Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April 2019 Bulletin: "Prickly Pear"

Lead article from the April 2019 bulletin, online now.

The working definition of faith has always been belief without proof. Inasmuch as the word relates to Christians. Consider the Opuntia "Prickly Pear" that not only grows, but flourishes in my back yard garden. One would seldom associate this thorny cactus with the inhospitable climate we Minnesotans tolerate. It is much more prevalent in Mexico and the southwest United States. Yet here it is. Last year it produced over 100 obnoxiously gorgeous bright yellow flowers. Each one features a blaze-orange bed deep within its depths to tantalize bees and hummingbirds into spreading its pollen which cling precariously in clumps on the ends of pale green stems. I have watched many territorial hummingbird skirmishes over these blooms. Each flower lives exactly 24 hours with 15 or so per day for a week or so. The fruit that follows is sold in the open markets of central America and Mexico. 

Charles Darwin was fascinated with these little gems and studied their peculiar tendency to setup shop in northern climates. Even before I was welcomed into the Church in 2009, the beautiful realities of nature (Gods creation) would not allow me to step out of pantheism into outright atheism. It was much easier to call myself agnostic. The Church gives none of the three a passing glance. And for good reason. All of the three fail to recognize what God intended for them to see. For a long time I wanted proof for the existence of God. I needed a miracle just for me and I felt that I deserved one. None came. I did not realize nor pay heed to the fact that these miraculous things were all around me. I simply had lost my ability to wonder. Something I possessed as a child had been vanquished as a mature adult. Beaten into submission by years of capitulation to the cynical contemporary culture we exist in. 
Luke 12:12 2-9: "Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Proof enough if I could hear. I don't need to test God and have him preform a miracle on a stage with me alone in the audience. He has given us a bounty of evidence. Just open your eyes, the proof is everywhere. It is not without irony that I offer up the vagaries of this little plant species with its glorious flower as evidence of God. Even Charles Darwin, the man cited for a theory used to argue against God also fell under its spell. The next time you think you need some kind of supernatural proof or you travel to some far away destination to be where miracles have taken place, remember to pause for a second and realize you may need travel only as far as your back yard. God bless!

Gary Fransen
Grand Knight
Job 12 7-9: "Ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the sky they will tell you or the bushes of the earth; they will show you and the fish of the sea will teach you.  Who among all of these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this"