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The Cross is the Tree of life...

You made the cross the tree of life
    - give its fruit to those reborn in baptism…

Is this a direct reference to the tree in Genesis? Which was forbidden to touch till Christ came? And now its meaning is more profound than it first seemed. The cross is the fullness of time and baptism - to know and to love Christ - allows us to "bear fruits" when we carry the cross of life…

This is remarkable.
This is truly amazing.

The various layers of obedience

I understand better, now as I am older, the beauty of obeying even without understanding, the need to obey "with love", with complete trust. It looks to me that this type of obedience is definitively one notch above the other two kinds.

- First you can obey because what is being asked of you makes sense. You agree with it, you get it and you do it. That's the practical and reasonable kind. The common sense for the common good. And it is a very userful system whether you work on one project alone or with a group of people. We all kow how valuable it is to use reason and logic and our own experience to understand what is needed to be done and to obey, tackling the task immediately as we have been asked.

- Or, raising the bar, you could obey even if you don't understand it but because that is what is required of you and you agreed to it beforehand; let's say in the military, or in any hierarchy, work or school, so your response is out of a sense of responsibility, it is the disciplined kind of obedience. One very practical exemple is the case of any professional kitchen, that's why there is a chef and a sous-chef and more. Because in a kitchen, everyone has specific skills to use in a specific order, all of them having a domino effect on multiple things, and all the chefs and staff agree to obey this particular hierarchical order before hand, so no chaos happens when the flow of things is suddenly impaired and only one has the authority to make the final decision. I assume it is the same in a surgical room and we easily get it, even all of us who are completely outsiders of the medical world! It is the same in many workshops and assembly lines and more.

- But, as I mentioned above, there is one more notch to consider and that is when you obey out of love, when you give yourself over completely to the one making the demand, when your love and trust is so profound that it goes beyond your own comprehension and it seeks only to fulfill the demand. This type of obedience entered the world with the Passion of Christ (although it was prefigured in the OT, but that is another discussion) it is the key to the mystery of suffering. Because of our own baptism, we now understand the fruits of obedience done in sacrificial love. This is the highest and most matured kind of obedience.

It just happens to be very similar to the way of the "little children"…
It is all about love. And faith.
And the grace of God vibrating through the creation.
And baptism being the one spark touching our souls and calling it into the great chorus so we can bear fruits for the world.

You made the cross the tree of life
    - give its fruit to those reborn in baptism

Intercessions of the Morning Prayers
Liturgy of the Hours (Friday after Ash Wednesday).

Many shapes, many sizes, so many fruits...

Trees and fruits can come in quite a large variety of shapes and sizes and colors... From the little rasberries that we can find in bushes in early summer in the French Alps, to the abricot and lemon trees of California, there is a beautiful palette of fruits. And this is not even tackling the exotic trees and surprising fruits of faraway places!
We are all called to bear fruits wherever we may be.

Tree of life 1 Abricot Branch in Santa Cruz
Abricot branches in the Santa Cruz mountains, in California

Tree of life 2 in the French Alps
A landscape of trees in the Vallée du Haut-Giffre in the French Alps.


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