Observe how the birds of the sky carefully build their nests, gently lay their eggs and tenderly watch over their nestlings until they grow feathers and fly, and safeguard the trees of the Lord. You are building your nests, laying your eggs, and hatching your young in trees whose roots are ridden with decay. Mites are eating into their trunks and gypsy moths are feeding on their branches. If the tree falls, your nest will scatter, your chicks will disperse, and you will be left only with bare branches to lay your wings on. You are toiling and overworking to build strong and warm nests where your young will grow, develop feathers and fly and eventually nest themselves.
Look after the tree just as you look after the nests. Just as you were entrusted with your nests, so are you entrusted with your trees. Look after the roots, look after the trunk, look after the branches and look after the leaves. Only a few pieces of straw and a few grains of soil will be enough for you to build your nests; the branches of the tree will protect you and its leaves will shade you. Do not sink into your nests and raise their edges high so they give you security; work with trust in the Lord, and the Lord will give you security.
As you race to ensure your future and that of your children, always remember that your future is not the last of your days in this world, but it is the first day in the next world. You ensure your children’s future when you ensure heaven for them. Your children are for you to give them life, and there is no life except in Christ. Give Christ to your children, but if Christ is not in you, it is difficult for you to give Him to your children.
If you do not sanctify yourselves, how would you sanctify your children? If Christ is not in you, how will you give Him to your children? If you do not give them Christ, everything else you offer them is useless and ephemeral. It will vanish and will cease to exist with them. It is not with tall buildings and the guarantees of this world that you give your children security and a future. Give them your sanctity and prayers, and you will ensure their safety in this world and their future in the next.
You are seeking your success and your children’s success in life, while success in life is to stand before God without shame.
Go down to the roots, tend to them, and be disinterested. Working on the roots is hidden, does not show, and requires effort and self-denial. People see the tree, but they do not see the roots or your work, but God who is in heaven sees and blesses. Look after the roots, guard the trunk, preserve the branches, take care of the leaves, and maintain the tree; God will keep your works. Look after the tree – which is enfolding, shading, and housing you – from its roots to the tips of its branches, even if this is at the expense of the size of your nests.
The same time passes for the good and the bad, and if the good do not fill up time with good, then the bad will fill it with evil, and time will be empty. Every moment of your life is a basket placed before you so you can fill it from your harvest, your reaping, and your crops. It stays before you for an instant, then it disappears and passes behind you and you can never bring it back. If you stop and look back and observe your empty baskets, only the tears of your repentance, by the mercy of God, fill them up from the grace of God. The grace of God is sufficient for you; and every second is a drop of eternity if you fill it up with God. Do not let the world seize the baskets of your life, for your baskets will then remain empty, and you will pile up behind you sheaves of hay that time will burn and of which nothing will remain.
Do not enter in a dialogue with the Devil. End your conversation with him before the first word and keep your dialogue always with God. Tamp down your roof after each rainfall, for if you neglect this task, heavy downpours, floods and snow will come, water will leak through to the beams, and the ceiling will collapse on your head and on your family.
No matter how tempting the temptation is, it does not justify sin. Fill your life from the love of God and sanctify the time you are in, then your harvest will be worthwhile and your provisions lasting. Only God who is the master of time can fill the time. Only the Lord of harvest and crops can fill your baskets. Offer your baskets to Him, and your crops will abound.