That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.
Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Whether it be giving a talk for work, making a toast as the father of the bride, or even working out, I have found that preparation is essential to insure the desired result. The one thing I know for sure is that without adequate preparation the outcome usually fails to achieve the quality for which I hope.
While we know faith is a gift given freely and without reservation by God, it still requires preparation on our part. Whether your field is law, baseball or chess, it takes many years of hard work and practice to become really good. So why are we surprised the same is true in the spiritual life? St Ignatius became a master of the spiritual life only through the deepening self-awareness he developed during his long convalescence at Loyola and then his year of “spiritual exercises” at Manresa.
So, as the gospel suggests, let’s get out the “gardening tools of life” to prepare the soil of our hearts to receive the Word of God. As Saint Ignatius is reported to have said, “work as if everything depends upon you and pray as if everything depends upon God.”
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
O God, who guided Saint Bridget of Sweden along different paths of life and wondrously taught her the wisdom of the Cross as she contemplated the Passion of your Son, grant us, we pray, that, walking worthily in our vocation, we may seek you in all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
—Collect of the Mass in honor of Saint Bridget of SwedenPlease share the Good Word with your friends!