Book 4 of Heliotropium~Conformity of the Human Will to the Divine emphasizes the contrast between the person who strives to please God by surrender to His Divine Will and the person who craves the satisfaction of their own will. The true test of our desire and love for Him comes when God says "NO!" Fighting against His Will results in temptations such as: anger at God, despair, self pity, negligence of prayer and contemplation, rejection of God, and abandonment of the Blessed Sacrament. Within the house of such a soul blossoms resentment, cynicism, anxiety and doubt.The heart set upon the satisfaction of the self will develops a blind amnesia with regards to the irreversible consequence of habitually rejecting God's will. The choice to fulfill the self will instead of accepting that of The Father leads to bitterness, vengeance, loss of faith and finally, ultimate separation from God's love, the eternal perdition of hell. Conversely, suffering endured in this life, so often experienced by holy obedience to His commands, leads souls to blissful, eternal union with the Almighty. The glorious rejoicing praise offered to God by His holy suffering saints reminds us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs 9:10)
During it's glorious blossoming, the face of the sunflower is visited by many bees which use the pollen to produce sweet honey. Is this reminiscent of our great zeal when first we commit to surrender to the will of God? As the sunflowers develops, it reaches the point at which the weight of the seeds causes it to face downwards. It is at this point that the seeds are most ready for harvesting, to be stored for replanting for next year, or consumed. Birds, squirrels and other animals feast on or store (to prevent starvation during the long, cold winter months) the delicious protein rich miraculous food from God. Each seed planted is transformed by God into yet another beautiful seed laden sunflower. One sunflower alone can generate a host of golden beauty in subsequent years. Cannot our acceptance of each loss be a seed planted which, over the course of our lives, radiates glorious praise of our Eternal Father?
In the midst of helping our dear friend, our family was presented with a frightening test of faith. I found myself drawing upon what I have learned from my friend as he patiently and hopefully awaits the conclusion of his ordeal. He continues to exhibit nothing less than true contentment and submission to the Will of God. Moreover, his concern for our family's welfare superseded his preoccupation for his own. An act of self sacrifice on his part spared a loved one from harm, though it brought misfortune upon himself. He never ceases to amaze us in his rejoicing at the positive outcomes in the lives of those around him. We are daily humbled by his patient, unwavering trust in the miraculous intervention and powerful intercession of Jesus and Mary.
From the fourth part of this five part masterpiece, I have learned the necessity of longstanding patience, with a heart overflowing with praise and adoration, while enduring suffering and loss. May my unceasing prayer be "Thank you Jesus. Thy will be done."