Snowdrops – Hopeful Harbingers of Spring

I am ever joyful of the appearance of Spring, especially after the long and cold winter we’ve had.  I saw the first flowers of the year at the Cox Arboretum yesterday!

Winter Aconite

For as the earth brings forth its shoots,

and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,

so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  

(Isaiah 61:11)

Snowdrops

Of course these first flowers have names like Snowdrops and Winter Aconite, but I see them as hopeful harbingers of Spring! 

 

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Martyrs: The Wounded Friends of Christ

St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Since the time of the first martyr and deacon, St. Stephen, the witness of blood has been the sign of the highest and most expressive fidelity. The ideal of the martyr, of that glorious company of ‘the wounded friends of the bridegroom,’ of those ‘violent ones who take heaven by storm’ and in whom ‘Christ fights in person,’ makes the first centuries unique. On his way to his glorious death, St. Ignatius of Antioch confessed: ‘It is now that I begin to be a true disciple…do not hinder me from being born to life.’ Likewise for St. Polycarp the martyrs are ‘the images of true charity…the captives laden with venerable chains, which are the jewels of the veritable elect of God.’ This is why Origen made his somewhat harsh remark that a time of peace is propitious to Satan, who steals from Christ his martyrs, and from the Church her glory.” (Paul Evdokimov, Ages of the Spiritual Life, pg. 133)