Saturday, March 27, 2010
Lilacs in La Verna
Lilacs in La Verna ,Italy May,2005
I found these lilacs not by sight.As I slowly walked passed the high stone wall, they were trying to get my attention by cascading over and showering me in their perfume.This is the scent of my childhood.Purple lilacs grew to be tall bushes by the door of my parent's bedroom and they found me again in Italy.
But La Verna is more than lilacs.It is where the most loved saint received the stigmata.A small chapel is built around the spot and I found myself there on that bright day in May, while on a Franciscan pilgrimage.A fellow traveller handed me a book to read about the place but I wanted to just BE there.We were seated in heavy wooden stalls that made a rectangle around the chapel wall with the stigmata site in the middle.I closed my eyes and asked what this stigmata is all about.
And then I perceived that I was being answered by Someone in the seat to my left.I could feel it. We both were looking ahead to where the small hole in the floor reveals the stigmata site.And then I heard this..."The stigmata is just an outward sign of the inward change that takes place when a person so wants to be transformed into Me that they don't mind the pain or disfigurement,they only want Me in whatever form that takes........complete surrender to the transformation...an inner consent to the change..that anyone who wishes may obtain...
There was more but as this was transpiring, the sense of another person being next to me was so strong that when a young friar went to sit down in that spot, I almost
waved him off.Since he lives there ,I gathered my senses and let him sit.
They say that Assisi is a "thin spot" where the spirit world is separated from the physical world by the width of the edge of a butterfly's wing.It is that and so too is La Verna.