28 March 2011

God's Garden of Delight

You who walk around in the gardens of the Scriptures do not pass by heedlessly and idly but search each and every word like busy bees gathering honey from flowers, reap the Spirit from the words. Proving by experience that hidden manna is savoury, you will break forth into those words of David: "How sweet are Your words to my palate, more than honey to my mouth" (Ps 118 [119], 103).

From these gardens the Bridegroom will lead you, and if I’m not mistaken, into others where rest is more hidden, enjoyment more blessed and beauty more wonderful. When you are absorbed in His praises with accents of exultation and thanksgiving, He will take you into His wonderful dwelling place, into the very house of God, into the unapproachable light in which He dwells, where He feeds, where He lies down at midday. For if the devotion of those who sing psalms or pray has a touch of that loving curiosity of the disciples who asked: "Rabbi, where are you dwelling?" (Io 1, 38), I think they deserve to hear: "Come and see" (Io 1, 39). And then we read: "They came and saw where He abode and they stayed with Him that day" (ibid).

As long as we are with the Father of lights, with Whom there can be no change, no straying from His course, we know nothing of the night, we enjoy a blessed daylight. When we fall, hence, we relapse into our own darkness. Woe is me: how quickly my days have passed away, how quickly I have dried up like grass. As long as I was in the garden with Him, I was vigorous and flourishing like God's Paradise. With Him I am a garden of delight; without Him, a place of horror and sheer wilderness.

For I think that the man who enters his garden becomes a garden himself, his soul is like a watered garden, so that the Bridegroom says in praise of him: "My sister, My spouse is a garden enclosed" (Cant 4, 12). Yield the fragrance of incense. Blossom like the lily, and smell sweet, and put forth leaves for your adornment.

~ Blessed Guerric of Igny ~