“There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves.” –THOMAS MERTON, “LOVE AND LIVING”
Tilling the soil. Searching and spiritual wandering are a bit like fertilizing a garden I think. All the mistakes we make God uses to make our souls richer and more fertile. Like a master gardener He watches over us, pulling weeds, adding substance that breaks us down and makes us workable and able to grow. He waters us with His tears hoping we will notice. We can help ourselves by yielding to His tender care, bending to His hand even when it feels wrong to us and we think we are going to break.
I am troubled by what is going on in the world today, Christians being persecuted much like they were during the time of the Romans, fellow Christians being pushed to the edge of extinction, Israelis and Palestinians bombing each other, Ukrainians fighting for their lives, Syrians dying and dead. Why? Is it fear? Fear of those we don’t know? Fear of our own lives becoming somehow less valued and purposeless? Christ never forced anyone to follow Him. He loved them. He told His followers to love each other and to love God – that was His message. Even today any other message is wrong and yes, evil.
I read a reflection on Our Lady of Mount Carmel that eased my mind a bit:
I think of her as a gardener throughout our human history too. A little trouble in France? No problem: here comes Mary with her rosary in hand and a full dose of prayer and advice. Something’s tough in Russia? Mary’s on her way to that part of the garden, pulling a hose behind her for some special application watering. They need help in the United States? Look, there’s Mother Mary, dressed for serious work.
~ Mary the Gardener: Reflecting on Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sarah Reinhard
Mother Mary, Pray for Us, there is some serious work here for you to do.