Today my husband and I began the monotonous task of weeding our very overgrown and unattended garden beds in hopes of preparing them to actually plant our fruits and veggies this year.
This spring has been particularly busy for us as a family and unfortunately our neglected garden beds show it! Early on in the spring the first weeds began to peek through the soil, and little by little they established stronger roots and grew larger and more prolific above ground. Every time I walked out to our garden beds situated in the far back corner of our acre lot, I felt overwhelmed at the task ahead of me to uproot all those nasty weeds and actually prepare fertile soil for my vegetables and fruits to grow. Thanks to my hard-working husband, somewhat well-behaved little ones, and my own elbow grease, the beds are finally ready! It was an entire day of pulling weeds, rototilling, pulling more weeds, raking dirt and pulling more weeds, until we reached a point where we can now lay landscape fabric down to help prevent further weeds from growing. Phew! Thankfully, we had beautiful weather to distract us from the tedious task!
Before we worked on our garden today, we worked on our souls. As a family we began the day by going to Confession. The grace of the Sacrament allowed us to tend to sinful behaviors in hopes of eventually uprooting them altogether! The physical energy I exerted in my vegetable garden this afternoon was symbolic of the spiritual effort I exerted this morning in my soul.
Just as it requires work to uproot the weeds that are deeply embedded in the soil of my garden beds, it requires work to uproot the sins that are deeply embedded in the depth of my soul.
In my garden there are certain weeds that keep surfacing time and again, indicating that the root was never completely uprooted. If I desire to totally rid my garden bed of these weeds, I need to make sure that I get to the root of each plant and pull the entire weed out of the ground – one by one. Then, I have to maintain a healthy garden bed by promptly uprooting the inevitable new weeds that begin to grow, being careful not to allow their roots to grow strong and deep.
It is the same with our souls; if there is a sin that keeps resurfacing in your life, then it has not been completely uprooted. Ask yourself why. Why does this sin have a hold on you? Utilize the grace that springs forth from receiving the sacrament of Confession to enable you to rid your life of the sin. Confession is like taking a spiritual shower – it cleans your soul. You wouldn’t wait too long to take a shower to clean your body; why wait to clean your soul?
Frequent Confession is vital to uprooting deeply embedded sins and to preventing the growth of new ones. In my garden, little weeds spring up very quickly and begin to compete with my healthy vegetables and fruits for nutrients if I am not careful to immediately uproot them when I first see them.
When weeds are small, they are very easy to pull out, but as they grow larger above ground, their roots grow deeper below ground and they become more and more difficult to pull out. It is the same with sin in our lives. When externally you start to see bad behaviors manifest, it is a sign that a sin has taken root internally in your soul and the longer you allow it to grow the more challenging it will be to uproot it from your life.
The key to a healthy spiritual life is being aware of what is going on in your soul and taking the necessary actions to keep your soul pure and clean.
I appreciate the visual reminder I have as I tend to my vegetable garden of the necessity to also tend to the garden of my soul. I want my soul to be filled with good, healthy “things” so it can produce abundant fruit in my life. I long to evangelize more with the way I live my life than with the words that I speak. I know this can only come from a deep interior life and a weed-free, healthy soul.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16
What spiritual fruit does God want to produce in your life?
Copyright 2017 Kathleen M Billings