sweet and had the gift of peace and pardon
Who tended this Tree in its youth Lord when it was growing into the light?
When the gales blew and the storms raged in the middle of the night.
Who first saw this Tree bud and blossom into flower
As the sap of its spirit gave joy to each hour?
Who watered this Tree Lord when it was parched and dry
When some men ate of its labour and others wagged heads and passed by?
Who cut down its branches where the birds of the air made a nest?
Didn’t they taste of its fruit Lord, did not they know it was best?
Who cut the Tree down to the ground Lord whilst it was rich in finest full bloom?
There must have been more than one axe Lord, to bring about such a doom.
But look Lord I see a young sapling springing from out of its roots
And what wondrous a sight to behold Lord, there are thousands and thousands of shoots!
What is this Garden called Father, is it Eden, what mystical name please impart?
“The Tree is my Son, my young gardener and the garden my child is your heart.”