Walk In The Garden XV

January 4, 2020

“ He who tills his land shall have bread and to spare,

He who chases fantasies , poverty in plenty ”.

( Proverbs 28:19 )

It is winter time currently where I live.  As you look around, you might be under the impression that the ground is dead.. and cold. You might see snow or just a green and brown sort of ground that might lead you to think that everything has gone dormant.

For those who engage in growing things, this could not be farther from the truth.. There are some crops that are planted in the fall, and grow from then until they are finally harvested the following year. Garlic, peas, cabbage and some root vegetables all get planted in the fall ( or can be ) and grow all the way through until the following year.

This is also the time of year when plans are made for the following years gardens. Not only planning, but there is plenty of work to do as well. This would be the time to add your compost to the soil you have been working on all year. You might lay down cardboard or newspapers, or hay, or wood mulch, or any other number of things to help your soil to grow better fruits and vegetables.

Possibly you have never done anything like this before. It might be that you are new to working in this way, and you are in the midst of trying out a great deal of different things to see how it works out, or to find out what works best for your particular area, or what thing works best in your particular circumstances.

Maybe your neighbors think you have lost your mind ! Your friends might consider that you have have taken this whole gardening thing just a bit too far over the edge.. It is too much work, or just a waste of time and money. After all, they can just go to the store and get what they need there right ?

In the summer, your garden grows full, and if you have figured out what works, then it will feed you not only in summertime, but all winter and spring until the next summer harvest season ! Being a good neighbor or friend you share the bounty of your garden and rejoice not only in being a blessing to others, but in their delight and enjoyment in the fruits of your labor the wonder of creation !

Like many things in life this might cause them to stop and enter into, albeit possibly brief, a decision making process, or wonderment about the possibility of emulating what it is that you have done, learning from you and entering into a similar path. They will either consider the value of what it is that you have done , and dismiss it out of hand, or they will indeed understand even a small portion of what it is that you are attempting to do, and enter on to their own path of gardening.

This is how it is in our faith life The garden is our journey of faith. We can make plans, and work in the wintertime, when others believe that the soil we work in is dead or dormant.. we know it is not. It is very much alive and very important work.

Our friends and neighbors are witness to our labors, these are the ones who see what it is that we do, and consider whether we have lost our minds, or if they see value in it, or even wonderment. They may view what we are doing as fruitless, but support us because it is what friends do.

We need to work on our faith, like we would in the soil. Trying to do things that have worked for others who also work in the garden, and trying new things when they don’t. It means finding what works best in your own circumstances, and in your time, because your life and your faith journey, although in the same place, will be on a different path, and take you different places, and provide different lessons at different times.

We need to go through each season, make changes to the things that have not produced a worthy harvest, and learn from the mistakes we made last season. We should get advice from others who have already worked in the garden and see what worked for them.

When late summer or fall comes, we harvest what we have done in the garden. If things have gone well, the garden will not only have fed us through the summer, and given us abundance to store and eat all the way until the following summers harvest. It means that we can also share with our friends and neighbors, who will receive a blessing, both by their experience of seeing that you shared your own blessings, but also because they are fed, and hopefully appreciate the goodness that came from it.

Then we begin anew in preparing for the next harvest.

When we begin to work in the garden, we might only have in mind the harvest. What we find however, is that there are other benefits. You learn to appreciate that although it is work, and at times when you are doing the work it can be difficult and sometimes unpleasant, or uncomfortable, that the work once it is done feels good. There is a sense of progress and you feel better overall.

You will develop an appreciation for watching things grow from the ground. It is creation happening. It is not YOU who do this alone, it is that you did your part, did what you could, and God fulfilled the beauty of creating this thing, according to His purpose. You will find excitement at watching the seeds produce and grow.

Some plants will survive and some will not. Not all our efforts will produce fruit, but it is not in vein.

It is a lesson. We must learn from these and plant again. Just as in our faith life sometimes we do not get to see the plant or the fruit, sometimes it is just our job to plant the seeds.

In working in our garden, we are giving testament to Gods power in our lives. In sharing the harvest, we share Christ with others. Planting new seeds, spreading God’s love and wisdom with our brothers and sisters, growing the kingdom of God one plant at a time.

