Sunday, May 15, 2011

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIBURNUM


Here is a beautiful shrub that I mistakenly thought was dogwood but that the resident botany experts here  assure me is instead called viburnum.

Many such are scattered about the grounds of Mt. St. John, where I'm staying for a week at the Marianist Novitiate in Dayton, Ohio. I found one viburnum that looked particularly friendly around dusk the other night, and spent some quality time with him/her.










Carlo Carretto, desert mystic, says that when we meditate, we’re not looking at God so much as He is looking at us.

This morning I crept out in the cool drizzly dark to the Mary grotto that's right across the long lawn from my room and in which red candles burn all through the night.


Carretto also writes:

Do you love the desert because you no longer love men? Are you trying to stay here because the idea of going back there is distasteful to you? 'If so, go back,' said my conscience; 'If so, go back,' said my superior. I remember one conversation I had with the man who at that time, in the name of God and of the Church, was acting as my spiritual director. 'Carlo, during those years of solitude you have discovered God as the Absolute and you have fallen in love with him. But now you must discover another absolute: man. Before, perhaps, when you spoke of working for the apostolate, you were doing so under the impulse of nature. Now you must do it under the impulse of grace. Originally, perhaps, you enjoyed it, now you must do it because it costs you something. And remember one important truth, which made of Père de Foucauld one of the prophets of our time: one must live out the life of contemplation among one's fellow men. And if you want one phrase that sums up his thought on the subject, remember this: 'Present to God and present to men.' And so I found myself back in the world, in the midst of all the confusion, surrounded by my fellow men."

--from In Search of the Beyond


Now here is someone who looks like he actually knows where he is going.
"I know my geese and my geese know me"...

1 comment:

  1. I would have guessed that was Dogwood too, Heather.

    Yesterday evening in Pasadena, I drove past a wall that was covered in Jasmine. The heavenly scent hit me just as I passed. I nearly swooned at the wheel!

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