Servite Domino in timore, et exultate ei cum tremore: apprehendite discipulinam, ne pereatis de via justa. Serve ye the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling: embrace discipline, lest you perish from the just way. (Ps. 2: 11, 12)
Our landscape is early-springing, green things budding forth on the ends of branches just a week away bare, and little flowers taking over the fields, while birds and bees fill the air with their flight and song. Indoors in our makeshift nursery, vegetables and herbs are taking root and showing their tiny heads, while outdoors the children run in the warm sun. Is the long winter really past?
It is in some ways unfair, as the world sings a song carefree, that we have just entered the liturgical season of Lent. Truly, we apply ourselves fervently to prayer and sacrifice, fasting and penance, attempting to strip ourselves of all that is unnecessary and so be prepared to meet with fulfillment later. It is indeed a season of utmost care, of humility and realization of human weakness. All the better to become weak, to diminish in ourselves, even to learn to despise the world - certainly its trappings - for the sake of something much better. And even this early spring betrays the delicate nature, the fleeting gold we will witness, of new things.
But the promise and beginning signs of life are a great mercy in this time of committed penitence and prayer. It is a time of "not quite yet," somewhat bitter in the waiting but not joyless, necessary and abundantly fruitful - a reminder of the virtue of good work even if we cannot know the reward, since He always knows better than we do even in our most inspired imaginings. We do not wait idly but put our hearts and hands to good use, cinching up our belts, striving to mend our ways, and looking forward to what may emerge around the bend.
Our family is grateful for our quiet haven away from the noise, though we are not unaware of the strife and chaos and turmoil beyond the borders of our peaceful retreat. May Our Lady protect us as, for the glory of Christ the King, we make great effort to find out what really matters. Pray!
On this little homestead our family aspires to work the land and hand on the Catholic Tradition, walking in wonder and learning to live by the fruits of our labor, in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, who guides us to Him.