Tares of the Soul
Reading the Catena Aurea with the day's Gospel recently, in the context of heresy, we encountered the wonderful word for weeds that grow and are sown among the wheat: tares (pronounced tears, like a tear in my shirt). Tares of the soul are those weedy thoughts that quickly got to seed, spreading their worldly temptations on the winds of our soulscape and sow themselves into our clay so we cannot distinguish them from our own thoughts.
Up pops the tare with its seeds, plain to see if we are mindful; easily rooted out with the Trinity Sword Prayer if we are disciplined.
God being God, and predestination being a gift of His, gives us what we need when we need it and are, if we choose humility, receptive to it.
Our family prayer at breakfast is a corporate version of the Trinity Sword Prayer. Before breakfast we each pray for a grace needed that day. To end breakfast we pray for the things we are doing that day to breathe our breath of God into the world. Today, not being mindful, I began to pray for what I was thankful for at the end of the day. Catching myself, my inner sinner sprang at the opportunity to sow tares not only in my soul, but also in my family's souls.
“Oh!” I proclaimed, “I don't yet have the day to be thankful for.”
Subtle, hidden if not mindful heresy. That is how easily and quickly we become deaf, blind, dumb, and stupid to sin hiding in plain sight! Of course we always have everything to be thankful for. There is no need to wait for the end of the day, and proclaiming there is is heresy, as yet a wee expression of one, but these tare seeds were ready to take off in the wind, invisible without being named, to settle not only in my soul, but my children's and wife's' as well. Left unnamed and uncountered, they would sprout as bigger, bolder doubts of God's wild abundance and deepen blindness.
Ah! The gift of Halos! Why we journey best toward Christ in the love and company of others on this Pilgrims' Way! My wife and children looked at me askew. I paused, caught my idiocy and corrected it, as publicly as I'd made it.
“Well that was idiocy! Of course we always have everything to be thankful for!” I then named three things I was thankful for, correcting my error, and the tares withered and died before our very eyes.
Subtle and sly are the seeds of sin, and through the gifts of Halos, mindfulness, discipline, and humility to Jesus our Christ, our Good Shepherd aids us in keeping the weeds from our soul's scape.