In his book, Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey observes life in what was then Arches National Monument. He uncovers the immense spiritual matter that is revealed in the material life of the desert. Here is a description of the prickly pear flower and its irresistible attraction for the honey bee.

            I have yet to look into one and not find a honeybee or bumblebee wallowing drunkenly inside, powdered with pollen, glutting itself on what must be a marvelous nectar. You can’t get them out of there – they won’t go home. I’ve done my best to annoy them, poking and prodding with a stem of grass, but a bee in a cactus bloom will not be provoked. (Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey)

 The honeybee in the cactus flower is the position in which God wants us: to be so completely covered and infused with the love of God, to be so completely cradled and secure in God’s Spirit that we cannot be provoked, we cannot be annoyed.

 The work of prayer, of worship, of meditation is like that of the honeybee filling up on the nectar of God. When we fill up enough and frequently enough, we can be sustained through the poking and prodding of life’s varied circumstances. We will have the vigor to sustain our spirits through difficulty and trials.

I invite you to participate in one or more of the opportunities during the season of Lent to fill yourself up with the Spirit of God.

The picture below is full size. Please move the horizontal cursor to see a close up of the bees in the prickly pear flower and notice how they are covered in pollen.



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