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Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field.  But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and are standing up again when the storm has calmed down.

Flexibility is a great virtue.  When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken.   Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy.  It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground.   A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people.  Let’s be flexible while being deeply rooted.

emphasis mine

In distress you called and I rescued you; I answered you in secret with thunder.”  Psalm 81: 8

Merton’s Voice:

While I am asking questions which You do not answer, You ask me a question which is so simple that I cannot answer. I do not even understand the question.

Thomas Merton. A Merton Reader, ed. by Thomas P. McDonnell, (New York: Image Books, 1989): 213.

 

 

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