It's the time of year in which my gardener's heart is supremely happy. My fledgling spring seedlings have (mostly) grown into hardy summer plants that happily end up on my dinner table—basil and tomatoes, strawberries and potatoes, and so much more. Most evenings you can find me, sweaty with midsummer humidity and barefoot with black earth finding room between my toes, tending to my little plot of earth. As the traffic buzzes by my little urban garden I'm struck by how alive, how beautiful, how good my garden is.
It's in these daily trips to the garden that I ponder over our Lord's words to the crowds (see Matthew 13:24-30):
"A man sowed good seed in his field . . .
But his enemy came and sowed weeds all throughout the wheat, and then went off."
I'm struck by how relevant this passage is to my own spiritual journey.
Even though I try to sow good seed in the garden of my heart by making time for daily prayer and receiving our Lord often in the Eucharist, there are always those sins that rise up and choke out good spiritual growth. Sometimes before I even realize what is happening it feels like my beautiful heart's garden is stifled by unforgiven hurts, quick rushes to judgment, and persistent doubts of His plan for me.
I don't want a stifled heart, I think to myself as I yank a weed while mulling over the places where I know my heart is lacking. I want a healthy, strong, heart that bears good fruit—just like the fruit of my garden.
Sisters, we need not worry if the weeds sometimes overwhelm us. Just as my purposeful plucking of the weeds of my home's garden gives the rest of my beloved plants room to grow, so does the daily, purposeful work on our spiritual heart allow the Lord, the Master of the Harvest, to bear good fruit in us.
Seek out the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and ask Him to tenderly care for the garden of your heart today.
Here's a two-minute clip on why it's helpful to confess our sins to a priest, in case you're struggling with the Sacrament or explaining it to others in your life.
Karen Schultz hails from the Land of 10,000 lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. As a doula, lactation educator, and FertilityCare Practitioner, she finds joy in helping women to embrace the gift of their bodies. Downtime is found in quiet adoration chapels, farmers markets and gardens, listening to bluegrass music, and embracing the diversity of Minnesota’s seasons. You can find out more about her here.