Today it’s my pleasure to share news of a gardening book published by CatholicMom.com’s own Margaret Rose Realy, who generously shares her wisdom with our readers twice each month. –Lisa
Benedictine oblate and lay hermit, Margaret Rose Realy, offers her third book, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith throughout the Year. The book was released this year on the first day of spring by the publisher, Ave Maria Press.
Written within the spiritual tradition of the Benedictine Rule, ora et labora, to pray and work, Margaret has attempted to echo the words of St. Basil the Great, “ I want to awaken in you a deep admiration for creation, until you in every place, contemplating plants and flowers are overcome by a living remembrance of the Creator…I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you a clear remembrance of the Creator…one blade of grass or one speck of dust be enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made.”
Reviewers had the following to say:
Margaret’s book is full of the rich symbology of the Catholic Church and shows us the unbreakable bond between our faith lives and the cycle of nature. From those profound roots, Margaret then offers a wide range of delightful ways to incorporate those ideas into both our lives and our gardens. Not a how-to garden book, this book goes beyond, exploring the ways God communicates with us via nature and ways we can enrich our faith journeys through the act of toiling in our gardens, or in simply beholding and appreciating nature’s beauty. ~L. Lynch
Margaret’s words convey the spirit that she reaches back to the first Garden, when the unity between visible creation and its spiritual significance was crystal clear and a source of joy. In that Garden, vision, understanding and experience were all so integrated it was natural for God to walk with man in the cool of the evening. Anyone smitten with the love of gardening knows it touches something deeper, more primordial in the soul. There is some mysterious reason God made the Garden with all its seasonal beauties, our first home and our first work. And there is something in us that wants to return to that original gift. Outside of the very practical and concrete information this book provides, one of its real treasures is to display the riches of the Catholic vision. One sees that even creation manifests a liturgy of praise and worship. ~Sister A. Walsh
Margaret’s book is a true almanac of spiritual and horticultural treasures. Whether you’re new or experienced at gardening, recently converted or cradle Catholic, this book is sure to inspire.
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Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey.
Author photo courtesy of Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.