What is Emerging?
The butterfly has always been an amazing and beautiful insect for many of us, and we often ponder the wonderful transformative life the butterfly has experienced. Recently I came across a story of butterflies that may be a helpful metaphor for all of us. It goes something like this. Did you know that we humans are invited to become butterflies? And of course we would start as caterpillars, moving slowly along through life’s journey, content to do what caterpillars do. The butterflies, on the other hand, are lifted up by the breath of their Creator and sing their silent psalmody of contemplation. But before that happens, in order for caterpillars to transform into butterflies they must surround themselves in the dark night of the chrysalis. There they patiently wait, trusting that something good will happen.
But not knowing that the work of transformation is secretly being accomplished in this darkness, they must simply be in that darkness, waiting, waiting.
This ingenious work of God takes time. If this process is rushed, the butterfly dies. No study or wishful thinking can transform us into butterflies. We prepare ourselves by remaining open, trusting in Divine goodness and love and preparing our inner selves with humility, silence and purity of heart.
Perhaps our Earth is overpopulated with caterpillars! Maybe the world needs more butterflies. It always has been the butterflies who have renewed the Earth. I am sure there are many butterflies already in the Loretto Community. And if there are caterpillars among us, know that we can do this: It is our destiny!
What gift might still be hidden in you that needs the quiet contemplating in the “dark night” before you can recognize it? We invite you to join us in pondering this lovely metaphor. We would be happy if you wish to share your reflections with us. Thank you.
Source: “Why Not Be a Mystic?” by Frank X. Tuoti, 1995, pages 169-172.