"I hear from afar things whispering...
How small is what we contend with a fight;
how great what contends with us;"
My soul is wrapped - dreamlike - in the symbolism of things; each by it's nature offering a blessing or a curse. It comforts me to know the meaning of things: that birch twigs bring babies, that salt drives away devil, crows call in blessings, and strange dogs steal them away. These little mysteries fill my life with tiny signposts. If I allowed them to grow large, they would swallow faith in fear and become Superstition, but small the serve to remind me that the whole world is a mystery - pointing always to the great mystery of God.
Superstition is a dangerous and overwhelming habit. It makes objects into idols and pits the will of man agianst God. Superstition forgets that God made all things in love, it offers man only a sad faith, "where all would fold their fingers out of fear" (Rilke), in hopes of placating a god who cannot love, a god who is bound to ritual. Though superstition itself is an evil, the way of watching the world that often accompanies it - seeing the symbolism of things, is not. It is good and natural to hear God whisper promises through His creation, to try to understand the living parable. This way of seeing avoids superstition by remaining small and submissive. It absorbs into the Christian life like balm, soothing our rough patches with the reminder of divine mystery, and divine love.