Monday, April 16, 2012

Only Willows

"I recommend to you holy simplicity. Look straight in front of you and not at those dangers you see in the distance. As you say, to you they look like armies, but they are only willow branches; and while you are looking at them you may take a false step. Let us be firmly resolved to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow." (St. Francis de Sales)

How often I've been terrified by "willow branches."  Such wispy, tender, fragile things; but when seen across a distance they can loom large and ominous against a shadowed horizon.  They bend and sway in the wind, their leaves rustling against one another.  To an active imaginer, why... they positvely hiss.

My terrifying willows, of course, have never been of the grows-by-a-riverbank variety.  Still, I am often surprised when the armies I see in the distance turn out to be gentle gifts, planted in my "cloister garden" by the generous hand of God.  I've made many missteps trying to avoid the "willows."  You'd think by now I would have learned.

With this in mind, I'm beginning a project of gathering "pieces of grillwork," through which I can learn to keep my focus on God and on His will for TODAY.  I would like to share the fruits of such gatherings with you, and I'm doing so by adding more "stand alone pages" to this website.  It is a project barely begun at this point, but I invite you to check out the start of it (like looking at the plans for a building, perhaps!), and to watch each part as it unfolds.  You can do this by clicking on any one of the topics in the above list lined up across the top of this screen (scriptures, prayers, quotes, etc.).  When you want to come back here to the blog, just click on the word "Home."  I expect to update these areas daily for awhile.

I think we all need a bit of an "oasis" in a world-gone-frantic.  My hope is that this blogsite can be a place of holy rest, where we can focus for a moment on Our Lord in the midst of our busy lives.

Scripture tells us to direct our thoughts to "all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise."  (Philippians 4:8)

With that as a directive, I now go on a joyous hunt for treasures with which to fill our thoughts....