- Ryan G. Duns, SJ
A story I have read many times and have come to treasure is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The book subtly and deftly communicates three profound insights into both the nature of friendship and the demands of spirituality. The fox, in a lovely exchange with the Little Prince, counsels him:
- It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the naked eye.
- It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes it so important.
- You are responsible forever for what you have tamed.
I recall these today because, as I pray with our readings, it strikes me that both our Psalm and our Gospel challenge us to recall that it is part of our daily task to discern just what should stand at the center of our lives.
Both the scribe in the Gospel and the Psalmist play on a similar theme: listening. Our world is so loud, so filled with ambient noises and distractions, that it is often difficult to focus long enough to hear how God is speaking. Perhaps today we could each take a few moments to open the inner ear of our heart so that we, too, might come to hear how God is inviting us into deeper friendship.
Lent can, for each of us, be a time for allowing what is essential to each of us to show itself forth. Where we see those glints and instances of God's presence, we should take time to dwell upon those and to savor those moments. Yet know that prayer, real prayer, carries with it a terrible grace: having been addressed by God and after spending time drinking of Living Waters, you are responsible for what you have accepted. You cannot sit idly by but, inflamed by this friendship, must instead go out into the world to share with others the Good News of the Kingdom.