Living, Growing and Blossoming

purpleflowers01 350During this season of Spring we can catch glimpses of amazing wildflowers growing everywhere. Taking a walk or simply going outdoors, they can be seen in their full beauty showing off their many varieties of colour, shape, size and height. When I see such beauty, I experience an involuntary movement of joy within me which arises from wonder with creation, and a deep sense of awe of the Creator who gives each flower and plant its own unique design, even to the very tiniest of them.

The more I gaze at the flowers, the more I experience a deeper and stronger sense of gratitude and closeness with the Creator. Looking at them closely and observing them carefully, they appear to just know who they are, and display their satisfaction and happiness with this. Sometimes, in our haste and amid distractions, we might not notice them or even be aware of their existence because they are so little. However small they may be, they still display who they are, living, growing and blossoming. It’s as simple as that. Their self-awareness inspires me and teaches me great lessons  which I haven’t consciously taken on before.

As I pondered such beauty in all its simplicity I was filled with awe, and spontaneously drawn to sing a song called “Wildflower”. The core message of its lyrics is that the wildflowers, dressed in their beautiful clothes, and the birds in the sky, are not worried and anxious, as they trust that their loving Heavenly Father (Mother) cares for them every day. Jesus reminds us that, as precious as flowers and birds are in God’s eyes, human beings are even more precious.

A wildflower’s life, growth and blossoming can be a metaphor for our life, too, especially for our spiritual life. How do we nourish our spiritual life in terms of living, growing and blossoming happily and peacefully like a wildflower’s life?  The song points out that the fundamental core of our spiritual life is about trust. Trusting in God is like a young child who places complete trust in his/her parents who wish only the best for their child. Jesus reminds us “Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3).

Little children, as we know, have great humility and simplicity, and rely on adults in a beautiful simple way. They are completely dependent upon their parents. However, for us as adults, it’s not so easy because we like to be independent as we see independence as being ‘adult’. Jesus calls for something different: for us to let go of our independent state and become like a child who puts her/his trust in their loving parent. To let go requires humility on our part. “How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3) Trusting helps us to put all our thoughts, minds, hearts and beings into God’s hands, remembering that all our needs are known before we even speak of them. If we are troubled, then, let us hand our worries over to Him (Her), remembering that those who believe and trust in God are truly blessed.

Fr Richard Rohr, a renowned spiritual writer, speaks about the spiritual and intellectual issues with “…my ego, my reputation, my self-image, my need to be right, my need to be successful, my need to have everything under control, my need to be loved… and adds: “…we are so stuffed full of ourselves.”[1]

Are we able, then, to let go of our ego, reputation, self-image, need to be right, need to be successful, need to have everything under control, need to be loved at all costs? If we could, this would be the way leading us living, growing and blossoming as do the wildflowers.  Jesus assured us that we are not alone, ever: “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Mt 28:20).  So, let us allow ourselves to be led by God’s Spirit to live, to grow and to blossom, trusting in our God who is able to do ‘… infinitely more than all we ask or imagine …” (Eph.3:20)

We can look to Mary as our great model of faith, witnessing her great humility and trust in God:  “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:37). October is the month of the Rosary.  In 1884 Pope Pius XIII officially established October as a dedicated month to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection. In his encyclical he says “It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troubled times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness…This devotion, so great and so confident, to the august Queen of Heaven, has never shone forth with such brilliancy…” [2]

During this pandemic time, let us consider praying the rosary, and remembering each other, especially in our desire to live, to grow and to blossom more fully, and draw more closely to the One who has created all that is beautiful, including each of us.

 

[1] Richard Rohr. Simplicity-The Freedom of Letting Go (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2003) 168.

[2] Pope Pius XIII. “Upremi Apostolatus Officio-On Devotion of the Rosary”, (1 September, 1883).

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