Lent 25 ~ Harvest of Toil


          My children’s first test results are in. Some are okay, some not. Of course, I’m bothered by the not’s. I’m trying to not let it get to me, but I’ve already lost interest in the day. It’s not worry; it’s weariness. Deep, born of years of labour and sacrifices; there’s nothing we’ve not given the children. All we have asked them is to always give their best for Jesus.

         A string of B’s from an A-student who stubbornly spent more time in fun and tv watching cannot be deemed the best fruits offered at the altar of God. One who rushed through or slept through prayers and was casual about Mass and the Sacraments certainly did not bear the best of gifts for the Lord.

          The harvest is what it is because the toil was flawed from the start.

          For a while, I ponder my helplessness, this strange melancholic stupor that has me in a curled heap. What can I say to this child of mine? What can I say to reverse this dark tide?

          What can I do that hasn’t already been done?

          Idly sifting through the past readings, Isaiah stills my wanderings.

They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant. ~  Isaiah 65:21

          If the toil is flawed, so will the harvest be. We have said the same, in a hundred different ways. How will it make a difference now?

          A tiny bell tinkles in the still wind. Take Isaiah’s words. Take them as they are.

          I take Isaiah to this child. I pray he be received.

They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

          Words of hope. Words of warning.






To The Unknown Land ~ Edmund Blair Leighton

To The Unknown Land ~ Edmund Blair Leighton

Some years ago, as I sat on an ash heap of defeat and loss, God put His hand out and touched my pain through a priest who gave me the words to a poem I had never before heard. My Master’s voice reached me through its gentle swell and ebb of words, teaching me the meaning of faith through the soul of a child.

Picture 1551

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.


You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.