Why branches?

Nouwen said, “To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to palm-branches-100px1change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. Do not run, but be quiet and silent. Listen attentively to you own struggle. The answer to your question is hidden in your own heart. Learning to weep, learning to keep vigil, learning to wait for the dawn. Perhaps this is what it means to be human”

For some reason I do not understand, God has placed a thorn in my flesh who keeps reminded me about my humanity. For many years I have battle against it, I have prayed to Him to take it away from me, I have desired to have a different life, but the reality is that nothing has changed. Nouwen and Manning has taught me to minister out of my own brokenness, to accept the desert of our loneliness, to not run away from it and find my humanity. This humanity are the branches who welcomes me to be happy about the life I have been given. I believe that religion sometimes exchange our humanity for the very difficult task to become and act like God, so we spend our time and effort going to many activities trying to find that holly perfection. We walk like there are not darkness, weaknesses, imperfections in us and we judge everybody else who does not walk in “our” grace. We say that we walk in “victory” and we do not want to remember our defeat. We want the light without being able to go through the darkness. We want to tell others about our spirituality, but we will never listen to their spirituality.

Learning to wait in the dawn for the discovery of our loneliness, for me, is my spiritual journey. “In solitude we can pay attention to our inner self. In solitude we can become presents to ourselves.” (Nouwen) and in the words of Rilke, “What is going on in your innermost being is worthy of your whole love.” Palm Sunday it is not only the recognition of God’s Holiness but also the reminder of the suffering. It is the God, and the man, the light and the dark. The divine and the evil in us coming together in a week of remembrance.


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