Freedom in Sowing Seeds – Ignatian Spirituality



woman in straw gardening hat planting seeds - photo by Drazen Nesic on Pixnio

It’s early summer season, and so my gardening season right here within the Northeast is lastly underway. Apart from some radishes, lettuce, and perennial herbs comparable to chives, my backyard soil has seeds however, up to now, no harvest. The place I reside, tomatoes gained’t come till at the least early July and typically later. However at the least I’m free to plant, even when I’m not but capable of harvest, and the season of planting is itself a present.

Many people could also be acquainted with what’s also known as the “Oscar Romero Prayer”—a prayer not written by the Jesuit priest however reasonably by Bishop Ken Untener. Nonetheless, its concepts characterize effectively Romero’s legacy. A model of the prayer in its entirety may be discovered here, however here’s a transient excerpt:

It helps, from time to time, to step again and take the lengthy view.
The dominion just isn’t solely past our efforts, it’s even past our imaginative and prescient. . . .
We plant the seeds that sooner or later will develop.
We water seeds already planted, understanding that they maintain future promise.

Round 15 years in the past, after I undertook the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises, this picture of planting seeds with Jesus fashioned a core a part of the non secular imagery that arose over the course of my prayer. Usually, I’d discover in praying the Second Week that Jesus was inviting me to hope with the planting of seeds. In a single prayer, I used to be blindfolded as I planted them, and I took this to imply that I’d not essentially see the fruits of my labors. I had a deep sense of peace about that not-seeing, nevertheless. It was OK to not know precisely how my work bears fruit.

I’m a trainer, and within the years since that retreat expertise, the imagery of planting seeds however not at all times seeing what bears fruit stays with me. In fact, Jesus himself used this language within the Parable of the Sower, as a result of the expertise is maybe common. A lot of what we do, not solely in our work, but additionally as dad and mom, associates, youngsters, parishioners, or group volunteers is like that. Maybe somebody volunteers at a meals pantry however by no means sees the ripple results of that motion. Or an individual tirelessly volunteers at an understaffed and underfunded parish program, nevertheless it seems that the assistance supplied to just some folks was instrumental for these recipients of care. Generally the sowing itself adjustments us, as a result of we connect with folks and see a brand new perspective on what it means to be human.

As I sow seeds in my backyard, I go away it largely to God to supply the solar, rain, and nourishment from the bottom, with just a bit help from me. Once I convey this identical imaginative and prescient of the planting of seeds to my work as an educator, I really feel freer to assume much less about myself and my very own successes and extra about what God can do with the seeds that we every plant, day by day, in our communities. And that’s liberating, certainly.

Photograph by Drazen Nesic on Pixnio.

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