Thursday, October 01, 2009

Consider the Oaks of the Forest

Consider the oaks of our countryside, how crooked they are; they thrust their branches to right and left, nothing checks them so they never reach a great height.

On the other hand, consider the oaks of the forest, which are hemmed in on all sides, they see light only up above, so their trunk is free of all those shapeless branches which rob it of the sap needed to lift it aloft. It sees only heaven, so all its strength is turned in that direction, and soon it attains a prodigious height.

In the religious life the soul like the young oak is hemmed in on all sides by its rule. All its movements are hampered, interfered with by the other trees ... But it has light when it looks toward heaven, there alone it can rest its gaze, never upon anything below, it need not be afraid of rising too high.

-- letter from Saint Therese to Leonie, 1893

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