A young aspirant to holiness asked his teacher, “Why is it that some who seek God come to the desert and are zealous in prayer but leave after a year or so, while others, like you, remain faithful to the quest for a lifetime?”

The old man smiled and answered, “One day I was sitting here quietly in the sun with my dog. Suddenly a large white rabbit ran across in front of us. Well, my dog jumped up, and barked loudly, took off after the rabbit with a passion. Soon other dogs joined him, attracted by his barking. The pack of dogs ran barking across the creeks, up stony embankments and through the thickets and thorns. Gradually, however, one by one, the other dogs dropped out of the pursuit, discouraged by the course and frustrated by the chase. Only my dog continued to hotly pursue the white rabbit.”

The young man sat in confused silence, and finally said, “I don’t understand.”

The old man replied, “Unless you see the prey, the chase is just too difficult . . . you must see the rabbit!”

If I am not to lose heart
and abandon my spiritual quest,
you must teach me how to be an everyday mystic
who finds you in life’s holy humdrum.

 Source | Edward Hays,  A Book of Wonders
(Ave Maria Press, 2009) pages 251-251

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