Friday, May 10, 2019

Travel the Path with the Joy of the Resurrection

Rooted as he is in the scriptures, St. Charbel pulls us into the rich images used by Jesus and brings them to life for us.  We find ourselves walking along the path to the well with the Samaritan woman, weighed down by the burdens of our life; carrying all the "treasures" once held dear but now broken and shattered dreams.  We carry the shards, still treasuring what is worthless or only a distraction. St. Charbel tells us to get rid of what the world would make us carry. Have only one jar, he teaches, the jar of Christ, which will enrich you with everlasting love and lift you up.  Simplify your lives.  To multiply jars is to multiply ones burdens and concerns.  It will blind us to the world around us and we will lose sight of our neighbor.

Likewise, he tells us to be full grains of wheat that can bear the winnowing to come. You must have the substance of the Kingdom so as not to be blown away with the chaff.  You must become the wheat that can be ground into flour and baked with the fire of God's charity.  Persevere, Charbel exhorts us, through this whole process and travel the path of sanctity that will bring you to the fullness of Life. 

You walk along the path of your life, carrying the weight of burdens and many cares, loaded with all sorts of jars; some of them useful, others useless, while scattering your treasures in them.

You mix up your treasures with your junk, and you no longer know where, in what jar they are.  The jars are so cumbersome that some of them fall and are broken, some treasures are lost.  Some people fritter away their fortune along the path of their life and arrive loaded down only with clay.

Every jar you carry that does not contain your treasure is a useless burden full of distractions, which slows your march and tires you.

Get rid of the jars that the world obliges you to carry, even if you have carried them during a long, tiring journey and perhaps have become accustomed to them.

Know where your treasure is and put your whole heart there; store it all in just one jar and carry it carefully.  Thus you will preserve it, and you will arrive rich with this treasure.

Carry just one jar, the jar of Christ, who enriches you with love and carries it with you.  Even when it is full, it will always be able to hold more; although heavy, it will be easy to carry.

The other jars are all made of clay; even when empty  they will be difficult to carry and will bend your back.  Choose for yourselves your paths in this world, and do not let the path choose you.  Do not carry the jars that the world imposes on you to distract and exhaust you.

The more your jars multiply, the more remote you will be from your neighbor.  Each one of them demands a distance.  The more numerous they become, the greater the distances around you, and you be obliged to distance yourselves from one another so that your jars do not collide and run the risk of breaking.  Therefore the jar becomes more important that your brethren.  In your anxiety to protect your jars, you will have lost your brethren and your neighbors.

Know that your treasures are very precious, but that you carry them in an earthen treasure, and all your brethren own a precious treasure, and they too carry it in an earthen vessel.

You make your jars with your own hands and shut yourselves up in them, telling yourselves: "The world is made of clay?"  Someone who puts himself inside the jar sees all of life as though it were made of clay.  Come out of it and see the world as it is, and not as you have imagined it from inside.  Let everyone fill his jar with the treasure of Christ, who is the only true treasure.

Be full grains of wheat on the Lord's threshing floor so that you may have weight and fall when the fork winnows you and you may be gathered upon so as to be stored in the barns of life.  Do not be light, empty grains like the straw that the wind carries off far from the threshing floor and scatters.  Only Christ can fill you and give you weight.

Be filled with Christ so that you can remain on the threshing floor and be gathered up.  As long as you remain on the threshing floor, the shovel will keep winnowing you to remove the straw from you.  Every grain of wheat remains alone, even if it is gathered with the others in the measure and in the sack.

The mill, the water, and the fire make the flour into one lump of dough and one loaf.  It is a long process from the field to the bread.  Pray for the sickle that cuts you down, for the flail that threshes you, for the threshing floor that gathers you, for the fork that winnows you, for the mill that grinds you, for the water the kneads you, and for the fire that bakes you.

The path of sanctity extends from the field to the bread, from the dusk to the light, from the crib to the cross.

Travel it with the joy of the resurrection.

St. Charbel
Love is a Radiant Light