There be delights that will fetch the day about from sun to sun
and rock the tedious year as in a delighted dream. . .
It’s man’s bit of gaudy make-believe–his well-designed fiction
of an unvexed Paradise. . . a world where gayety knows no eclipse. . .
~John D. Sedding
And what delights “there be” to erase the tedium of winter! They not only fetch the day but human hearts as well. The deliciousness that started a few weeks ago is now beginning to enlarge and explode into the making of what Sedding called an “unvexed Paradise.” Joy bubbles up from the heart of Creation to greet and honor the Christ so that it truly is “a world where gayety knows no eclipse.” As earth spreads glorious sacraments on ancient and sacred altars, what is proffered there will sustain Creation for yet another year. Evidence of the Maker is evident at every turn, and each of our senses provide ways of knowing the Holy One who hovers close and loves what He has made. In the temple of earth, sea, and sky, we see what His spoken word has done; in the temple of our soul we feel the stirring of His presence; and in the temple of our body we hear His heartbeat in the beating of our human hearts. From the temple of fertile fields, we taste earth’s fruits, and in the temple of our minds, we are impacted by the touch of God’s grace and mercy. So come, Lord Jesus, come, and in your coming cleanse us, renew our strength, and take us to the foot of Your cross to witness the agony and the ecstasy of Your magnanimous sacrifice. Hosanna in the highest, Christ has risen and He, the Messiah, lives! Together and through us the Father and His Son walk the earth while the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
Bless to me, O God, each thing mine eye sees;
Bless to me, O God, each sound mine ear hears;
Bless to me, O God, each odour that goes to my nostrils;
Bless to me, O God, each taste that goes to my lips;
Each note that goes to my song; each ray that guides my way;
Each thing that I pursue; each lure that tempts my will;
The zeal that seeks my living soul; the three that seek my heart.
~Celtic blessing by Catherine Maclean of Naast, Gairloch, Scotland
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. . . -Psalm 96:11-12
**The photograph above is a passionflower that was blooming in my yard a week before Easter 2013. **Wikipedia tells us that the “Passion” in “passion flower” refers to the passion of Jesus in Christian theology. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:
- The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
- The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
- The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
- The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
- The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
- The blue and white colors of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity.