Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lent XXXVIII

Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard, cypress with spikenard. (Song of Songs 4:13)

The pomegranate tree, before its pomegranates are ripe, brings no enjoyment to those who eat; it is encased with thorns. So also is everyone who becomes God's garden and paradise in this life; first he must live with difficulty, with hunger and thirst and striving and exertion, and whatever other sufferings there are for virtue. Thus he constrains himself, and whatever trials come upon him involuntarily, whether caused by companions or by Satan, all of this he patiently and voluntarily bears for love of God. Afterwards, there will be appetizing fruit for God, like the pomegranate, which grows among thorns until it is ripe.

[Gregory of Narek, The Blessing of Blessings, Ervine, tr. Cistercian Publications (Kalamazoo, MI: 2007) p. 133.]

And that's a wrap.

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