Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Death & Resurrection as Revealed in Nature

JMJT! Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!

I have been MIA for some time. My apologies...Life happens and I was unable to post anything, but God was working on my double-time during Lent so the Eastern blessings and joy are now abounding! I had two beautiful aha moments in the midst of Lent and on Good Friday that related to nature but so clearly spoke to my heart about the spiritual journey. 

During Lent, I continued to focus on the dying of myself, my will, my plans, agendas, and strongly held opinions and judgments. I worked on abstaining from commenting about every life event and gaining full[er] custody of my tongue. I was frequently reminded of the reminder on silence given by St. John of the Cross, "What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love. "  AND Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.

I was meditating on the metamorphosis of the caterpillar that is transformed into a butterfly, and praying that Our Lord would help m e to grow and change into a beautiful soul. I looked up the life cycle of the butterfly just to review this process, and was astonished by what I found. In this scientific description of the caterpillar weaving its cocoon, it reveals that the caterpillar digests itself! While doing so, it releases certain enzymes to dissolve all of the tissues, while certain cells known as imaginal discs survive the process and form the body parts for the newly formed butterfly.

Wow! Here I had been meditating on the Scripture passage from St. John that 'Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it bears no fruit." 

St. Teresa was more intuitively aware of how God helps our hearts to achieve metamorphosis or metanoia than she could have ever guessed. Indeed, just as the caterpillar must digest itself in order to be transformed, we must die to self and be empty to be filled with the fullness of God, 

The other event that happened relating to nature occurred on Good Friday. As my daughter and I were approaching an abortion clinic to pray the Rosary with our Bishop Olmstead, I spied a beautiful vibrant hummingbird on the ground completely still and presumably dead. I lamented this as I love hummingbirds, and have always likened them to the Holy Spirit, the Divine Providence of Our Heavenly Father, and related to a part of my own spiritual mission. I thought about the beauty of Christ being infinite, and yet Him becoming the unblemished Lamb that was slain for me and all of humanity on that day. I was crest fallen and really wanted to take this lovely intact bird home with me to bury it. After the Rosary, we gazed upon this little creature and decided to leave it. The entire weekend, this little hummingbird was with me in my mind. On Easter Monday, I finally decided to look up its symbolism and found an amazing explanation.

I discovered that this tiny bird is a symbol of the Resurrection in Christianity. This is because at night when the temperature drops, the little creature will go into what's known as torpor and become completely still and appear lifeless.  This is to slow down their metabolism and reserve their energy. As the sun begins to shine and they warm up, they pull out of this very deep sleep and seeming death and come to life again!  I pondered this beautiful metaphor of Our Lord's Resurrection and was so grateful that Our Lord was communicating to me the hope and promise of his Resurrection  and victory over apparent death, even on the very day when we were venerating His Passion and Death on the Cross. It brought me back full circle to when I was in the Holy Sepulcher in July, and was completely enveloped in the joy of the Resurrection while standing next to His tomb, and then when praying within it. It was overpowering. I could taste the joy and victory at that moment, and my soul understood better what Jesus had done for us. It was a moment I will never forget. I thank our Triune God not only for the big moments such as praying at Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem, but also the little moments of daily life, like seeing the delicate hummingbird in torpor that remind us of His Divine hand over all of creation, and His triumph over death which is apparent even in our darkened world.