The tree of life is a powerful Christian symbol, representing both our pristine pre-fall condition and Christ’s cross.
Pope Francis has said: “What counts is being permeated with Christ’s love, allowing oneself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and grafting one’s own existence onto the tree of life, which is the Cross of the Lord. . . .”
Recent discoveries and insights are leading scientists to envision life on earth as a tree with several trunks and all the varied life-forms growing as limbs from these trunks. This vision began with Charles Darwin, who wrote that the “great Tree of Life fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.” (For more, click to read “Scientists Unveil a New ‘Tree of Life'” in The New York Times.)
So the tree of life may be seen as a symbol for all life; it is also an archetypal symbol appearing throughout the world’s religions; and, for Christians, of course, it is a testament to the ever-growing, timeless love of God. Christ’s cross is the tree our hope hangs on.
The tree of life is the love of God.
-St. Isaac the Syrian