Inspiration – Like gardens, our souls also need nourishment

Amy Norland,
For High Prairie St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church

What does small space gardening mean to you? As our thoughts turn to the promise of the growing season, it’s probably that little odd and challenging space next the deck.

What about our inner life? How much space do we give to Jesus in our lives? Let us use this metaphor to assemble the steps or sections.

There is, first of all, the foundation we have received from our parents, our teachers, culture. There are islands: things and situations that set us apart and that we need to get through alone.

What about those little corners: the thoughts and feelings we do not always express but that might lead us to be exclusive and the narrow spaces where we feel the need to either conform or rebel?

For all of us, there are oasis, “way stations”, our places of sanctuary, that help us renew our resolve. It is quickly apparent that although we are all human, we express our lives differently, some of us as beginners, novices, and others as experienced soldiers.

We nourish our gardens to play up the best features of our surroundings and make our homes more inviting. This applies also to our inner life. We can turn our prayers into actions that do not just hide our imperfections but move us further along our unique road to sainthood. One must think of our good deeds as solar batteries that let light shine long after sunset and help subtly reinforce our aspirations.

Life is messy. It takes time and effort to manage our inner life. Yours might be strong and definite, someone else’s dainty and fluffy. Some are very busy but all gardens benefit from a little watering. Rain is to be a blessing and help grow sustenance, not engulf us.

Being vulnerable does not mean neglecting the edges of our personality. It is important to protect ourselves from invasive weeds that might blight our insight. Hence the importance of daily hidden acts of kindness to help bridge the gaps that are bound to appear in the hedge of our best intentions.

That’s an important clue: to keep our spiritual life healthy and attractive, meditation is a tool we cannot do without. Yes, one needs to continually sculpt the edges, prune and discard. We need to strengthen our resolve but the one thing we cannot forget is that the risen Jesus entered through a locked door. [John 21:19]

So, too, for us, grace comes at unexpected moments.


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