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Becoming a CatholicReflectionsThe Three Trees    August 23, 2017

The Three Trees

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be travelling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.
Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. "Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said.
The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It's perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"
The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the wood cutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."
Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful." She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveller and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveller fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She new she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hand to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.
The next time you feel down because you didn't get what you wanted, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

 

 
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God our Father, Shepherd and Guide, look with love on Francis, your servant, the pastor of your church. May his word and example continue to inspire and guide the Church and may he and all those entrusted to his care come to the joy of everlasting life. Amen.

 


 

 

 
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Father David Everitt

 

This page is dedicated to the memory of Father David Everitt, who died peacefully on Easter Sunday evening, 4 April 2010.
Fr David had been a priest for the Diocese of Nottingham for thirty-four years, was sixty-three years of age when he died, and at the time of his death was resident with the Franciscan Sisters Minoress at their Convent in Melton Mowbray.
Fr David visited Grantham many times and is warmly remembered by many parishioners. Particularly the year when instead of a sermon he told us the story above! 

 

 
 
Have you ever thought about being a priest?" asked the seminarian, now a priest, sitting opposite me in a cellar bar in Leicester. Regaled in a caftan, shoulder length hair and seven (or was it eight?) rings, I laughed and exclaimed, "Could you imagine me being a priest!” "Well you never know" was the retort, "God chooses all types". Caftan, hair, etc? Well it was the swinging sixties!
 
That evening in the pub, over a few pints, the Lord sowed a seed. I thought and half hoped the idea would go away, but the responsibility that He might be calling me grew over the next year.
 
To cut a long story short, I gave my notice in at the East Midlands Gas Board , where I was working , and found myself at Campion House, Osterley. From there I went to study and enjoy six years at the English College, Valladolid, Spain and after having been advised to leave three times , I found myself being ordained in my home parish of St Joseph's, Leicester on 12 July 1975 .
 

 

 
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