Anyone who has ever planted a seed can appreciate that gardening is indeed a labor of love. The feeding, the planting, the watering, and the daily maintenance — we do it all with one goal in mind — to grow a beautiful garden.  Developing our spiritual life is similar to that of growing a garden. We must prepare our bodies, minds, and souls so that we can blossom as holy children of God.

When God’s first garden — the Garden of Eden — was defiled by sin, He created a new garden — the Blessed Virgin Mary, who could not be defiled. Mary was and is the most beautiful garden. Born without original sin, her soul was truly fertile and God planted the most precious seed of all in Our Lady so that we could share in God’s bounty.  Mary continues to spread this beauty today to all who pray to her for guidance and help.

Truly, our souls need tending and our spiritual garden can be beautiful if we make the effort. We can make it fertile for the Holy Spirit to come upon us and the power of the Most High to overshadow us so that Christ can grow within us and live through us each and every day.  God gives us every chance to grow spiritually with the proper care. Going to Mass, reading scripture, making confession, and taking Holy Communion feed our souls and strengthen our ability to grow in holiness. And we must not forget daily prayer. Mary prayed every day. It was her lifeline, her sustenance — like the rains that nourish the grounds where flowers bloom.

And as we prepare our spiritual garden, let us ask ourselves: “What do we want to see blossom, bloom, and grow?” A more prayerful life, a dedication to the Rosary, a closer relationship to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? What comes to fruition is our choice and will depend on how much time and effort we put into preparing and tending to our garden.

God provides the goodness to make us strong and to give us beauty. Yes, while we have time on earth, let us tend to our spiritual life as we would our garden — with a labor of love. With the proper care, our spiritual garden – like Mary -- can spread faith, hope, and charity in this world and we can accomplish remarkable acts of goodness with God’s grace. Like planting a flower, we can bring beauty to where no beauty exists.   Let us continue our Journey.