Make me as a flower in sun and rain. May I, as by nature, turn to follow You In Your course throughout my life. Let Your holy, healing waters penetrate my being, As roots planted securely in Your Providential soil, Drink of Your constant streams. As it is Your nature to water and supply, May I by Rebirth, Unfurl my gowns to Solomon’s delight.
Lord, make of me a place of roses, A gathering of saints, A palace of Your glory, Alive with the radiant splendor Of Your Holy Spirit.
Give me that sincere and true humility, That clears my ground Of briars, weeds and thistle, That rakes away debris And furrows my field crosswise To welcome the rains And receive the seed Of love and deeds as new growth Sprouting joy and fruit aplenty.
Come here to my happy garden To take Your rest, Lay aside Your Cross And bring forth the Sun To shine on all.
Make me as a flower in sun and rain.
May I, as by nature,turn to follow You in Your course throughout my life.
Let Your holy, healing waters penetrate my being as roots planted securely in Your Providential soil drink of Your constant streams.
As it is Your nature to water and supply, may I by Rebirth, unfurl my gowns to Solomon’s delight.
Lent means that spring is just around the corner. Looking at my garden, it was obvious that it was in need of some serious tender loving care. All I had the energy for was to uproot a few of the hundreds of weeds, but I did begin. Immediately, a thought interrupted my picking. “Many souls are dead and don’t even know it.” Surprised by the seriousness of the pronouncement, I turned to the Lord, “Why is that, Lord?”
“Look at the weeds you’re uprooting; they look healthy and well, don’t they? Yet, you know they’re counterfeits; you root them up. Many people no longer know what’s good for them. They opened their soil to the world and allowed the world to decide what grew in them; no questions asked!
Empty places invite weeds. Weeds take the place of authentic, productive life. Soon they choke out the good by sheer numbers and their greedy appetites. Weeds look pretty good for a while. It isn’t until you miss the flowers and the fruit, that you notice something has gone awry. In life, people are like gardens. Some are dying but still look good. Sin like weeds is deceptive. People are kept busy and entertained by counterfeit life. Yet they are loosing ground to the world. They are losing the reward of their time and effort. Their work and play have no eternal end, just transitory vigor and flash. It’s really death wrapped in greenery.
This morning I weeded my entire garden. I also went to confession.
How are we to understand the Agony in the Garden? Sweating drops of blood is beyond the ordinary experience of the sinner or saint. Look at those who suffer well for a glimpse into the mystery.
St. Therese of Lisieux experienced her first hemorrhage on Holy Thursday 1896. In her Story of a Soul we read something of her agony:
For several days, during the month of August, Therese remained, so to speak, beside herself, and implored that prayers might be offered for her. She had never before been seen in this state, and in her inexpressible anguish she kept repeating: “Oh! how necessary it is to pray for the agonising! If one only knew!” One night she entreated the Infirmarian to sprinkle her bed with Holy Water, saying: “I am besieged by the devil. I do not see him, but I feel him; he torments me and holds me with a grip of iron, that I may not find one crumb of comfort; he augments my woes, that I may be driven to despair. . . . And I cannot pray. I can only look at Our Blessed Lady and say: ‘Jesus!’ How needful is that prayer we use at Compline: ‘Procul recedant somnia et noctium phantasmata!’ (‘Free us from the phantoms of the night.’) Something mysterious is happening within me. I am not suffering for myself, but for some other soul, and satan is angry.” The Infirmarian, startled, lighted a blessed candle, and the spirit of darkness fled, never to return; but the sufferer remained to the end in a state of extreme anguish. One day, while she was contemplating the beautiful heavens, some one said to her: “soon your home will be there, beyond the blue sky. How lovingly you gaze at it!” She only smiled, but afterwards she said to the Mother Prioress: “Dear Mother, the Sisters do not realise my sufferings. Just now, when looking at the sky, I merely admired the beauty of the material heaven–the true Heaven seems more than ever closed against me. At first their words troubled me, but an interior voice whispered: ‘Yes, you were looking to Heaven out of love. Since your soul is entirely delivered up to love, all your actions, even the most indifferent, are marked with this divine seal.’ At once I was consoled.”