One thing that I noticed when I was at the Monastic Institute sponsored by St. John’s School of Theology at Collegeville, MN, was that they had changed the fountain in front of the Student Center into another kind of water feature, one that would use much less water.
It made good ecological sense because there are many summers when rainfall is not abundant. I reflected on the fact that it represented good Benedictine stewardship. It also reminded me of my own childhood’s lack of ecological understanding.
I used to scour our yard and the adjoining school yard to pick the Prairie Roses and bring them into our home.
Left to right: Sister Mary Catherine Shambour, Sister Mary Josephine Torborg, and Sister Donna Schroeder during the Monastic Institute 2011.
Eventually I could not find any roses and I finally realized that I was responsible because I had not let them mature to drop their seed. The cycle of flower to seed needs to be completed if there is to be another season of flowers.
That seems to me a kind of metaphor for spiritual life. God gives us graces and these free and generous gifts need to be nurtured and matured so that we may grow in our love for God and for each other. Then there can be yet another season of flowering.