The alternative, is to chase fantasies…

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Come Home to Family !

December 24, 2019

Brothers and Sisters,

There was a wise friar, that I used to serve with who was always up and running here and there trying to get things done. It got to be Christmas eve, and we happened upon each other in the sacristy busily getting ready for the Holy Masses that would occur that day. He looked exhausted and so I stopped and grabbed him by the arm, and said “ Brother, you look tired, and I know you are because I know you have been running yourself crazy, you need to stop and go and get some rest..” He looked at me, and smiled and said “ Some have to endure the crucifixion, so that others may enjoy the resurrection…”

That encounter happened nearly 30 years ago. So profound was that statement that it has stuck with me all these years. I have held on to that during the times when I too felt too tired.. and exhausted for what it is that I do, and the people I serve.

It applies in every vocation … As a parent, as a priest, as a religious, as a single person, basically anyone who serves others. It can be trying, daunting, tiring, frustrating painful at times, It is also a great joy, a love, a purpose, a calling.

This time of year can be particularly hard for some of our brothers and sisters. They are separated from family for a number of reasons. Our faith gives us a few things that are remedy for those who suffer.

The first is community. A Community of faith gives people a place to gather, a place to belong, a place where one can feel welcome and accepted. A place to connect with others who share common bonds. It is family… Its a bunch of screwed, broken , people who dont always act right, and every one of them is trying to work through their own problems. They go there ( in part) to be with family… to belong..

The second is hope. In the community of faith, there is hope because, at least under normal circumstances, this is the epi-center of the best qualities of humanity. People who love, who share , who laugh, who cry, and who try to be better than they are. There is so much more though…

This community of people, who are each broken, rise from their brokenness, their pains, their sorrows, their own problems and push them out in order to help and serve other people inside and outside their communities.. There is hope in each heart,not only hope that they can be better, but that they can help others to be supported in their own brokenness.

There is hope because of Jesus Christ. God, who came to earth in poverty, in simplicity. To be fully human, fully divine. Who knows what it is like to live as we do. Who knows our pain, our struggle, our weakness. Knowing these things He gave us a way to find our way. He taught us how to live… how to love. He made us brothers and sisters… He made us His family.

If you have been away from the church for a while, it does not matter how long, and it does not matter why. I would like to invite you to come and spend time with your brothers and sisters. It does not matter if you don’t know anyone. Don’t worry that will be fixed in short order. When you get there,

introduce yourself to the usher. They are really great people and always looking for new folks. Then you will know someone for the next time you come. So what are you waiting for ? We are waiting for you… Christmas is a great time to reunite with your family.

God bless you all with the gift of His peace !

Merry Christmas !

Walk in the Garden XIV

December 15, 2019

“ I come into by garden,

My sister, my promised bride,

I gather my myrrh and balsam

I eat my honey and my honeycomb,

I drink my wine and my milk.

Eat, my friends, and drink,

drink deep, my dearest friends. “

( Song of Songs 5:1)

This is the welcome of the bridegroom for the wedding feast of Solomon.

Here we find see Christ, the bridegroom, welcoming His bride, the church, into the garden of Heaven.

The line that reads “ I gather my myrrh and balsam “ has significance. Because both of these plants serve 2 purposes, They are both used as an aromatic, pleasant smelling , festive so the places where it was used would be sweet and pleasant. In addition, the oils of these plants were also used in the Old Testament in the anointing of priests. As you remember, in the New Testament, the myrrh was one of the gifts used in welcoming Jesus, the Christ, by the three wise men.

The lines that follow, “ I eat my honey and my honeycomb, I drink my wine and my milk” These are an denoting of the fullness, and completeness that Jesus entered into union with us. He was fully human, and fully devine. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it to the full … Jesus came to enter into the full mystery of the Fathers will. It is a sign of total immersion into the life of man.

“ Eat my friends, and drink, drink deep my dearest friends.”. This is the invitation, the calling of Christ into the Mystery of life with Christ. He is calling each of us to a complete surrender to a life lived for God.

So all this is nice and sounds all very Rockwellian, but what is it that this means for you ? The regular person who is just trying to make ends meet ? Who just is trying to find answers and some refuge from the storms that life throws at you ? Glad you asked !

