Watering the Garden

A little wisdom from St Teresa on grace and effort in prayer. She offers relatable advice on how to water a garden

A person praying is like setting out to make a garden for God’s pleasure, on most unfruitful soil, which abounds in weeds. God pulls up the weeds and will put in good plants instead. Then, as good gardeners, with God’s
help, we need water to make these plants grow, and to water them carefully so that they do not die, but produce flowers, which give out a good smell, to delight God. Then He will often come to take His pleasure in this garden and enjoy these virtues.

Paraphrased from St Teresa of Avila herself

I’m not great at keeping to prayer times and for years struggled with vocal prayer and intercession because I felt like I might say all the wrong words. Along the way I’ve tried to set up a few structures and tried out a couple new ways to talk to God. Sometimes, I don’t do much and I can still experience the peace of prayer. It’s like sitting on grass and only realizing it’s wet after you sit down for a while.

It’s nice to have a kind of framework to make sense of prayer life which is confusing to the point where I don’t know whether it’s going well or not so well.

This imagery reminds me that prayer takes effort, and it is a process, but it’s amazingly beautiful to sit in the garden and hang out with the little flowers with the Good Gardener (:

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