Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Word for the Day: Field

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne said, “We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.”

St. Rose: “We cultivate a very small field.”

A French religious sister and missionary who founded missions along the Mississippi, St. Rose (1769–1852) served Native American peoples, especially the Pottowatomie tribe. I learned about her from today’s entry in Living with Christ, the poor man’s Magnificat. I love LWC’s saint-of-the-day feature.

But why is field the word for the day?

Since I was a child I had a sort of secret intuition that my place in the world was very small. Strangely, I used to watch an ant crawl along the crack in a wall or through our garden and wonder, “Will anyone every notice that ant?” What underlay my thought, I guess, was the concern that if no one notices you, you don’t exist. (It is a typical early thought for an exhibitionist. I have been accused of being that.)

But seriously. Who notices us in our little corner, our “very small field”? Isn’t that why we try to “stand out” in our field? Isn’t that why entrepreneurs, like farmers and warriors, “expand” their market share, acreage, territory?

I have reached the age when thoughts of empire or even family-building are behind me. I will happily watch and even babysit when my children give me grandchildren. But my own baby-making days are past. Like my acreage-acquisition phase.

This small home (this home page, speaking as a blogger) is where I sit. Very few may notice me crawling along. (Check my stats. It’s true.) But St. Rose didn’t worry about that. She had the answer for me today and me, the little boy, watching bugs then.

We cultivate our field for Christ and we love it. We love our little field because we know God is not asking for a bigger one. All he wants is a heart that holds back nothing for self.

OK, then, what’s next?

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