Jan 31, 2008

Reminder about Cultivation of Fields

My sister sent me this very short but powerful discussion by Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop. [Sermons, no. 6; CCL 103,32 (SC 175)
Brethren, there are two kinds of field: the first is God’s field, the second is man’s. You have your property; God has his, too. Your own property is your land; God’s property is your soul. Is it right that you should cultivate your property and leave God’s lying fallow?

If you cultivate your land but fail to cultivate your soul, is this because you want to set your own property in order but leave God’s fallow? Is that right? Does God deserve that we should neglect the soul he holds so dear?

You are delighted when you see your property well cultivated; why don’t you weep when you see your soul lying fallow? We cause the fields on our property to come alive for a few days in this world; caring for our souls will enable us to live forever in heaven…

God has deigned to entrust our souls to us as his property; so let us set to work with all our might, by his help, so that when he comes to visit his property he will find it well cultivated and in perfect order.

May he find a harvest and not thorns; may he find wine and not vinegar, corn rather than chaff. If he finds everything in it that can be pleasing in his eyes, he will give us an eternal reward in exchange, but thorns will be committed to the fire.

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