“What we have to fear most is a curt refusal leaving no room for negotiation.” (Letter To Father Tempier, at Rome, June 18, 1832: 425:VIII in Oblate Writings)
When something becomes arbitrary, limited, tied and forced – be it with our governments, our leaders or even our Church it can become deadly for everyone. Where there is no room to grow, to flower and bloom – then the seed stays a seed in the ground lying where it will, not to nourish, not to share and spread life.
I think of parents and teachers – their entire beings are focussed on teaching with gentle guidance, on helping their students and children to expand their horizons and to grow, to look at all the possibilities and to ‘dream big’. It would seem that our faith is always a growing thing. It does not become born and then just stay static for the rest of our lives. Rather it grows – outwardly as does a flower while at the very same time deepening sending out roots. No one person or body of persons would dare to tell a sunflower to grow and appear as a rose, or a might oak to transform itself and become a birch tree.
I think of St. Eugene speaking with those that some would deem to be unworthy of God’s notice, of his Lenten Sermon at the Church of the Madeleine. “Come now and learn from us what you are in the eyes of faith. You, the poor of Jesus Christ […] the sick and the suffering […] You are the children of God, co-heirs of his eternal Kingdom, the cherished portion of his inheritance; […] life up your heads! Let your dejected spirit rise! […] raise yourselves toward heaven where you were meant to attain what should be your most normal relationship. […] Therefore, O Christians, recognize your dignity…”
No rigid bounds to bury and deaden. Only a framework, a base upon which to grow and flourish. A place where there is wiggle room to become who we have been created to be.