“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
Seminary is such an interesting way of life. When we started the first semester, our rector, Father Horihan, told us that seminary was a seed bed in which we were to be planted, nurtured and cared for as we grew in Christ. And that is truly what happens here. For the first semester, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the verse above of Beloved Sonship and how the relationship we have to the Trinity really gives us our identity as sons and daughters of God the Father. In this second semester, my heart is drawn to a new reflection, which, in a sense, contradicts and affirms what Father Horihan said at the beginning of the year.
I’ve been working on uprooting myself. Killing my own pride. I have often found myself telling God what my path to holiness will be and how I will live it out. It contradicts the seed bed analogy because I’m uprooting what’s been planted. I’m letting go of who I’ve been. By doing so, the Father gets to take over as the Master Gardener and plant what he so desires. This is what it means to be a son and daughter. To be completely dependent on what the Father will give. This all requires trust, honesty, and patience. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity writes:
“Pride is not something that is destroyed with one good blow of the sword! We must put it to death each day!”
We are in a relationship with the Three Persons of the Trinity. We aren’t in a holiness machine where one day we’re broken and flawed and the next day we’re saints. We must take part in uprooting ourselves and planting the new person in Christ. St. Paul talks about this to the Galatians:
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
We are born to be embedded in the depths of Divine Love. We are literally created for it.
“Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” (Gen 1:26)
By letting go of who we are, by being uprooted, we allow Christ to take over and be rooted in our hearts. In this way, the path of Holiness, the universal vocation, is a seed bed. Calling each of us to be honest, and dependent on our Father.