A Catholic Gardner's Spiritual Almanac

Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac

Lent feels a little less penitential today and, well maybe, for a few more weeks!The books arrived from Ave Maria Press this afternoon; two weeks early. The launch of this (my third) book, is set for Monday March 23, 2015, and can be preordered on Amazon, if you would like.I want to say thanks to the many friends (and editors!) who gave breath to a gardener's attempt to evangelize.In all things may God be glorified. Here is the link: http://amzn.to/1G1jMSg  … [Read More...]


St. Therese’s Prayer for Priests

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of your Most Sacred Heart, where none can touch them.  Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch your Sacred Body.  Keep unsullied their lips daily tinged with your Precious Blood.  Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.  Let your Holy Love surround and protect them from the world's contagion.  Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be … [Read More...]

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Gardeners Love These 16 Flowers for the 8 Beatitudes

Herbaceous plants and hardwoods hold meaning in Christian art. Throughout history flowers have been used to signify personal affections. In the language of flowers there can be more than one connotation for a plant, though usually it holds the same sentiment.In my new book, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac, I share with readers how plant symbolisms relate to our Catholic heritage. I also guide you in how to create spiritually centered gardens.During Lent we look to the Beatitudes ( … [Read More...]


In Their Humanness, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

To be a Sister or Nun does not mean to be without humanness. It means that in their humanness they have offered who they are as they are to God. Let us pray for these consecrated women that in their desires and their downfalls, in their laughter, hopes, and humility they persevere to be always all of themselves for the Glory of God.  Amen.(Image by worker, courtesy shutterstock.com)  … [Read More...]


Celibate and Poor, a Prayer for Vocations

To be consecrated as a priest, monk, sister, nun, or hermit, working in the world or cloistered is a vocation of celibacy and poverty. It is a calling few want to hear in our western world.Let us pray that those called to such a life will hear and be unafraid.This prayer was found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site: O God, Father of all Mercies, Provider of a bountiful Harvest,send Your Graces upon those You have called to gather the fruits of Your la … [Read More...]

Asian Madonna

All the Holy is Hidden

The Blessed Mother statue is only twelve inches tall. Finding a place to store it for Lent shouldn’t have been that hard. At a Catholic Writers Guild Conference I’d bought this smaller version of the original from the Korean woman who was the sculptor.The soft light from the candles in my prayer space enhanced the artist’s design. The hands of Mother Mary are against her chest, tipped back in a way that gives the impression of an opening lotus flower. Her head is tilted, her Asian eyes and de … [Read More...]


Parsnip and Apple Soup, a Sweeter Fare for Meatless Fridays

I love apples! Seriously. Love them almost more than chocolate. Biting into a warm, crisp, just picked apple in autumn is only one step away from doing the same in summer with tomatoes.Living in Michigan, where apple production ranks number three in the States, the harvest of this fruit peaks in late September through early October. There are so many apples to choose from that I would have a great time every week at the farm markets buying mixed bags. I've long since given up storing a bu … [Read More...]


For Valiant Faith, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

Most gracious Heavenly Father, We thank you for our faithful priests and bishops, whose spiritual fatherhood and example of fidelity, self-sacrifice, and devotion is so vital to the faith of your people.May our spiritual fathers be guided by the examples of Saints Peter and Paul, all the Apostles and their saintly successors. Give them valiant faith in the face of confusion and conflict, hope in time of trouble and sorrow, and steadfast love for you, for their families, and for all your … [Read More...]


Who Wants a Date?

The houseplants in the upstairs hermitage needed watering. There aren’t as many as there used to be. As I now spend more time indoors as a writer, rather than outdoors as I once did being a gardener, I wanted sunlight streaming through the windows. The numerous houseplants I once had hoarded the light, so I gave the largest plants away.I’ve written before of my love of the Crab Cactus, Schlumbergera, of which I have three—oh, and a start of a forth from a branch that snapped off. There is als … [Read More...]


Voluntary Poverty, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

Let us pray for our Sisters and Nuns that as they embrace their consecrated life the vow of poverty is more fully lived.Upon entering this new life, letting go of material goods can be a challenge for some. Help them to release willingly the things in their possession—the sentimental things given in love, an item that has been a favored tool, something appreciated for the simplicity of the delight it brings—which may be viewed as “mine” instead of owned and gifted by God.We pray that as t … [Read More...]