Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spirituality: “Be Reconciled to God”: An Eagle Among Turkeys By Pope Francis

Some time ago I read a parable written by a monk which enlightened me greatly about the shriveling of one’s heart and how, at times, the world tends to press in upon ourselves. The parable goes like this: Some boys climbing a mountain found an eagle’s nest with an egg, and they brought it down with them. Later they wondered what they should do with the egg, and one of the boys suggested that they take it to his house, since he had a turkey hen that was sitting on some eggs to be hatched. So they added the egg to the ones the turkey was sitting on. The chicks were hatched, they all looked the same, and they started to grow. But the eagle chick acted differently from the rest. When the others walked along looking at the ground, he looked at the sky and felt something. But since he had no one to teach him how to fly, his life, which ought to have been spent flying high, was spent in the coop among the turkeys.

Together with this call to “be reconciled with God” and to “turn to God with all your heart,” we can also ask ourselves this question: Am I the turkey in the coop, or do I desire to fly? Am I attached to a flock which is going around blindly doing what everyone else does, seeking only its own satisfaction, concentrating on self, or am I looking upward to fly high? I assure you that if, during this Lent, you look higher, pray more, and fast from things which entertain you in a negative way and instead take advantage of that time to do a good work: visiting a sick person, keeping your children company, listening to your father, or your grandfather, who says the same thing over and over – if you do this during Lent, your heart will begin looking up and you will find a great surprise at the end.

May your shriveled heart, which is now practically a tomb, begin to feel that this tomb is the witness of someone who rose to save you, and you will encounter the living Jesus. So we begin Lent with a healthy optimism, with this great hope: reconcile yourself with God; return to the Lord with your whole heart; let your heart grow larger; look upward! He will do the rest. Have confidence.