All of this passage is pointing us towards Heaven. Heaven is the wedding banquet. Jesus is the Bridegroom and each of us, the Church, is the bride. Jesus wants you. He longs to have you with Him. He calls to each one of us in a quiet voice.. just below the noise and hussle and angst of the world.

He calls to us, and invites us to enter into the mystery that is a life in Christ. To have hope. To live an intentional life of Love. A love that is received from God, and a love that is shared with others. Love God, Love your neighbor. Two rules. One Goal.

This season, I would like to invite you to come in from the world that you are trying to desperately trying to find your way through, enter into the new life with Jesus the infant in the manger, Grow with Him, enter into the mystery, and marvel at the beauty, the simplicity, the poverty of spirit, and the love of God that your brothers and sisters are waiting to share with you. The hall is ready.. the banquet is ready and all the hosts of Heaven are waiting for you !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk in the Garden XIII

December 8, 2019

“She is a garden enclosed,

my sister, my promised bride;

a garden enclosed,

a sealed fountain,

Your shoots form an orchard of pomegranate trees,

the rarest essences are yours;

nard and saffron,

calamus and cinnamon,

with all the incense-bearing trees;

myrrh and aloes,

with the subtlest odors.

Fountain that makes the garden fertile

well of living water,

streams flowing down from Lebannon “

( Song of Songs 13-15 )

The Song of Songs is section of the bible that talks about the Wedding and Marital bliss of Solomon and his bride, but it is equally speaking of the relationship if Jesus and his bride the Church. It speaks about the enclosed garden, This garden, the most intimate of relationships, is the relationship of a spouse, with the beloved. This is the relationship that we are designed.for. It is the relationship that we were born for having with God.

“ My Sister, my promised bride…” All who love Jesus with all their hearts and minds and souls are brothers and sisters to me…” The Sister, the church, the other, that Jesus calls to, yearns for, longs for and waits for.

“with all the incense-bearing trees… “ The carries with it all the sweetness, and graces that are part of the abiding relationship with Christ.

The “Fountain that makes the garden fertile, well of living water… “ this is the water that Jesus speaks of at the well I. Samaria

but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. “ ( John 4:14 )

In this season of Advent, there is a slight paradox where, although this season occurs in the deep of the winter season when it might seem that there are leaves that have died and fallen off the trees.. and everything seems to be sleeping , and indeed this would occur until even past the Christmas season until Lent comes around.

Advent is a time of anticipation, eagerness and joy. A spiritual awakening, and the baby Jesus growing in the Immaculates womb, and the world is filled with great potential. It is like a spiritual spring. In contrast to the Lenten Season, when we are called to die to self, and we understand that the Passion is coming, coming to culmination in the Paschal Mystery , the final chapter is again, Resurrection.

I invite you to spend some time this Advent season to re-enter the mystery of an intimate relationship with our coming King. Drink from the fountain of living water, and enter into the joy of a heart joined with His.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Thanksgiving Blessings to You All !

November 26, 2019

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,

which through us produces thanksgiving to God,

for the administration of this public service is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God.

Through the evidence of this service, you are glorifying God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your contribution to them and to all others,

while in prayer on your behalf they long for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

( 2 Corinthians 9:11-15 )

Good Morning brothers and sisters, In the United States, we are fast closing in on the Thanksgiving Holiday. I have traveled north of my warm and sunny home in Florida, to be with my family in Delaware, which is where I grew up. The family is coming in from all over and as we are gathering not only to spend time visiting together, but also to celebrate the holiday.

Thanksgiving is the national day set aside for us to “give thanks” to God for all the blessings and graces we have in our lives. It is a time for us as a country to pray for Gods infinite mercy, forgiveness, and blessings. A time to remember what it is that God has done for us.

