The Garden of Lent

20150215-172341.jpg

It’s a bitterly cold morning here with wind chills below zero, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about spring. I love looking through seed catalogs and imagining all those beautiful flowers in bloom. And nothing warms the heart of this Southern woman like the taste of that first ripe tomato. Gardens give us new life. They sustain us, both in food and in beauty. Our gardens remind us of that first Garden, created in perfection until we disobeyed. What was once effortless in grace is now the result of toil and sweat. Yet beauty and sustenance remain for us.

Jesus spoke a lot about gardens and vineyards. These symbols were things His followers knew and understood. And those images still ring true for us. God’s wisdom places Lent at this time each year. Lent means “spring” after all. It’s that season when we take stock of the garden of our lives. Just as the gardens that we plant outside need attention and planning and pruning—so do our souls. So think of Lent as an investment in the mercy and grace of The Lord which allows our harvest of charity to increase and flourish. Let’s look at how we can use our Lenten journey to glorify and God and be ready for His great gift of Easter.

1) Prepare the soil. You can’t expect a bountiful harvest if you don’t make the effort to prepare yourself. Take an honest look at yourself. Examine your conscience. What keeps you from doing’ God’s will for your life? Name it and confess it.

2) Choose your plants. Where do you feel called or gifted to serve God? Maybe you’re an encourager or a mentor. Perhaps you have a gift for music or writing or organizing. Where can you put your gifts for His good purpose?

3) Get planting! It’s easy to think about doing something, but we’re called to follow Jesus and not just think about following Him. Commit yourself to daily prayer and reflection. Fast. Go to Mass and Adoration as often as possible. Be kind to one another. Bear your crosses with joy and thanksgiving.

4) Feed your garden. Frequent Holy Communion is nourishment for your soul. The Bread of Heaven is our hope and our sustenance. Receive Him worthily and the treasury of God’s grace will fill your life to overflowing.

5) Weed your garden. Form good habits that replace your bad ones. Turn off the television and pick up a good book. Pick up THE good book. Are there people in your life that are stumbling blocks to your spiritual good? Spend time with folks who encourage you and build you up in your Lenten journey.

6) Watch your garden grow. Take time to rest in The Lord and reflect on what He is revealing to you. Walk with Him in the cool of the day, like Adam and Eve did in that first, perfect Garden. Don’t neglect the peace of a Sunday afternoon spent in the presence of God. There is great growth in these times given over to Him.

7) Harvest and share your bounty. Easter will be here before we know it. Your Lenten garden is your gratitude to God for His great gift of the Holy Cross and our salvation. When we grow in Christ, we’re called to share the Gospel with others. Start with loving and caring for your family and ask The Lord to show you where He needs you most. Your mission has just begun.

“In simply humility, let our gardener God landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”
—James 1:21

Advertisements

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hugh Hubble
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 22:42:58

    We, like you, live in the south or at least in the western NC mountains. We are cold and getting colder. Snow forcast for Monday. Ready for both Lent and in the Sping.

    Reply

    • tiberjudy
      Feb 15, 2015 @ 22:59:13

      I hear you! We live in north GA just south of Chattanooga. So we are in for some snow and ice it seems. Stay safe!

      Reply

      • Hugh Hubble
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 00:31:25

        I have to take my son to Boone NC. Looks like we’ll be back before it gets serious. I might have my other son take him and I’ll stay home. They both plow snow for NCDOT. Thanks for caring. Stay warm.

      • tiberjudy
        Feb 16, 2015 @ 00:40:51

        Wow. So they’ll both be out in the midst of it. I pray they stay safe and warm. Boone is a beautiful spot. I hope we all miss out on the ice! Snow we can deal with but ice is no fun at all. God bless.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: