During this time of year a profuse setting of seed is taking place. Every weed, wild grass, and all trees that can are working at being prolific.
There is a stage of germination in late autumn, encouraged by earth still warm from summer, during which a seed’s casing can crack and send down roots, but the apical meristem (the top stem-producing leaves) is stunted by the colder nights.
With autumn roots firmly established, when spring returns, fruitfulness will be abundant as a new season of growth draws the plant out of darkness.
Seed production — the end state of fruitfulness — differs among genera. The mass of seeds produced depends on a specific plant’s design. Some plants are short-lived and send out copious seeds in their brief one-season life. Other plants live longer and may bear as many if not more seeds over years. Either way, seeds are dispersed, set root, and eventually bear fruit that in turn continues the cycle to sow more seeds.
There is also an ecology of sorts in the Church. I look at her as producing copious seeds; those saints who set roots of faith, and soon produce fruits — the seeds of evangelization. This cycle of faith is ecologically sound, like the prairie grasses whose roots are critical to keeping the land together for future generations of growth.
These are often reluctant saints, unnoticed for the most part, who fill that minor space in our days. Like a student that studied under Pope St. John Paul II, whose name we will never know, whose deeds went unnoticed except by a recipient — and possibly even then in secret. Or an elderly woman who revealed purposefulness in aging — in drawing closer to her final home she encouraged the hearts and souls of those at her bedside to also be saints in their blessings to her.
They, like us, do no great things, but plod along doing what Our Lord would prefer we do: live his Word of charity — seeking to become more holy, despite perhaps shuddering at the overtness of the words ‘to evangelize’.
These are the silent saints, who lived a quiet humble life. They are as numerous as the prairie grasses and every bit as essential to stability.
Copyright 2019 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB