Tuesday, July 4, 2006

journey through the desert

"A fountain of joyfulness will spring up in the desert of your heart.
Not euphoria, not just any kind of joy,
but jubilation straight from the wellsprings of eternity."

~ Brother Roger of Taizé, Fleurissent les Déserts du Coeur

The proving-ground of the soul is what the desert represents: the arid, the desolate, the barren. Relief is not immediate, and that is just what makes those mirages of false concepts so hazardous. If the night has a thousand fears, as we are told, the waterless desert may have a million, as we can squint toward the visible horizon, longing with trepidation.

But if hope is to be tried and proven, even the direst desolation must be made to bloom. The breaking-points must be as the ferment falling to the ground. In my journey, the desert times have been the stages for profoundest transformation; when life becomes an unpacified continuum, the desert reappears and I must confront my unmasked self. In so doing, it becomes immediately necessary, and inevitably a great relief, to discard old formulae and outdated notions. There is surprising liberty in the breaking. The desert must flower. I insist.

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