Sunday, July 15, 2012

In the Summer Garden

It is summer, and the cloister garden is in full bloom.  This is a season of constant change, when droughts alternate with downpours, when weeds must continually be battled, when pests need to be put to flight lest they harm delicate blossoms.  

Pastel greens of springtime have deepened, now,  into darker shades.  It's a time of heat and heady fragrance, busy bees and fireflies and cicadas, crackles of thunder and balmy nights. 

I ask myself:  how are things in my own "inner garden?"  Do I see a blossoming of prayer?  Fruit grown in suffering?  Weeds of worldliness and distraction?  The sting of aridity and drought?

"Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil.  Fertilize the soil ever so richly; it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains."  (St. John Vianney)

"He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails."  (Isaiah 58:11)

"Our mortifications, humiliations, prayers - in a word, all the exercises we practice - what are they but acts of virtue, which are like so many beautiful flowers, that send up a perfume extremely sweet before the Divine Majesty?"  (St. Francis de Sales)

"I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Vinegrower.  He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones He He trims clean, to increase their yield.  You are clean already, thanks to the word I have spoken to you.  Live on in Me, as I do in you.  No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from Me. "  (John 15:1-4)

"O garden-dweller!  My friends are listening for your voice, let Me hear it!"  (Song of Songs 8:1)

So... what is happening in the garden of your soul?

(flower photos on today's post are © N Shuman.)