Two years ago, I heard a story of a community of Catholic Sisters who were living in isolation. They spent their days in absolute silence. They never talked to one another. The outside world had little part to play in their life. It so happened that the local Bishop, who was driving by, wanted to visit this monastery. Bishop’s secretary was a young enthusiast in his early twenties and was a priest himself. Both of them were let into the monastery. They went around different rooms and chapels of this large mansion. To the Secretary’s surprise, he found the life of the Sisters very simple. Their rooms stood mostly empty: just an earthen pot with water, a hard cot and with a bare table. Meeting the Mother Superior of the monastery, the Bishop’s Secretary asked, “Tell me Sister, how you can give up all the good and best things in life to choose a world of poverty, simplicity and frugality. It must have been very painful for you”. To his surprise, Mother Superior answered, “That’s where you are totally mistaken. We never gave up any good things in our life for embracing poverty and frugality. Instead, it was like finding a meadow where a great treasure was hidden. We sold off all we had and brought that meadow to search for the hidden treasure.”
My favourite of the Jesus’ parables is that of the man selling everything and purchasing a farm where is hidden a treasure. He buys it to search for that. It always bemused me to think of the Kingdom of God in terms of searching: searching meadows of our life for that hidden treasure. We hear of a ‘Costly Grace’ from Bonheoffer, the famous German Theologian. Searching is one of the many costs involved in the process to the discovery of our roots and faith.
“Lord, let this Lenten Season seed in me the gift of searching...searching for that great treasure which is hidden in the meadows of my life. May I be glad to set apart the best of me for this search and thus find perfect joy in every moment of my life”