Fruit doesn’t have to be sweet

Have you ever had a peacotum?

Apparently, it’s a cross between a peach, apricot and plum, and the taste is likened to fruit punch. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to my fruit choices, but this hybrid-blend intrigues me.

Friends, fruit doesn’t have to be sweet. Have you ever stopped and thought about that? Fruit doesn’t have to be sweet; garden variety floras don’t have to be combined to make more interesting flavors; water doesn’t have to freeze; salt doesn’t have to flavor our food; sand doesn’t have to be made into glass; and fire doesn’t have to be hot.

But they are.

Christ does not have to take the form of a simple wafer, but He does because He wants to be so close to us – sustaining our every move so we can one day join Him in Heaven.

Clearly, we serve a creative God.

But do we always see that? Do we always turn our attention to His small actions in a setting or situation – creating an entire canvas right before our eyes?

We usually don’t because the creation isn’t always easy on the eyes or on the ears, or it’s not the creation we were expecting; and humans are naturally inclined to protect themselves. That doesn’t mean we can’t walk forward victorious with the knowledge that we and those around us are formed, loved and cherished by the King of the Universe – even when experiencing difficulty. A friend’s cousin recently endured a life-altering injury, but his sibling is a nurse and will continue to care for him as he heals. My son was in the hospital for several days when he was about a month old for an unknown fever. A few days prior to his time at Ascension, St. Vincent Evansville, I consecrated my heart to Jesus through Mary; and we peacefully sailed through that tense situation. When I was 19, I developed asthma while bouncing around the stables at my summer camp. The nurse on staff at the time just so happened to be a certified asthma educator and made sure I knew exactly what to do to keep my newly given cross from getting too heavy.

In my last column, I wrote about unnoticeable tasks, completed by people who have gone before us, that bring us closer to Christ. Here, I’m talking about the small and easily forgettable actions of Christ that add truth, beauty and goodness to our lives no matter how difficult, grotesque or unsavory they may appear. Call them miracles, or call them “God-winks.” This even extends to our Blessed Mother and our canon of Saints.

At a recent retreat, Father Alex Zenthoefer brought our attention to Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3. Please note that this is a sad-but-beautiful movement. It’s uncomfortable, but still good. Gorecki was from Poland and witnessed the horrors of World War II firsthand. His inspiration for this important piece of music came from the town prison, used by the Gestapo throughout the war. Amidst the turmoil and persecution, he writes of a specific instance where a young imprisoned girl meditates on her impending mortality in a way that’s unexpected.

“In prison, the whole wall was covered with inscriptions screaming out loud: ‘I’m innocent,’ ‘Murderers’, ‘Executioners’, ‘Free me’, ‘You have to save me’ – it was all so loud, so banal. Adults were writing this, while here it is an 18-year-old girl, almost a child. And she is so different. She does not despair, she does not cry, does not scream for revenge. She does not think about herself; whether she deserves her fate or not. Instead, she only thinks of her mother because it is her mother who will experience true despair. This inscription was something extraordinary; on the walls of this prison she wrote, ‘No, Mother, do not weep, Most chaste Queen of Heaven support me always. Ave Maria.’”

As we move forward into Ordinary Time and this year of Eucharistic Renewal, which begins June 19, let’s keep our eyes open.