I have been in my brothers house, which sits in on a wooded lot, and I am able to see all the woodland creatures pass by the picture window as I have my morning coffee. As a child and young adult, my home was in the woods. It was a blessing to me, to grow up in an area where I was close to creation in this way. My first morning here, I sat and had my morning coffee with my sister, and started out into the forest. After a time, I got to see a number of varieties of birds that I had not seen in quite some time. Eventually a red fox came through the yard.. and came within about 25 feet of the house so I was able to see him and had enough time to take a picture and a small video with my phone. The poor thing had injured his back leg and was limping a bit.. Apparently, this had been the case for some time because my sister asked if it was still limping and her concern for the animal. The fox still stopped long enough to visit and then moved on. It seemed unabated in its movement through the yard, and cleared the back fence quite gracefully…

Again I was left in the quiet of the woods.. silent and serene.. Thoughts of returning home, the amazing effort that it would take to return, the long trip and the return to work etc. A return to my “normal life”. I forced myself back into the reverie of the experience of the woods.

Our spiritual lives are like this. We must take the time to come away to a quiet place. Sometimes that quiet place is filled with others, family and friends. In visiting our church homes, we go there to give thanks. There is the meeting with family, and there are moments of silence that give us the time to reflect, to remember, to delve into our hearts and minds to remember our blessings. Like many holidays ( Holy Days) we are called to commune with family, to work, to sing, to pray, and to connect.

To share the signs of peace and faith and love with our brothers and sisters. We pull together to make new memories, and when that part is over, we are called to go forward, to “clear the fence gracefully” and to share our blessings with others in the world, until we can be together again.

I wanted to take a moment out of my time at home to share with you all, and to wish all of you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, You will all be remembered in our prayers, as I am thankful to God for the blessing of each and every one of you !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk In The Garden – XII

November 10, 2019

“ Like valleys that stretch afar ,

like gardens by the banks of a river,

like aloes planted by Yahweh,

Like cedars beside the waters “

( Numbers 24 :6 )

The Book of Numbers is a collection of censuses taken in at the beginning of the travel from Egypt to the promised land, the parts of their journeys ( places they stayed) and then the second generation that was actually allowed to enter into the promised land. This passage is part of a poem or part of the statement made by Balaam, who was a prophet known to be speak the word of God that he was commanded. Balak was a king and the Israelites were advancing on their journey which lead through his kingdom. Balak was afraid of Israel because their numbers were large, and He was convinced it would not go well for him. Balak sent for Balaam in order that Balaam should curse Israel, and they might turn away from his lands. In the end, Balaam was told by God he should not curse Israel, but instead to bless them. Needless to say Balak was not pleased.

This passage is what Balaam sees for Israel … The promised land. Rapid growth and prosperity for the land if Israel.

The Israelites did not want all these things. They just wanted to get from Point A ( Egypt) to Point B ( the promised land) and with as little hassle as possible. That sounds fair.. Then there is Balak, who just wanted to live in his little world and not be bothered , infringed on , beaten on or just generally taken advantage of. There was not a great deal there on either side , at least on the outset that would seem like it should be insurmountable.

It is like situations in life, the problem is a matter of perspective, the response is what becomes important.

Patience for me has been a life long challenge. Faced with situations I have not always taken the best path forward. Possibly, you can relate. After being removed from the situation, it becomes abundantly clear that the path you chose might not have been the best or even what you intended. You are then faced with the consequences of the actions you may have taken or failed to take.

Everyone has that certain something that annoys them, or some area of your life that is like that garden, you really need to work the soil and figure out what works for you … in your climate, in your own back yard. Some things will grow.. some will not. Somethings you can get guidance from another gardener who has more experience with what your growing than you do.

Your spiritual life is the same way. If your having difficulty in some area, seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable person you trust. Jesus is the Master Gardener, who can show you what it is you need to do, I can nearly guarantee that it will involve work in your garden, and I can guarantee that if you go it alone, you will likely either not succeed, or you will have problems.

We all need help. We all need to get guidance. In the end Love becomes the fertilizer of the little plant we are growing in our hearts, and in our souls. Care for that plant, and share its clippings and fruits with others. It wont hurt your plant, and there will be more for you to share.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk In The Garden XI

October 27, 2019

“ He went on to say ‘ What is the kingdom of God like ? What shall I compare it with ? -It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.”

( Luke 13:18-19 )

We all know this parable. We have heard this story, in most cases from the time we were children. We have taken it to mean that that little seed is the seed of faith, and that if its cared for will turn into this tree size amount of faith. Lets take a little deeper look into this amazing plant !

