Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese


Mustard Seed Faith – Part 1


        The gospel passages that include the phrase, "faith the size of a mustard seed" have not particularly kept my attention over the decades of my life. If anything, I've noticed in myself a sort of sense of passing over it, or wondering, why faith should be such a challenge at times, especially since only (at first glance) such a seemingly minuscule "amount" is needed.

        For some reason, out of the blue, in recent months that passage has really surfaced in my thoughts and reflection. I have found that I've really been intrigued and drawn to paying attention.
The first accompanying thought that brought further pondering, was that when Jesus was pointing to that kind of faith, there must be something with a unique stamp of authenticity about it, something that surpasses our normal human reasoning.

        Then, I found a couple of other examples from the gospels that were recurring in my thoughts associated with the "mustard seed" faith: the "widow's mite," in particular, along with the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In both cases, the amounts that are available are incredibly small - yet totally given, with generous, rich poverty and humility, 1 of 2 directly brought up to Jesus' attention with a beeline simplicity. I could dwell there for quite some time!

          Some weeks later, Elijah entered the picture with his attending to the "whisper." Somehow the stillness, with its quiet, consummate focus conveyed a most gentle, trusting docility and dependence, ready attention that came on the heels of feeling pulverized. That's when the reciprocity of it all hit me. That is the reality at the heart.

        And that's where St. Therese connected it especially for me at this time: her recognizing and embracing the essence of spiritual childhood, the mystery of filially abiding, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit: hidden so often now, revealed ultimately.

To be continued... 


Written by A Listening Heart
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