This morning I had one of the instantaneous, flash meditations which are the combination of academic learning and more so the spiritual wisdom and grace of the Holy Spirit. We were singing “Now the Green Blade Riseth” at Morning Office. All of the sudden the song, the scripture “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains but a grain of wheat” and my recent study of plant lifecycle for Botany coalesced into a powerful insight.
A grain of wheat, the seed of wheat, has everything it needs to become what it is meant to be. The embryo within the seed is fully formed, it has the nourishment it needs to grow until it can provide its own needs and it has a seed coat to protect it until it begins the germination process. We too, through God’s grace, have all the tools we need to be the people we are meant to be to be fully alive in Him. Even though at times we many not believe that or the process may seem more painful or dangerous then we want to accept.
With a grain of wheat an interesting thing can happen. The normal process is meant for that seed to be released so it can go on and germinate in the soil. It will sometimes happen that the wheat will germinate while still on the stalk. When this occurs there is a problem. The stalk doesn’t have the water and nutrients that it needs to grow and flourish. It may grow to an extent but it will never become the fully grown plant it is meant to be unless it falls off the stalk and is planted with the soil.
This can occur for us in the spiritual life as well. We may start to grow while on the “stalk”, however there comes a point when we will be lacking the “nutrients” we need to fully become the person we are meant to be in Christ. For us the stalk isn’t necessarily the parent plant where we are formed. It’s whatever control (or multitude of controls) that we’re clinging to; that which we can’t let go of and allow God to handle. Yet, our call is to make the choice to take that risk, to die to ourselves and let God take over. When we do so we are guided by Him to the rich soil which contains all we need to grow, to thrive and to become our true self in God.
In a very real way this is what we do as religious when we take our vows. We make the choice to lay down our lives and place them in God’s hands. In doing so, we are often guided on a path that we wouldn’t always have dreamed of if we continued to choose our own plans. However, when we truly surrender we find the endless peace and love of God at work in our lives. As a junior sister, that is in some ways the grace of our yearly renewal. Each year we come back and once again say Lord, I give you permission, take over my life. We do that knowing the struggles that we have been in that year but also knowing the greater love and joy which comes when we truly choose to live in His will and way.
-Sister Karol Marie, FSGM
Our junior professed Sisters renewed their vows on Divine Mercy Sunday.