St. David of Thessalonika: Sitting in a Tree...Sounds Heavenly.
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Everyone is finished with school here at my house, which means everyone is bored. I, however, have plenty to keep me busy. The pool is open, so we have extra towels and swim suits for me to look after and provide; the garden is planted and now and the plants, as well as the weeds among them call to me daily. Everyone is going here and there as usual and they all need Mom to assist them. There are days that I'd like to just go outside and find a really tall tree, climb up into it and just sit there...yep, just me and God. No noise, no distractions, no anything! Sound good to you?
Today's saint, the sixth century martyr David of Thessalonika, whose feast we"ll commemorate on Tuesday (June 26), did just that. St. David had left the world and entered into contemplation at a monastery, but even that austerity proved to be too engaging for him, so he decided to climb a tree and get a little perspective. For three years, he remained high up in his almond tree, away from everyone and everything but God, until an angel of the Lord finally told him to come down. I wonder if he was happy or sad about that. He was gifted by God in many ways, working wonders, healing the sick and providing counseling to penitents in need and I'm sure his talents and his efforts were missed around the monastery, so it was "back to work" for him. Yes, there are some days I understand David of Thessalonika completely.
You were like a perpetually blossoming orchard, continually bearing the fruit of good works.
You were like a bird with a beautiful song, O David.
Within your heart, you found the tree of life in the Lord, even more surely than on the fields of Paradise.
You tended it carefully and nourished it with grace.
Always pray for us, O David!
~Kontakion, for June 26, Feast of David of Thessalonica
As I try to explain him to my active and sociable children today, we'll make up a batch of healthy almond bites in his honor. My girls and I may even dip them into some chocolate and keep them in our little hiding spot above the refrigerator. When all our dishes are done after dinner and the kitchen is once again in proper order, we have a peaceful little moment of quiet reward for ourselves in the dining room...no big brothers, with their big appetites, are allowed. Everybody needs to be like St. David once in a while and steal away for a momentary breather, right? Have some almond bites today, find yourself some peace and quiet, and have a Happy Feast!
St. David's Almond Bites
1 cup pitted dates, packed
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or agave)
1/4 cup creamy almond butter
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (or quinoa flakes for GF option)
1/2 tsp almond extract ( optional)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and combine well. Roll into balls and enjoy!
As an option, you may roll your Almond Bites in more crushed almonds, or cover them with melted chocolate!