“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth;
and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word,
to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God,
men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”
Pope St. John Paul II
(a locust passing by / Julie Cook / 2015)
Sometimes I just think it would be best if I found some hollowed-out tree, ditched
all the trappings of this life and opted to survive off of honey and locust.
Think John the Baptist.
The voice of the one crying out in the wilderness.
The man who lived in the desert eating only honey and locust while preaching about the
repentance of man…
So in my case, maybe we should make those grasshoppers because grasshoppers are more prevalent
in my neck of the woods.
But if the truth be told, I could easily do honey all day long, grasshoppers, however,
are things that I’m just not so certain about.
But this little reflection is not about eating bugs or living in
a hollowed-out tree—
but rather this post is about ridding oneself of all the trappings of a distracting world.
Giving to God all that I am and all that I have…which is simply me and me alone.
Because isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?
What we’re supposed to be about?
So maybe this IS a post about living in a hollowed-out tree, or in a cave or in a hut
or in the desert…
It’s about giving all and crying out.
It’s much like having a St. Francis moment.
Stripping down naked in the town square, tossing off all the fine clothing given
by one’s well to do parent and opting instead to offer the only thing one truly has that
is his or her own…that being one’s unclad naked self.
(St. Francis’ renunciation of worldly things / Giotto /1295 /Bascillica of San Francesco Assisi, Italy)
Yet Life gets complicated.
Our culture and society have both grown caustically complicated.
We can get so caught up in the minutia of living.
We tend to worry about things that are totally trivial in the grand scope of what is
truly worthy of concern…
We fret over silly little things like matching appliances, buying name brand purses, shoes, and cars.
We want a house in that oh so special neighborhood while putting our kids in the best of the best schools…
We live on our phones, on Facebook, on twitter on Instagram…
We have become the masters of making nothingness into life-altering concerns and thoughts.
The proverbial mountain verses the molehill.
Throw in the daily constant fixation with our toxic political sludge…
and well, we are all living a life of perpetual distraction— and if the truth be told,
it is a life of heaviness and negativity.
What then do we have left to give God?
Maybe having a St. Francis moment is in order for us all.
Throwing off the trappings of this world and giving to God what it is at the heart of the matter—
that being ourselves and ourselves alone…
ourselves with nothing covering us or allowing us to hide behind…no distractions.
Just us making Him our focus..the focus of what truly only matters.
Because in the end…nothing else in this world does matter…
Everything and everyone will eventually die and or pass away.
So only Him and us…
Creator and created…
“We live in a fallen world.
We must, therefore, work out our destiny under the conditions created by sin.
Did we but realize this truth, we would accept each of life’s trying changes in the same spirit
in which we accept the penance from the confessor.
Were we truly convinced that our hope of pardon, and consequently our salvation,
depends upon repentance, we would willingly undergo all the sufferings of life’s warfare.”
John A. Kane, p. 81
An Excerpt From
How to Make a Good Confession
I am sure that barbequed grasshoppers are quite tasty and think of the roughage! I love honey, but it is not a balanced diet. Now, if you said cockroaches? I’m with you there!
You can have those grasshoppers however you’d like them – sliced, diced, smothered and covered—-but I’m good 😬
I have felt this way often. There have been many days this year when I have wondered if we should sell everything and start over. Life can be so overwhelming and complicated—especially when trying to raise kids. The expectations around us are so high (and frankly, out of reach for us). Simple is good, and my husband and I are definitely trying to work at it for the sake of our family!
I so agree Elihu—sometimes I just look around and think “what the heck”…all this stuff…my stuff but in the end, just stuff.
I suppose I’m stuck in the rat race to some degree, a retired rat, but still a rat…who longs for simpler times, simpler stuff…stuff built to last and not simply wear out after a couple or years or go drastically out of style—things with staying power.
But ours is a throw away society—disposable while just gettting more…
“Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee; Oh, Lamb of God, I come.” Naked, bereft, humble, contrite, broken. “Something beautiful, something good; All my confusion, He understood. All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife, But He made something beautiful of my life.” All thanks to Him, Julie. But we are left here to do what we can for others. You are the finger of God.
Thank you Oneta— you are an entire arm 😇
Smiling at you.
I believe that grasshoppers are in the locust family. So they may well have been the locusts that John B. consumed. The St. Francis model is tempting. It would be easier to discard all the stuff and rely on the kindness of others. On the other hand, “from those who are given much, much is expected.” God has made us stewards of great wealth so we can do great things with it. J.
You just got vote — I’m writing you in on my ballot— Oneta has dropped out 🤩
I love this post, Julie. I’m a bit of a locust and wild honey eater myself.
Yes you are!!! 😎
Did you take the picture of that grasshopper? How big was it? Those things gives me the creeps more than dinosaurs
I did— and I think it was a locust as it was bigger than our regular grasshopper— at least they won’t eat you 😂🦖🦖
I get the gitters when these things fly while I’m nearby! But you must be use to it and I’m showing how much of a city boy I am lol
A Marine must not get creeped out by grasshoppers— spiders in the other hand— we all get a pass in them!! 😳
Lol. True story: I’ve heard Marines scream the most with spiders…camel spiders. Have you heard of those before? I have a story to tell once I get back from my walk
Yes I have and the pictures of those things with soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq really disturbed me!!!!
One night in Iraq one of the Marines shouted “Camel Spiders,” we all jumped. Someone screamed and many other Marines screamed. We were looking for it but it was dark; mind you this was in 2003 and we slept outdoors. So guys start pulling out their flashlights. Some of the guys even used their rifles’ flash lights looking for this camel spider. Things were turned upside down. One guy didn’t joined the search and since he had the privilege of a cot and mosquito netting he retreated behind his net in a totally selfish matter. Then he screamed like a girl on Halloween night. Marines started screaming in a similar manner. I confess I screamed too because at the moment of marines screaming I felt something touch my hairy legs (I was in shorts and combat boots, this was at night). I thought the camel spider grabbed me but it wasn’t. I looked around embarassed but no one cared since many other Marines screamed too. We all rushed towards the guy that first screamed and he was getting out of his mosquito netting and he looked hilarious. Inside his mosquito netting was the Camel Spider, legs spread out, all hairy and very big and very scary. Marines start smashing it, and throwing things at it and though it moved away it was injured. It ran in a circle and more Marines screamed, some retreated but others ran towards the sound of chaos. Finally one magazine thrown hit it and it stayed still but it was still moving different parts of its body. Someone got what I believe was WD 40 and some matches. They lit it up like an enemy tank. Guys were now getting diesel fuel, the kind that we burn our human waste with when we were in Iraq. Those dose the carcass like a jihadist on a crusader’s body and light it up; at this point my group of Marines were acting like a Texas A&m bonfire. At this point Marines from other locations were moving towards us wondering what was going on. This included a group of Navy Corpsmen (Marines don’t have medics, all medical personell are actually Navy sailors attached to Marine units). They thought we had some kind of firefight with mass casualties. They started getting fussy of the scene we caused and also how they heard us scream like girls and why are Marines such wuss. But other Marines were sympathetic and didn’t give us a hard time. It was a funny moment in a tense deployment.
Funny now but oh my gosh— actually quite terrifying— and not extreme given the circumstances— that spider got the full brunt of war angst!!!!