I have never considered myself a person with a green thumb. On the contrary, my attempts at gardening were laughable. Oh, I always started out great. Every spring I would buy flowers, herbs, and small vegetables to grow in pots. I loved transforming our bare deck with vibrant colors and vegetation. However, it didn’t last.
The first month, I would happily go outside to water and prune our little garden. Then as time passed, the busyness of the season left me with little time for the garden. Flowers started to whither as the soil dried out and weeds grew. My fresh herbs looked closer to the dried herbs stuffed in my kitchen cabinet.
Finally, this year I vowed it would be different. I wasn’t going to allow neglect to be the cause of my dying garden. I watered and fed it regularly, and I recruited my kids’ help. The results? I had a summer and beginning of autumn with abundant flowers and herbs.
This whole scenario came to mind when I read today’s Psalm: “He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade” (Psalm 1:3).
Too often the garden of my heart has suffered the same treatment as my outdoor garden. There are times when I am pumped up and ready to take the care necessary. My spiritual life is thriving, and I feel close to Our Lord. Other times, life gets too busy or too difficult and it is easy for me to get distracted or discouraged. These are the moments that I must take extra care to tend my spirit through prayer and the Sacraments. I have to make sure my heart is planted right beside the Living Water so I can drink freely and gain the strength I need.
Tending my soul is constant work. I have to pull out the weeds—like sins of the flesh and self-centeredness—and cultivate the virtues that will produce the fruits of the Spirit. It can’t be done once and then forgotten. It is perpetual, daily work. But there will be fruit. Like the sunflowers outside my window, I want my life to add joy and beauty to the world.
Is there something Our Lord wants to prune to help you grow in His love? What can you do to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in your life?
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.