First, one might think that the Gardener in this parable simply had a handful of seeds that he simply threw about without any sort of thought or care, and in deed it would just beautifully grow there.

The “ Mustard Tree” is not the plant most people think about when they ponder mustard as being the lovely yellow or brown condiment that might enjoy on your table. This is not the case.

The Mustard tree, scientific name Salvadora Persica, is a plant that when full grown, reaches heights of nearly 25 feet tall ( 7.6 meters ). Here is where things get interesting. In order for this plant to germinate the gardener, must take the seed from the fruit of the plant, and opening that and putting the pulp ( that contains the tiny seeds ) in water for at least 3 days.. THEN, that must be strained through a cheese cloth in order to extract the seeds that have now become soft.

The gardener then, will take the still wet seeds and plant them into the ground or into a pot to grow them for a few years before they plant them outside by which time their soft green stems have now dried and hardened to a woody fibrous consistency as like any other tree.

These plants only usually grow near water, and can survive on as little as eight inches of water annually. Their leaves are consumable by humans and animals alike and contain moisture that is savory tasting as well. This plant will produce flowers and set a fruit as well that is where the seeds are obtained, and those fruits are also edible and are not sweet but savory as well. One final gardening related note is that the mustard you are used to seeing on your table are from the seeds of the mustard plant known as “Brassica” there a few varieties of those to choose from as well.

There is more to this parable than meets the eye.. consider for a moment that like the Gardner, God had to not only create the tree.. but in considering the planting of the seed, there was work done before hand, there was time needed to prepare the seeds, and there was time and thought into preparing the soil. Consider that God planted within you the seed of faith, that was planned specifically for you, specifically for His purpose, from the beginning of time, not simply from the beginning of your life, and your parents lives etc..

In the difficulties in your life, God was preparing the soil of your heart to receive the tiny mustard see of faith He planned for you. You too have work to do here in tending to this seed. Like any other garden you can not simply plant a seed and walk away. Weeds and insects or other animals may come along and destroy all the work you did in caring for this plant. You must learn about this plant that is your faith, you must care for it, and protect it.. You must learn about what it is like at each stage.

You can learn about the plant, or about its flowers, or leaves and even still more about the fruit. Like each one of us a mustard plant has many different uses… many special gifts or properties that make it beautiful and unique…just like you !

Your faith tree has branches, which is not unlike our lives. We are busy, and we do a bunch of different things. If we do those different things from the one tree of faith, then this will be the tree that bears fruit and which is the carrier of more seeds for others to have trees of their own.

Be well rooted in your seed of faith, and you also will bear much fruit, and provide to build the kingdom !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk In The Garden Part X

October 13, 2019

“Build homes, settle down;

plant gardens and eat what they produce, take wives and have sons and daughters,

choose wives for your sons, find husbands for your daughters,

so that these can bear sons and daughters in their turn;

you must increase there and not decrease. “\

( Jeremiah 29:5 )

In this scripture we find the Lord telling Jeremiah, that its time for him to settle in and get to work.

The fact that the Israelites are in exile and life is not perfect, this is not going to be a short lived proposition. If you’re going to plant a garden and eat what it produces, then you’re going to be there longer than a few months. The the Lord says, its going to be generations into this exile.. we are talking grandchildren and great grand children which means.. that your probably going to be buried in this land. If your going to be in this for the long haul, then you might as well make the very best of this you can. Do the best you can for your family, for your community, for your brothers and sisters.

In the light of this scripture, I invite you to consider the parable of the talents ( Matthew 25:14) we all know the story. where the Master gives each of his servants talents. He goes away, returns and there is an accounting after the fact.

In this parable there is a certain parallel or extension of this scripture. Just like the Israelites, we as Christians may in the current world cultural climate feel like we are in exile. We might feel like we are in a strange land, not the land we grew up in at all ? Sure, some of the places are familiar, but the people have changed. Like the Israelites, we find that we find ourselves in the midst of people who do not believe the things that we do. Where once, everyone in our community believed the same basic things we do, now it’s something that is different, and not spoken of in the public square except either in hushed tones, in private meetings, or in exile all together.

