Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Preparing the Ground....Hard Work

Over the last three weeks we have dealt with the hardpan, rocks, and briars mentioned in the Lord's parable. These are al soul realities for both you and i. These realities are faced by all, who embrace the human condition. This embrace will happen as we make our journey as spiritual beings having a human experience.The above realities are not to be shunned or avoided.These conditions , on the contrary, are to be embraced with the same love our merciful, and gracious God showers upon them. This is a process. it is called reconciliation.It is also called acceptance. Acceptance of our reality, knowing if it is real our God is already at work bringing healing and wholeness, holiness, long before we are even aware of what is happening, or needs to happen. This is the very silent, and mysterious work of the Holy Spirit, the Power of love in our lives.Active denial , active avoidance,will result in us falling deeper into that which we so desperately wish to avoid and deny. There is no running away from who we really are.
Through the power of Love, Grace, we are slowly lead to the belief, and understanding that, low and behold, beneath the hardpan,rocks, and briars is revealed the good fertile earth. The good earth, our essential soul, is the gift of our Gracious Father God.This reality is, and I reiterate,Is, present in each and every human being. there are no exceptions to this reality.There is present in all humans an essential goodness. It is called the heart. The heart, our deepest reality, is the dwelling place of our God. There is that place which has never known sin, or devision. There The Holy Trinity dwells in a unity. We are all called to join them in their life of joyful, loving,unity. This is our destiny, our sole purpose, in this life, as we are prepared for the fullness of that Reality, in heaven.
For this to happen we are faced with hard work. It involves us coming face to face with our broken humanity. We are gently lead , always through grace, to accept that which we cannot do. We surrender all of that which we are powerless over, into the waiting, outstretched hands of Him with whom all things are possible. We have to be constantly reminder The Power of Love, God, is the essence of health. This loving Parent, Father, is not co-dependant. He/she will not do for us what we can do for ourselves.( I wish at times God was a little bit co-dependant.)This love we are lead to see, and believe, is both gentle and challenging.He knows well our weaknesses. He also knows the strength, that lies within us. It is he who has placed that strength within us as His gift to us. I was brought with that saying," God fits the back for the burden. St. Paul assures us we will never, and i repeat never, be teated beyond our strength. I have to remind God, he has more faith in me than i have in myself.In this way, our strengths are reinforced, and our weaknesses transformed into strengths. All of this happens through the miracle of the secret action of Grace. The Holy Spirit is one very quiet, very secretive operator.In the pre Vatican church The Holy Spirit was called, the forgotten person of The Trinity. Not so in to-day's church. I wonder whose work was that?
Now we have the good earth, a new kind of work begins. The earth must be broken open to receive the seed. In the old days there were no power driven machines to dig and spade the ground. The ground of our souls is broken open by the harsh realities of life, death, loss, failure, ill health, divorce, loss of jobs and hence security. The earth, in that garden, had to be broken one fork at a time.It was not easy work, to say the least. "What does not kill you, makes you stronger' i found to be so very true. I did not find that out until later in life. This was back breaking work, or was it back strengthening work?Still later I came to realize that which I was doing on the outside, was great schooling in what was, and is now happening in my inner life.Gardening, farming, is a wonder-full sacrament of what is always happening in the life we cannot see, or easily grasp. Growth in both lead us into a deeper understanding of darkness. It is in darkness all growth happens, right?In the darkness there is a necessary death, so that 'Much fruit may be produced" in abundance.
To jump ahead. The earth has been broken,and fertilized. The seeds, and seed potatoes are in the ground. Is the work finished? No, of course not. Now the work of caring for the garden begins. What happens in a garden has been used by so many spiritual authors to describe the happenings in our souls. Gardens and gardening, as has been mentioned ,are great sacraments. They lead us to deeper insights using what is seen to deepen our knowledge of that which is unseen.
A gardener has to be always alert to what is happening, or not happening. Weeds, that will choke off growth, must be watched for. For growth to happen there must be obviously sun light, and of course water. Water is an essential element in life. It is also essential for the life of the garden. Water for the garden, "water for our souls," where will that take us to?
Well, no pun intended, that will be, hopefully, next weeks effort.