Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As we think ahead about traveling to our family homes or reuniting with friends who are like family, let's Give Thanks for the roots - the lives of those who have gone before us and influenced us - that have given us stability and depth. These roots have grounded us and allowed us to grow. We could not have become the leaves or even branches of these trees without the support of the roots that nurished and nurtured us. Ultimately, these roots are from God.
Br. Jonah Teller, O.P., a young Dominican friar, expresses this thought eloquently in his post on the Domincanajournal.org website. (https://www.dominicanajournal.org/roots/) This website is a place where the young friars can practice their preaching skills, while they continue in their studies. Each day, the friars send out a thoughtful new entry. We encourage you to sign up for this free service!
Br. Jonah's entry is posted below:
"A tree’s fruit should reveal the quality of its root. What a man says and does should reveal the quality of his heart. The root of a righteous act is a heart converted to God. Rooted like this, one’s heart knows God, loves him, acts with him in mind…the fruits follow the roots. Almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, for example, proclaim a clean heart given to love of God and love of neighbor. They say, “My roots are firm and deep in the Lord. I am planted beside living water.”
Displaying what looks to be the fruit of good roots without those roots…that’s what hypocrisy is. To present the world with a fruit that does not correspond to my roots is to lie to them about my relationship with God.
God doesn’t look first at fruits. He looks at the roots. He can see what is hidden. The life we are to live, then, is hidden with God. The life in our inner room, with the door closed, is a life that cannot be faked. There is no one else to see it but me and the Lord.
Much of the life of a tree is quiet, hidden, in secret. This is the part that is important, that is vital, stabilizing and nourishing the rest of the tree, enabling it to bear fruit. This happens underground, unseen by man but seen by God.
Jesus, Lord of our life, send our roots rain."