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The mystery of the tiny seed

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In this reflection we will explore the mystery of the tiny seed, and to do this we will look at two of the parables that Jesus told about the mustard seed. I will weave together the talk with music, readings and guided prayer.

Opening music:

Listen to the following piece of music as an opening prayer.

Sounds of Solitude: Kyrie EleisonDan Gibson
00:00 / 06:09


Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy)

Christe Eleison (Christ have mercy)

I invite you into a time of guided prayer, using the guided meditation below.

Guided meditation: the tiny seed
00:00 / 10:32

End the time of guided prayer by listening to the following song:

Song like a seedSara Thomsen
00:00 / 04:42


Ay, what to sing about in these days

What rhyme or melody, turn of phrase?

What is your story now, where is your gaze?

Ay, what to sing about in these days

Towers are tumbling, tumbling down

Fortresses fumbling, crumbling crowns

Governments grumbling, as they drown

Towers are tumbling, tumbling down

Plant your song like a seed

Hold your heart like a prayer bead

Give your breath like a tree

Set your soul’s deep love free

I know a woman who walks and prays

Follows the river’s old rambling ways

Eagle flies over and butterflies play

Watching the warrior walk and pray

What is your story now, where is your heart?

This is a one-act play, what’s your part?

In every ending there’s some new start

What is your story now, where is your heart?

Plant your song like a seed

Hold your heart like a prayer bead

Give your breath like a tree

Set your soul’s deep love free

There is a garden that grows at night

Then in the winter it tucks in tight

Drifts off in dreams about birds in flight

That carry the seeds of this garden’s life

Ay, what to sing about in these days

What rhyme or melody, turn of phrase?

What is your story now, where is your gaze?

Ay, what to sing about in these days

Reflection Exercise:

Find a mustard seed, or any other tiny seed. Hold it in the palm of your hand. Let it speak to you of the possibility that is held in littleness.

For Further Reflection:

I encourage you to spend some time in further reflection on this theme. Below are quotes from the talk and some additional quotes for further reflection.

Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Matthew 17:20-21:

“if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.”

St Therese of Lisieux:

“Holiness does not consist in this or that practice, but in a disposition of heart which remains always humble and little in God’s arms, but trusting to audacity in the Father’s goodness.”

Luke 1:48-49, 52-53

"The Lord has been mindful of the humble state of this servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me.... the Lord has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. Adonai has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty."

Meister Eckhart:

Everything is meant to be lost, that the soul may stand in unhampered nothingness. The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel you must break the shell.”

Cynthia Occelli:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

Sandra Maitri describes that the ultimate vanity is to try to take God’s place in creating ourselves and our lives in accordance with our own inner dictates. She writes that if we do try to create ourselves in this way: “the personality, the outer surface of who we are, becomes central. The shell, the husk of ourselves, is all that remains, with all of the emptiness at the core that this image conjures up, and it is this shell that feels primary."

Sue Monk Kidd:

The fullness of one's soul evolves slowly. We're asked to go within to gestate the newness God is trying to form; … Grace needs an arena in which to incarnate. Waiting can be such a place, if we allow it.”

Thomas Merton:

There is no human and rational way in which I can discover who I am in God. That is something that no human can ever do alone. The only One who can teach me to find God is God. Alone. … [Choose] loving consent to the purely gratuitous mercy of God. … Give me the strength that waits upon you in silence and peace.

James Finley: 

We come with no money with which to buy God's wares. And in our poverty God tells us that we have no need of money, for although we have nothing we are the heirs of everything. We possess in God the pearl of great price which is our own self as one with God in love. While empty we are filled. While poor we possess that Kingdom of which no one but God can know the boundaries, for its boundaries are one with God's own infinite life."

Colossians 3:3-4: 

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Isaiah 30:15 and 18:

 “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength …
The LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore God will rise up to show you compassion.
Blessed are all who wait for the Lord!”

To read more on this process of the transformation of the seed, there is a chapter titled “The great unraveling” in my book Deeper.

Ending prayer:

Beloved our God, Ground and essence of our being, 

may we be gathered into the stillness and humility of the tiny seed, 

the singularity of the Divine that is "still and small" in the depths of our being. 

As we give ourselves over to you in the silence, 

may we become one with Eternity, 

with the Life and Love that animates the stars. 

Then, "we" will move mountains, 

becoming one with the timeless forces that shape landscapes 

through the power of the wind and the elements. 

We thank you, our Life-Giving God, 

for the spark of life that brings all of this into existence 

through the tiny seed of life that is our essence. 

May we come to know You as our essence 

that we may move in effortless surrender and collaborative grace 

with the One Life. 


Ending music:

Love make your wayAlana Levandoski
00:00 / 02:42


There's a love rooted deep in us

It wants to grow and grow and grow and grow

All it needs is for our light to shine

And when tears come, to let them flow

Oh Love, oh Love, grow inside of us

Oh Love make your way

Oh Love show the world

That it bears your holy Name.

I say yes in the silence

I say welcome in my being

I say yes, I'll be a home

For God's love to make its way

Oh Love, oh Love, grow inside of us

Oh Love make your way

Oh Love show the world

That it bears your holy Name

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Sharon's book that was previously called "Contemplative Living" has been republished by AnamChara Books under the title "Deeper: Finding the Depth Dimension Beneath the Surface of Life". The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the hard copy version can be ordered from or Takealot, or from your local bookshop through Ingram Distribution.

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