A Drought That Did Not Kill

There is a bit of a drought going on in my corner of the world, both in my thoughts and in my garden.

A familiar quote that kept  coming up this week is…

I will never look into the eyes of a person God does not love.[1]

…I like that. Sometimes I recommend this quote to others, those caught in a cycle of self deprecation, to keep it in mind when they look in the mirror.

As for the garden…even in a drought, it blooms:

Lantana camara ‘Anne Marie’

Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Astra Blue’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Annabelle’

Anethum graveolens, Dill!

Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ (I think…)

Anemone x hybrida ‘Serenade’

And this guy

Let us pray for rain to refresh our wearied soil.

[1] Don’t know the origin of this quote, but it sounds like a paraphrase of any number of the Church doctors.

Images Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, all rights reserved.

St. Michael the Archangel, Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

St. Michael the Archangel, continue to guard our holy women from the lies of the devil.

Let them not doubt their efforts to be the hands of Christ in a world that devalues the lessons Jesus taught.

Keep them free from anxieties and fears so they may continue to grow in the peace that only God can give.

Help their Guardian Angels to guide them from the near occasion of sin.

Keep them strong, safe, and able to draw near to one another in times of uncertainty.

We pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

Strength in Ministry, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you.”

May priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May priests be holy, filled with the fire of your love seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.

Amen.

St John Vianney, pray for us.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

To Change in Nature

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As we age we come to embrace on many levels the verse Jn 3:30, “He must increase; I must decrease.”

The gardens have become fewer and smaller as I’ve aged. The riot of color from spring’s thaw to late autumn’s freeze have given way to a simpler view of textures and shapes, under the boughs of trees.

I still work the gardens at a slower pace —ever careful of what could trip and cause a fall—and plan more for what is essential and when it really needs to be done. I’m growing comfortable with new normals and the minimizing of a once exuberant life.

I’ve become a reflection of my gardens—smaller and preferably off to the side in the shade.

The boldness of hosta leaves, the vibrancy of tree peony blooms, or the structure of an oak leaf hydrangea all have a life, but only in dappled light. Those plants, and many more, are not meant to be in the intense full sun. There are others better suited for that—to dance with the light and welcomed attention.

I think of shade gardens as a kind of whisper from the Creator calling me to be still, sit with him a while, and to look where his Light shines clearest. So, like many gray-haired types, I seek that distant shady spot from which to watch the busy freshness of life.

I’ve not felt that I’ve lost who I am, my identity as a gardener in this slow decline. Like my gardens I have transitioned and become more defined. My roots are still deep in the soil of faith, and nourished by the compost spread over time. Our Lord has whispered new ways to be all of whom this different ‘I am’ is, and I try to listen as best I can.

My attempts to write or create art are not done with the confidence of training—which at times is glaringly obvious. My approach is one of openness, more of a practice continued for God’s glory. It is he who prospers the works of my hands, and carries my efforts like dandelion fluff on a breeze.

I am content to still be his gardener spreading fewer seeds. We all have transmuted gifts, those that have changed in nature, though in essence we remained the same.

Image Pixabay.com. CCO Creative Commons