March 8, 2017: In a Dogwood state of mind

~by Susi Pittman

The Lenten Season, in the northern hemisphere, is the harbinger of God’s blessing of the spring renewal that will permeate all of creation. Nature explodes into colors of amazing magnitude with flowering branches on tree and shrub exalting the glorious reflection of our loving God.

Perhaps no tree evokes more of an Easter spiritual meditation than the Dogwood. That is due in great part to the legend that has followed it down through the centuries.

In all of the Middle East, the Dogwood tree had grown to huge proportions, rivaling even the mighty Cedar. It’s shade, beauty and strength were unsurpassed.

There came a day when one of the mighty Dogwoods was cut down and its girth was used to fashion an instrument of death. It became a cross to hang the Son of God upon.

As Jesus was nailed upon this cross, the Dogwood tree grieved. Jesus, sensing its sadness promised the Dogwood tree that it would never again be large enough to build a cross from again. He promised the tree that it would be narrow with crooked branches, of no use for building.

The Dogwood tree remembered the promise and praised the Savior with new blossoms to remind all the world of the great price paid for the redemption of all things.

Each blossom has four distinct petals forming the shape of the Jerusalem cross

The center of each blossom holds the crown of thorns placed upon the Savior’s head

The edge of each petal shows an indentation where the nails pierced the Savior

And each indentation is stained with the color of Jesus’ blood.

Our Creator has placed many reminders of His Son’s Passion in creation and man has been led to see the spiritual story in these creations. Consider the Robin’s breast, the beautiful Passion flower or the Easter lily. Nothing is ever coincidental when it comes to divine providence.

The yard here at my home is filled with Dogwood’s and I love walking among them in prayer, contemplating the Way of the Cross.

Thank You Heavenly Father for all creation that reflects Your omnipotence and whispers quiet songs of Your love. Thank You especially for the spring which brings us that ultimate moment that exceeds all of the moments in time. The moment that sent satan and all of his demons screeching into the shining darkness; that moment that the door to Heaven was opened by Your Son, Jesus, and redemption was made reality.


Susi Pittman is founder of and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild;
a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.



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