Meditations are intended to be read sequentially, from 1 to 33.
(19 of 33) …
In the Garden?
It is hard to make out all that has happened. Too much partying. Life’s a blur. All is a blur. Our minds are clouded. Where are we?
Ahead, we see a shape. “Who’s there?”
No answer. Can’t be the creature — for he has an answer for everything!
We slowly approach. If our eyes don’t deceive us, it looks like a tree.
Is it a tree?
Is this tree, we now see, in the Garden? Or, is this the one on the Hill?
The calf only stares; the creature has disappeared.
There is no blood. There is no fruit.
Only a dead and barren — lifeless — tree in the Wilderness.
With great fear we look around us. We are truly alone. No fantasies, no gold, no friends, no hope.
It’s just us … and a mirror.
We, the tree.
(20 of 33) …
Again on the Hill …
The longer we stay here, the less we ask. The longer we stay here, the less we ask. The longer we stay here, the less we ask.
The longer we stay here, the more we find ourselves looking into the eyes of our beloved, the man on the Tree. Our souls seem wedded to his — and our bodies begin to obey our souls, his.
The question is: How is it that one is filled by emptying? How is it that one is happy yet crying? How is it that one is life-giving while dying?
The longer we stay here …
The doubts. “If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross and save yourself,” a voice cries.
Our eyes must ask the question … for he again, with love, dies.
(21 of 33) …
Again on the Hill …
It seems that there are less people on the Hill today. More in the Garden.
We’ve stopped looking at the Tree on the Hill.
Everyone is happy, laughing, dancing in the Garden. There rings shouts of joy! In the Garden, where all is knowledge, there are no questions. The Tree is not stained with blood. There is life in the Garden.
It is familiar.
We can never get used to this Hill. It is too hard a thing for us. We were created to be in the Garden.
What awaits us here? Were we created to die?
(22 of 33) …
In the Garden …
Friends. Ah, glorious friends! How we’ve missed you! The betrayals are forgotten. Let us eat, drink, and be merry!
In the Garden are many whom we know. They have welcomed us back to paradise with open arms, a warm embrace, and sweet caresses.
Lust tastes good as we feast upon the Tree. You’d think gluttony was our end! Alas, all the fruit is good and plenteous. Thanks be to God!
For a moment, we thought we heard … a still small voice?
Must be the wine.
The homecoming is so overpowering that tomorrow we plan to eat of sloth.
(23 of 33) …
Again in the Garden …
Anger. Sometimes (do our eyes deceive us?) we seem to partake of anger by mistake. It often looks just like pride.
Since pride, we’re told, is the omnipotent remedy for all our ills — we naturally reach for it daily.
Yet anger is found within.
“It is not anger. You are a god. You are in control. The world can be yours. Taste and see ….”
The creature. We no longer see him. He just seems to accompany our thoughts, doubts, and fears.
For this we are thankful. Because on the Hill there’s no answers … only questions. Mystery. Frustrating.
Anger? Pride? We’ve eaten too much sloth to care.
(24 of 33) …
In the Wilderness …
Doubts. Funny. On the Hill our doubts are brought on by questions. In the Garden, they are due to answers received.
Whom to trust?
The more friends we found in the Garden, the lonelier we became. They became, like the fruit, too familiar. No mystery.
For the moment, we are content in the Wilderness. Someone holds our hand. We dare not look. Afraid.
“All will be well.”
We do not look. Mystery. For now, it is good.
… we are on the Hill.
(25 of 33) …
Again in the Wilderness …
Our time on the Hill was very brief. We did not want to be there. But, because we trusted the voice in the Wilderness, there we were. But we did not want to be there.
We’d rather be alone. No one drove us into the Wilderness. We were not tempted. We made the decision all on our own. We are not headed back to the Garden. We just want to be alone.
Someone holds our hand. It is familiar … it is okay.
(26 of 33) …
In the Wilderness?
The Creature. What would we do? Where would we be without him? He is so full of encouragement and knowledge.
We may be moving soon … to the Garden. The creature tells us that the Wilderness is actually part of the Hill.
“Unless you want to die, like him, you must flee the Wilderness. You belong in the Garden. You were created for the Garden, and the Garden for you. Yours is not to die, but to live! How can you live without the plenteous fruit of the Garden?”
We want so badly to trust.
Doubt. Friends. Betrayal. Sin?
We remember the past. Remorse.
(27 of 33) …
On the Hill …
An answer: “The key is not in the forgetting but in the forgiving.”
“This is too hard a thing for me, Lord. In the Garden, when I forget, I am able to live! Here, when I try to forgive, it seems that a part of me dies!”
Patience. Long-Suffering. Peace. These live …
It seems that, on the Hill, with death there is new life.
The more we give, the more we gain. Forgiving is for getting.
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