A month ago, one of the pine trees on our property had become victim of the drought, had dried up and on the verge of being cut down. When Charles Carter, our Security and Hospitality person at the Retreat Center, came to know about it, he offered to take care of the tree and bring it to life again! To start with, he went and hugged the pine tree, spoke to the tree (strange, huh?) and then started watering the tree three times a week. Three weeks into watering with gentle care, the tree began showing signs of green! Janet, our Facilities Manager, promptly approached Charles and informed him about the ‘other two Pine trees’ that were beginning to turn brown.
The world expects a lot from us. We ought to perform, bring in results…else you are fired! At times our hard work does not pay off as it should. And so when chips are down in our personal or professional life, a little nudge here, a word of encouragement there, a pat on the back, can work wonders. There are times when we find ourselves drifting away in our spiritual life too. Our souls tend to ‘dry up’ and become ‘unproductive’. We become like "children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming." (Eph. 4: 14)
However, St. Paul reminds us that Grace abounds and supersedes everything. God never gives up on us and provides ample opportunities to bounce back. He is patient and treats his children with utmost care and compassion. We need to keep our eyes and ears open to the opportunities God continuously offers us to come back to him. He is always there with open arms to welcome and embrace us.
Fr. Bruno D’Souza, CP, is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.