The anguish of peace-pain
is a part of summer love.
The spring was so alive,
so full of hope, of beauty,
as fruit trees and garden plants
were in blossom,
and the weather was invigorating
and full of delight.
But the fruit was only begun in that season.
The growing to full maturity came in the summer that followed.
Being open to long, hot, dry days and sultry wakeful nights ---
summer's scorching breath --
that, too, is part of summer love.
Summer is a growing season.
The earth is fruitful then,
so long as there is water.
God has planted the seed of the Word in our hearts
and has watered it.
God is a spring of living water welling up from within.
Somehow, winter love and summer love seem so alike.
One is an apparent absence of life. And that is hard.
The other is in the self-giving of life,
the sustaining, the undergirding of life, and that is hard.
God is in them both.
We can rest in God in both.
That is the challenge:
to rest in God in winter barrenness
and in summer busyness
and life's demands.
Rest is not the opposite of ministry
or of work.
It is the opposite of agitation
and inner turmoil.
Hear God in the silence of winter snow
and in the symphony of creation's voices
of summer nights and days.
I know about garden plants and fruit trees,
but what about the human heart?
People we love we are with so briefly.
All the goodness and beauty of our time with them
passes so swiftly and will never come back as the same.
Why must our heart ache so and be so torn, so alone?
Life is a pilgrimage.
We are on our way
to a home prepared for us
that will be forever.
It is crucial that we love the road we travel,
but remain free.
God always calls us onward,
always calls us beyond where we are,
There were hard times during years past
but now it all seems so precious.
Our whole life is like that.
The truth is that it is precious
To focus on the hard while we are living through it
is natural but limiting.
It is wisdom to live what we are doing now,
to recognize the goodness of all that surrounds us.
Someday we will look back on this period.
So very, very brief it will seem then,
and our only regret
will be our failure to love,
to be grateful and joyful, and alive.
Because God has called us
to our present task,
whatever it may be,
we need to receive it with open heart.
God has promised and will ever be faithful to that promise:
I will be with you.
We have received the Holy Spirit.
We are to live in trust.
"Blessed is she who believed
that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled" (Luke 1:45).
During that Incarnation summer
Mary could perceive physical signs in her body
of the Word's presence in her womb
but she had believed even before.
We, too, are to live in the reality of the incarnation.
We, too, are to live in faith in God's promises to us as did Mary.
God's promises flower in summer's faith.
That is summer love.