“God is beyond what we can feel and imagine and faith is not a warm feeling in the heart or a certainty in the mind, but a brand in the soul”. Fr. Ron Rolheiser
Growing up in a small town you realize very fast if your family has a name that is recognized on one side of significance or the other. Mine did. Not because we had wealth or possessions but because we owned our own business. Our company had a brand; and, everything we owned bore that sign, seared into the hide transformed into something new. Over time, that name transformed me to a great degree and I’ve tried my best to pass it on; mainly, because I know our names bear witness of who we are, what we are together and where we come from. Equally, it bears witness to the expectations for our sons and the generations to follow. When there is division within a company, a family, or a team, the mystical chords that bond are broken; and the brand does not sear the hide nor leave a mark. Antagonism rules the day!
The fragmented mind and the egoic mind see in parts, and usually antagonistic parts, but never in wholes. Fr. Richard Rohr
Everyone who bears the brand has a significant role to hold in tension both good and bad, to forgive, to show mercy, to love the poor, our enemies and a simple life. What cowboy hasn’t been on a search for strays and how would he find them without knowing their mark? Like it says in the first book of Corinthians: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. The cowboy rides in search, knowing that the whole of the company is dependent on him to succeed, in finding those who have been transformed by the brand. Ain’t it so!