Tuesday, September 18, 2012
He opened the book of nature before me, and I saw that every flower He has created has a beauty of its own, that the splendor of the rose and the lily’s whiteness do not the deprive the violet of it’s scent nor make less ravishing the daisy’s charm. I saw that if every little flower wished to be a rose, nature would lose her spring adornments, and the fields would be no longer enameled with their varied flowers.-St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul.
In this beautiful analogy the type of flower seems to symbolize the type of vocation given to a person by God and the detailed differences between two flowers of the same species shows the difference between people with the same vocation lies with the details. Each one of these flowers are supposed to bloom in holiness and show God’s greatness though them. Just as a flower cannot grow and bloom without the sun and the rain neither can a person grow and bloom in holiness without the Son and showers of His grace. It is up to the flower to accept the Rain and Sunlight and if it is unwilling to accept these things because of the desire to become a different kind of flower or not become a flower of holiness at all, then it will wither up and die and shall be cast into the fire. The weeds of worldly desires may choke up the flower and prevent its growth or the rocky ground that does not allow the flower to deepen its roots of faith and humility will be become burnt up by the sun.
The lily should not try to become a rose nor a rose a lily. Each one is beautiful in their own way and cannot be compared, for sometimes the Gardener desires to look upon the daisy and sometimes the lilies and sometimes the rose. “I tell you again and again, my brethren that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of the Martyr. In it there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows.” (St. Augustine, Sermon on Feast of St. Lawrence). If the ivy tries to become the lily how will it survive for each needs to grow in its own environment that suits the purpose of the plant in order to grow and glorify the Gardener.
It does not make one less perfect because they are something different than their brothers and sisters for the happier one is to be as Christ wills him or her to be, the more perfect they become (St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul). How could perfection lie outside of what makes us grow, the Son and showers of grace? Just as the sun shines equally on the cedar and the little flower, so the Divine Sun shines equally on everyone, great and small (St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul).
Then when we do bloom we should not try to be humble and say that we are unattractive and without scent (St. Therese, The Story of a Soul). Only someone who exalts themselves could say something like this because only they would think of humility as speaking poorly of the gifts God has given them. The truly humble soul has no reason to say that they are unattractive and without scent for they know that they are not the source, so instead of insulting Gods gifts to them there soul magnifies the Lord (Lk. 1:46).