(Ascent of Mount Carmel, book I: chapter
"And he told them this parable: 'There
once was a person who had a fig tree planted
in his orchard, and when he came in search
of fruit on it but found none, he said to
the gardener, 'For three years now I have
come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why
should it exhaust the soil?' He said to him
in reply, 'Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it
and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the
future. If not you can cut it down.'"
So unkempt are the appetites,
Like wild shoots on the fruit tree:
Lush and fruitless -- proud parasites
Sapping strength from humility.
The humble boughs, bent near the ground,
Bear the tree's fruit abundantly.
Though leaves be sparse, their strength
In grace their roots tap constantly.
The Gardener, by way of night,
Prunes wayward growth with ax and saw;
The damage of insect and blight
Are healed -- Mercy leaves nothing
She yields her heart to Master's blade;
Her wayward growth is pruned, not slayed.
13. Luke 13:6-9
(c) Paul Buis, 2003