Crouching Spider, Little Bird

frodo-phialIf you are a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Shelob is the ancient, giant spider that almost killed Frodo when he entered the land of Mordor.

Few of us would want to encounter such a creature. Nonetheless, it is fun for any afficionado of Middle Earth to visit Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture. The truculent iron spider is currently in front of the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington.

crouching-spider

"Crouching Spider" on Independence Avenue

icthus…The Lord Jesus said: “Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”

St. Therese of Lisieux wrote:

I look upon myself as a weak little bird…I am not an eagle…In spite of my extreme littleness, I still dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of the eagle…

story-soulO Jesus, I know and so do You that the imperfect little creature, while remaining in its place (that is, under the Sun’s rays), allows itself to be somewhat distracted from its sole occupation. It picks up a piece of grain on the right or on the left; it chases after a little worm; then coming upon a little pool of water, it wets its feathers still hardly formed. It sees an attractive flower and its little mind is occupied with this flower. In a word, being unable to soar like the eagles, the poor little bird is taken up with the trifles of earth.

And yet, after all these misdeeds, instead of going and hiding away in a corner, to weep over its misery and to die of sorrow, the little bird turns toward its beloved Sun, presenting its wet wings to its beneficent rays. It cries like a swallow and in its sweet song it recounts in detail all its infidelities, thinking in the boldness of its full trust that it will acquire in even greater fullness the love of Him who came to call not the just but sinners.

Jesus, I am too little to perform great actions, and my own folly is this: to trust that Your Love will accept me.

–St. Therese of Liseux, Story of a Soul, chapter IX (Manuscript B)

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