For up-to-date information, including our latest appeals, news, and resources, please visit our current website.
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
The wicked sound way more productive. They are following advice and walking down paths and hanging out with the scoffers.
The other lot are stuck in one place like a tree, meditating on the law of God.
This seems just plain lazy in a world that says fruitfulness comes from being efficient, working harder, moving faster and doing more.
It is deeply subversive to say that fruitfulness comes from being rooted in the word of God. That endless activity and movement, otherwise known as the modern virtue of ‘busyness’, may well be nothing but chaff that is blown away by the wind.
Taking time out from the constant exposure to the world’s messages is a hard thing to do because initially it feels like a crushing waste of time.
It is an act of radical trust to accept that foregoing immediate productivity and entering into stillness with God is necessary for real usefulness.
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
Clancy of the Overflow
I can stick artificial flowers on this tree that will not flower, or I can create the conditions in which the tree is likely to flower naturally. I may have to wait longer for my real flowers but they are the only true ones.
It was said of Abba John the Dwarf that he withdrew and lived in the desert at Scetis with an old man of Thebes. His abba, taking a piece of dry wood, planted it and said to him, “Water it every day with a bottle of water, until it bears fruit”. Now the water was so far away that he had to leave in the evening and return the following morning. At the end of three years the wood came to life and bore fruit. Then the old man took some of the fruit and carried it to the church saying to the brethren, “Take and eat the fruit of obedience”.
A saying of the desert fathers and mothers
Collins St, 5 p.m.
Image courtesy of Michael Leunig
Take a copy of Psalm 1 and go and sit by (or lie under) a tree without any way to be interrupted for a while.