Breaking Free! A Budding Flower Pushing Through the Concrete
By: Eric Gajewski
From the work, "Fortress of the Soul"
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.”
St. Francis of Assisi
There were many ways the Catholic mystics used to describe “this loosening” from the self and ultimately death thereof. Nay, we are commanded by Christ to deny the self and not embrace it as the New Age says to. Yea, In order for us to embrace our Cross this is necessary and not optional. If we habitually can deny the self through grace then we are more apt to take up greater crosses for Jesus. The Saint does not see suffering as an impediment but rather they understood the value of the Cross but this cannot be achieved wilst still clinging to the self. You can always tell who is still full of self (to some degree) by the way they talk about holy suffering. Nevertheless, all souls must go through a period of purification and illumination before one can achieve the spiritual marriage with our Beloved. It is a brutal battle (against the self) which we must encounter daily. Let us examine by using the analogy of a budding Flower trying to break through the cracks in the hardened concrete.
Close your eyes to see this picture. A seed planted deep within the darkened earth. Deep below it is dark and there is virtually no air nor light. It is seemingly suffocating and very hard to move. This seed is not dead but it is not mature. It needs air, light and water from above in order to arise to its full potential. It is destined to be a vibrant Flower yet it has so many obstacles in front of it. Yea, we were all meant to be Saints but how few will ever arise to the surface to greet the Son above. We continually do not do the things our Lord said to do in order for us to break trough the crack above. This dirt seems like an impediment but it is necessary for any budding flower. It is your cell of silence and solitude.
Above is the hardened layer of concrete. Due to human nature it is stiff and rigid. Only the Heat and Light from above can “crack” this dense layer. It is then that God’s life giving Waters can flow downward to reach us. Our Lord said the path is narrow and for the sake of this example there are only a few cracks upon the surface by which a Flower can come up through. Those without the proper norm of Faith die out and cannot reach their final destination. Then there are those who seemingly choose to stay below because it requires much work in order to loosen ones self from all the obstacles that surround it. Deep within is purification of the soul. It is here that there is a painful self-knowledge process being undertaken and yet without which a soul cannot aspire to new heights. Without grace or divine help it will not be able to grow and bud high enough to reach any point in the dirt that may have a crack in it. For just below the surface of this hardened layer of concrete are potential budding flowers. These budding flowers are looking for cracks above it so that it can gain further Light and Water. Thus, we must on our end look for these cracks and thus, through grace, a soul moves onward from purification into illumination wherein it receives (at times) the Light itself. It is still painful here as it is with the souls in Purgatory who are not yet free. It is somewhat sweet but the suffering is great for there is not yet full freedom.
This process is both a work of your own free will but moving through the Divine. You cannot arise to the surface without the aide of the Divine. This, again, runs contrary to the evil New Age self-realization thinking. Take notice that it is the Son’s Heat and Light from above which “cracks” this layer of the self upon the surface. Ask yourself today, “Have I allowed God to crack me to the point in which I am willing to do whatever for God?” Are you in control or have you allowed God all control in your life? I notice that on the other side of this dirt there only a few vibrant flowers living in the direct presence of the Son. There are not as many cracks as one would think because there are not a lot of souls striving for holiness let alone perfection. Many are called but few accept; many die out because they have not learnt that there was anything else but these depths. For a Seed to fully mature requires all your hearts strength and yet so many do not attempt.
Prayer is the oxygen of the soul. By keeping in prayer we do not succumb to despair in this process or transformation. By staying close to Our Lady and the Sacraments we continually get the Light and Water we need to continually arise in accordance to Gods Will. For some flowers shall move quickly through the dirt like St. Catherine, still others it will be a life's work and sadly for most they will never break free onto the surface this side of lifes breath. You must protect your own Seed and refrain from mortal sin if you are to have any hopes of arising on the other side of self. Those who continually strive to satisfy the self or ego live directly beneath that hardened layer of concrete with no cracks and thus no opportunity to further grow nor break free. Therefore, it is adversity in which the flower needs. It is the dirt which surrounds him which helps him to understand he was made for more and that it is in the Presence of the Son above which makes him alone happy. Thus, the commandments we must keep. Therefore, ask yourself this question “What is it in this life I truly seek?”
“O’ Learn Ye Wise, a Lesson from this Analogy
For it is His Heart’s Story
Which is Our Roadmap unto true Liberty
Through this dirt and upward, unto Him, alone, we hope to meet
And in the days dry heat, this humidity
It is deep we begin to develop in humility
Opposing the Enemy
It is thus every true believer’s belief
That the self must be broken
To achieve Oneness with the Son, in true Unity
Yea, we have only Faith in Thee, Thy Divinity
To complete this process
From growing as a Seed
To being in thy Presence for all Eternity
For, we too, like the Saints, seek
To possess alone Charity, which is Thy Highest Seat
Yea, we would like to forever greet
But who can cast aside the self long enough
Who is brave enough to answer their own question?
“Who should takest control of my heart therefore to lead!”
O’ souls, how lovely, indeed, it is, here on top
Where you can hear the Wind Speak, O’ How sweet!
For, in the end, there are only just a few
Who are even trying to get in His Presence, trying to break free
As Seeds to budding flowers pushing through this dirt
Deep beneath this hardened concrete
Reflection point for the day: “Time does not heal….only God does…”