On one hand, we need to ask how it is that we got to this point. How do we “ repair God’s house” that you can see is falling into ruin. As a Catholic of a certain age, you remember with some fondness the Baltimore Catechism. This catechism taught us the basic truths of our faith. Today, we have a couple of generations of people who do not yet know, and wander about asking the basic question “ Why am I here ? “ or “What is my purpose in life ?”. What is worse yet, is that we have children who do not have these answers yet, who are having children, who are asking the same questions, and their parents do not have the answers. This causes the children to leave their faith and seek the meaning of life elsewhere.

We have now people who are not isolated. Once children begin going to school they are subject to influences that are not of our beliefs. There are other people who attempt to tell us what it is that we should believe. Governments, schools, friends, people in fact there is an entire world on the internet where, if you go seeking answers, people are more than willing to give you theirs.

The “talent” God gave you in this exile of your faith, is the grace of love. Like an athlete, or an artist, your first attempts at doing something is not going to be perfect. So it is with your own evangelization. You will not have answers, or you will not have good answers. Like an athlete you must learn about your faith, and educate yourself. You need to read. ALOT ! I have books on my shelf that I have not gotten to yet. I do however have plans to get to them.

I know that time is short in our lives. We are very busy.. Over committed, and over tired. We have to make the time. Read the Bible. Read the Catechism. LEARN your faith. Learn what the church teaches. Don’t just read ANY books. Read the best books. I don’t always have time in my day to read as I would like. I make time when I am driving to and from work each day to listen to podcasts or recording of some type about our faith, about scripture, and about our life in Christ.

We simply can not give what we do not have. If we do not have answers about our faith then we are obligated to obtain those answers. If we have questions, then someone else will have those same questions, and we will need to have answers. Those answers need to be clear, concise, and reasonable.

You know the typical sorts of questions that we are Christians are asked. Ask yourself those questions, and see what answers you have. Ask your children, or some close friends , ask the people you go to church with. If you do not know.. then tel l them so, but also tell them you will get an answer and get back to them with an answer. Then go read, educate yourself, talk to a priest, deacon , religious etc.

Your talent is showing God, to others through your life. The interest that you gain from Love, is more love, and souls for the Kingdom. If you do not invest your faith, if you do not share the love of God with others, then you will have nothing in the end, when the Master returns.

The seed that you plant is your garden in faith is Love. The extension of love is service. By your example you are witness to your faith, that others will see God , and bear fruit, and you will by these actions find “wives for your sons,” and “husbands for your daughters” and they will in turn, bare “sons and daughters” of their own, the planting of your seeds and the workings of the Holy Spirit.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk In The Garden IX

September 22, 2019

As the earth brings forth its shoots,

and a garden makes its seeds spring up,

So will the Lord GOD make justice spring up,

and praise before all the nations.

( Isaiah 61:11 )

In this chapter of Isaiah, he is sharing that he has been anointed by God to share the good news with people of Israel. He is telling them that the restoration of Israel is at hand, and that the Lord will bless them in justice and prosperity.

Isaiah, uses the imagery of the garden to to show us the surety of what will happen for Zion because of their faithfulness.

In the chapters preceding this one, Isaiah speaks to the land of desolation that they find themselves in :

Your sins have made Him veil his face”

Their feet run to do evil and are quick to shed innocent blood”

They know nothing of the way of peace”

We looked for the light and all is darkness all is darkness”

But for Zion he will come as Redeemer, for those of Jacob who turn from their faults, It is the Lord who speaks.” ( Isaiah 59 )

It is helpful to get some background in the scripture in order to get more of a complete story. Of what is being discussed.

As the old adage goes “ Those who Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it “ – George Satayana

We as a people of God seem to go through these lessons over and over again. We turn from God, we kick him out of our lives, we kill our brothers, our sisters, our children. We seek to make of God an idol that fits into our own way of life, or simply reject the mere idea of God all together.

God’s faithfulness would be considered insane by today’s standards in the context of a human relationship. We have repeatedly dumped our relationship with God on the trash pile and walked away. Yet, God is ever faithful always beckoning for us to return to His love.

There are some who are faithful, some who keep the faith. In the imagery of the garden God has planted the seeds in one way these seeds are part of the promise of God, calling us to grow our own relationship with Him. The seed was planted in the garden of our souls. It is up to us to grow that sprout, and to protect it.

