The Pruning

Author’s note: this piece of writing is not intended as some mystical revelation of God speaking to me.  It is merely an expression of my imagination.  What I ascribe to God below is what I imagine he is saying to my heart in my heart, but I do not pretend that God is saying this to me directly.

I’m sitting in a small chapel in the Friary of the Franciscans of Western Canada in Victoria, B.C.  To my right along the length of the wall are windows that open out to lush green bushes and tall green coniferous trees that grow in the cracks of rock.   The chit-chat of a woman and priest outside the doors of the chapel irritate me and distract me from settling into my morning meditation.  They’re preparing for the Mass that will be said in the main chapel of the friary in 3o minutes from now.

“Why am I so irritated? They’re just organizing themselves,” I ask myself reproachingly.   Settling in, the truth becomes clear to me; I’ve been on the road now for over a week and I’m feeling fragmented. I just want quiet.   I get up and close the door of the chapel door, muting their voices.

Breathing deeply, I find my centre, and rest there, letting go of the distracted thoughts, plans for the day, and the analyzing of things.  “Lord, what the heck?” I cry out in my distress.

“I’m pruning you,” a still quiet voice reveals to me.  “I’m teaching you to let go of those things that distract you and keep you from coming to me with your whole self.  I am pruning you such that you will realize there is no place, no job, no one – nothing at all that can save you from the truth that life is a journey toward death, and, if you choose, toward me, the source of eternal life. You cling to things, emotions, memories, people, circumstances, dreams, desires, and your plans for your life, the whole while missing the truth that I am with you and that I am providing you with everything you have ever wanted, desire, and hope for.”

“This has not been easy, Lord.” I respond.  “I have been in distress for the better part of 2 months.”

“Yes, you have, Patrick.  You have been in distress because you don’t trust me to meet your deepest needs, and so you preoccupy yourself with matters over which you have no control: life, love, health, and happiness.  My ways are not your ways.  What you think is your truth, is not the truth – it is not me!  And so you run around exhausting yourself with plans, reactions, and preoccupations that, for the most part, never come to fruition, because they are not for your ultimate good.

“The way of life, life in my Spirit, is really quite simple, but to the extent that you will things for yourself and do not allow me to lead your life, you constantly visit upon yourself frustration and disappointment.   Therefore, it is necessary for you to feel the pain of my pruning, the process of my cutting you off from all those things that are not of me.   Your pain is in direct proportion to your self will and your compulsion to organize your life in opposition to my will for you. Thus has it ever been with my children.”

All you need do, my son, as best you can, is go about your day recalling my love for you and remaining in the present moment, surrendering to me your plans, your desires, and your frustration. Let me care for you.  There’s really nothing more for you to do than that. Recall your Zen training and let me handle things here.  I love you and have only your best for you. Let me be your God and you my son.”

Categories Blog Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Posted on January 12, 2014

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