05 March 2015

The Unguarded Garden Bears Little Fruit

Composed after listening to a conference by Fr. John Hunwicke.

It's the seed sown in fertile soil that grows up and sprouts rich foliage capable of supporting much fruit.  And it's the garden carefully tended, the one whose seeds are guarded against strangulation by weeds and pilfering by pests that can be the home to healthy plants.  One reads of the subtleties and development and communal richness of medieval Christianity, with its processions and martyrs, its liturgies and religious.  One looks at the pathetic destitution, the barren simplicity of the Christian cultus today, and one asks "Why, Lord? Why has your garden ceased to bear such rich fruit of devotion and sacrifice?"  Perhaps it is because the gardeners stopped protecting their plots.  Perhaps because they are no longer willing to do battle against pests and weeds.  We quietist gardeners have refused to fight for the survival (much less the health and fruition) of the seed of faith planted in us.  It has been stripped of the rich foliage of the common life and the liturgy, and without this it cannot bear fruit.  And therefore our faith is weak, pathetic, and fruitless.  

What is that coming up from the wilderness
like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
  Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
some of the mighty men of Israel,
  all of them wearing swords
and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
against terror by night.