At the same time, it is also for those who have faith, as part of our own calling as “ Priest, Prophet, and King”, to be the the seeds that are called to sprout forth from the kernel that is our faith, to step out in faith, and to spring forth, being the proclaimers of the Glory and Honor, Love and Faithfulness of our God. We may not do this from the pulpit, we may not do this from the Ambo etc. We do this starting in our lives… in our homes… the domestic church, and then by extension to the other areas of our lives,.

Some people are calling this current age.. the “ Post-Christian Era” because we see in our lands that pepple have lost their faith, or walked away from their faith either because of what has befallen them, or the evils that are perpetrated by people from within the church.

Look at the history of man-kind ! There were other times when people have tried to extinguish the faith, tried to make it see irrelevant or unimportant. There are those who discount the church because of those who do not know God. This is not new ! This is not different ! This is just a repeat of history by those who have not learned from it..

Now is the time for people of faith to stand and boldly live their faith ! To act in accordance with the will of God. To silence the agents of evil in this world to the glory of the Father. To live your life of faith boldly, and proclaim the blessings of God from your own testament these are the building blocks of the average saint !

Do not wither from the challenges and pains of daily life ! Do not grow faint at your own human failings . It is by the way that you progress, and move forward, and how you respond to your fears and your failures that are testament to the Father, and the conviction on sinners who are convicted by the witness in our lives.

Sure, I am human, and of course I fail ! God will give me the graces, and the fortitude, and the strength to do what is His will, IF I AM FAITHFUL !

Go forward from today, and live your best life of faith, secure in the knowledge that we are children of a loving God WHO DOES NOT FAIL !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Walk in the Garden – Part VIII

September 1, 2019

Then the LORD will guide you always

and satisfy your thirst in parched places,

will give strength to your bones

And you shall be like a watered garden,

like a flowing spring whose waters never fail “

                                                                                                  ( Isaiah 58:11 )

This reading is part of a larger selection of the book of Isaiah, which includes a discussion on the subject of their fasting and how, in order to be truly effective they can not just simply sit and fast. In order for their fasting to be effectual they need to be working towards peace, and doing the Works of Mercy.

This is one of the great mysteries of Lent that many of our brothers and sisters miss. It is not enough to simply say.. “Well, I will give up chocolate for Lent and that will be my discipline, or my penance, and that will be pleasing to God”. No, in truth, what needs to happen is that we take the money we have saved by not buying the chocolate, and use that money to buy a meal for the hungry, a blanket for the homeless, caring for the sick. It does no good, if you fast from chocolate, but buy coffee instead.

Possibly you have money in sufficient supply, but maybe the thing that you have little of is time. It will not be meaningful to simply see an issue, and throw money at it to fix the issue and hope it gets resolved if you throw enough money at it. Too many times in our world we have leaders who believe that this process will work, and it does not.

In order for our works, our efforts, our tithing to be effectual, we need to give of the things that really matter to us and then do the works pleasing to God. Our offerings. Our tithing, which constitute time, talents and treasure, in combination with our Works of Mercy, are what give meaning to our lives, and our souls.

God is ever faithful, and loves us even when we are not always the best children. Like any father, he will not leave us to languish forever, but like any parent, there are things He really expects from us.

If we are faithful, and if we do these things, God will provide for us.

Look at the first line of this passage. “ Then the Lord will guide your always…” The Lord guides us, points us in the right direction, gives us the right path to walk. It is up to us to walk in the right path, and to follow His commandments.

THEN, “ … satisfy your thirst in parched places…” He will provide for our needs. Look at what happened with Moses in the dessert with the Israelites, and the drawing of water from the stone.

These things are done so that we might see and encounter the mighty power of the Almighty. We can being to see the works of God and have strength in our faith. To understand that we are His children and He cares for us.

“ And you shall be like a watered garden like a flowing spring whose waters never fail “ This God promises for all His children, if you follow His commandments, that He will provide for us, and not simply to survive but we will flourish. Not in a worldly way, not in material wealth and riches, but in our spiritual lives and that will overflow to others.

This will be the greatest witness we can give not only to God, but to others of our faith and His love !

May God give you the gift of His peace !


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