I wonder if so many religious communities garden because of the spiritual aspects of it. It was a beautiful day today, and I was able to get a few things done outside. It is quiet, and my mind wanders...
Maybe this is what our spiritual life looks like by the time Lent arrives.
There's decent soil underneath, but there's also a lot of junk piled on top, weeds growing, dead stuff...
No doubt there's some good things there.
Like this strawberry plant left over from last year.
But before it is going to flourish, some cleaning needs to be done, and maybe some compost needs to be added.
The leaves that have fallen need to be brushed away.
Then the weeds need to be pulled out...roots and all.
Some of them are easy enough to pull out bare-handed.
But some of them are clearly going to need more than MY bare hands to pull them out.
But when all is said and done... you are left with fertile ground.
A place which can bear fruit and nourishment.
Something to sustain us.
Something that we can share with others.
Perhaps that is how Lent is. We dust off our souls, take a good look, assess what might need to be done. Then we set to work - all with God's help. We might need to add some things...prayer, time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or spiritual reading. We might need to remove some things that are choking off what growth we need to do. Some of those things can be removed easily - giving something up. But some things need a little extra help....the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We might need to give of ourself. The end result - hopefully - is a place in our heart where the Word of God can put down roots. Growth. Sharing with those who hunger.
Prayers for a blessed Lent and a bountiful harvest!
3.12.11 Would it be too much to edit this post to add that I went to confession this afternoon. Very nearly the first words out of the priest's mouth by way of encouragement were something about seeing our lives as "fertile ground for redemption". I've heard him use that terminology before, so I wasn't totally awed and amazed. More like God sending a wink and a thumbs-up my way, and further confirmation that the priest is a pencil in God's hand.