My Life Is a Garden

I have had my moments when I thought I could and tried to save the world; or at least change it in a major kind of way; or at the very least make a big contribution that would be the critical difference. Now in my old age, I know how quixotic my dreams had been. The only thing I could really change is myself.

I dreamt of being wealthy to be able to help all the poor and the needy I come across. Now, I realize that there is greater generosity in anonymous giving and in giving to those who could never pay me back.

I have tried to help bring people to God through massive and public spectacles to experience a tremendous outpouring of Faith. I still enjoy going to Mass and big religious gatherings. But I need moments of silent and private moments for me to feel more intensely God’s presence in my life.

I had tried to fast on days of fasting without really giving it much thought, often making sure others around me knew I was fasting. These days fasting for me means asking “What are the things I can do without. And I am pleasantly surprised that when I really make an effort there are many things I can do without?”. I use up less of almost everything I have needed before. Now, there is more available for others that I can give away. There is more I can pray in gratitude for.

I have fallen in love with gardening of late. I love how plants grow in silence and unnoticed, taking up only what they need from the soil and the air, nothing more. And then, in a very unobtrusive way, they one day bloom with with beautiful flowers. I will be a plant and the Lord will be my gardener in the garden that is my life.

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father in secret.
When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.
Matthew 6: 1-6,16-18

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