Everywhere you look today you see people dashing from this activity to the next, almost always appearing as though they are barely keeping their head above water. Within the last year or so I have found myself doing exactly that, ever since starting a full-time job and having two kids in school with after school/extracurricular activities. In bed each night I think of how exhausted I am... but what or who has it all been for… who or what am I serving?
This is the question we should be asking ourselves every night and if the answer is not God then we need to reevaluate our actions and how we spend our time and energy. Bees are the perfect example of a creature we can model our own life after.
Bees, you may ask…? Why yes, bees have been a long time symbol of our Catholic Church and faith and have provided monks, along with other religious, as a great model of how to live our lives. There are three attributes that stand out to me about bees and have decided to make these part my personal way of life: their work habits, chastity, and non-envious way of giving.
Working Like a Bee!
For a bee’s entire life, he works constantly and with much tenacity, for the pure betterment of his hive. Each bee has a particular job and they continue to work their whole lives without veering from their path for that could cause their community to suffer. Just as a bee is called to perform a certain duty for their hive, we are called by God to live our life a certain way. We are given the gift of free will, but God does have a path He would like us to follow…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Now, I am not sure about bees and love, but I do know they have one Queen Bee whom they honor and dedicate their entire life and energy to keeping her hive running smoothly. We should be doing the same by loving and honoring our God with all our heart and soul while dedicating our entire life for the betterment of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Could Chastity “Bee” for Me?
We are all called to be chaste, in whatever form that may be in our vocation and it most certainly is for the bees (or at least worker bees). The worker bee has been a long time symbol of chastity. The worker bees do not have anything to do with the procreation of their kind but they do feed the larva and seal them up safely until they reach full growth. How wonderful would it be if we lived our life working tirelessly to care for God’s Creation, no matter our role (as a worker, or mother/father, a spiritual mother/father, etc)? Tending to those in need, protecting life from womb to tomb, caring for our earth and surroundings, and living a chaste and pure life.
Giving “Beely” or Freely
Can you just imagine if we were able to give of our time, treasure, and talent freely and lovingly throughout our life and to all those we encounter? Our worker bees strike again with this wonderful attribute. The worker bee does not spend their entire life working tirelessly so they can acquire riches and live a luxurious life. The worker bee will spend its life, working and serving for the betterment of the hive, allowing the hive to thrive long after that particular worker bee has long left the earth. I want to do the same for my God, family, and fellow mankind. I want to work tirelessly for the Will of God and my family. To wake up thankful every morning, spend each and every minute of the day thanking God for the blessings and the burdens He has placed in my life because I know they all serve a greater purpose. I want my children to see me cry out and live out my fiat just as the Blessed Mother did... “I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38) and take on the same zeal for life and for our loving Father.
We are called to use our time on this earth to do good works, lead holy & pure lives, and to be cheerful givers. We can follow the church and use the bee as a reminder of how to live our lives for Christ and how our good works will turn to sweet honey… here on earth for others and in heaven for us.
"Bees are models of social life and activity, in which each class has its duty to perform and performs it exactly- one is almost tempted to say conscientiously- without envy, without rivalry, in the order and position assigned to each with care and love...Ah, if men could and would listen to the lesson of the bees: if each one knew how to do his daily duty with order and love at the post assigned to him by Providence; if everyone knew how to enjoy, love, and use in the intimate harmony of the domestic hearth the little treasures accumulated away from home during his working day: if men, with delicacy, and to speak humanly, with elegance, and also, to speak as a Christian, with charity in their dealings with their fellow men, would only profit from the truth and the beauty conceived in their minds, from the nobility and goodness carried about in the intimate depths of their hearts, without offending by indiscretion and stupidity, without soiling the purity of their thought and their love, if they only knew how to assimilate without jealousy and pride the riches acquired by contact with their brothers and to develop them in their turn by reflection and the work of their own minds and hearts; if, in a word, they learned to do by intelligence and wisdom what bees do by instinct--how much better the world would bee.” ~Pope Pius XII (Address made on November 27, 1948, CatholicCulture.org).