[The Father] takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and
every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. (John 15:2)
It’s springtime here at the Monastery…or at least it’s trying to be! Duluth weather and the “lake effect” say otherwise sometimes: springtime warmth in February, snow in March, and rain in April. Most of the trees are still barren, although some are budding. After a long, brownish winter, we’re all a bit anxious to see some green grass, leafy trees, and colorful blossoms again. The gardeners among us are anxious to plant their zucchini, squash, and tomato plants. We want to walk outside without grabbing a winter jacket. We want growth, vibrancy, color, and warmth.
We’re ready! Do you hear that trees? Flowers? Rhubarb path and vegetable gardens? We’re ready!
Patience! Have patience! It will all happen – in God’s good time.
Springtime seems to come and go so quickly. Even as the shrubs are flowering, some of the earlier blooms are fading and wilting. Soon summer will arrive and all the blossoms will fade. Attentive gardeners pinch off those dying blossoms to reduce the strain on the plant so it will continue blooming for a longer time. Falling to the ground beneath the plant, they become mulch for the plant as it continues flowering.
Never was a flower more lovely than when it gave its life away so another one could be birthed.
I, too, winter for a time and a season. I’ve let my mind and heart rest and prepare for a time of growth and giving and vibrancy. I allow myself to be pruned by God. I open my hands and heart in discernment, letting fall part of who I am in favor of what will be. Through it all, I learn to trust in the patient wisdom of God, the Divine Gardener, who knows how to bring out the best in me.
The transformed life always happens in God’s own time, and – praise God! – God’s timing is always good!
And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy. (Rule of St. Benedict 4.74)
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.