@pontifex and Gardens

The New Evangelization, media promoting the Church, bishops and bloggers, Vatican web presence…a Papal Twitter account? My head is spinning and my grandmother is probably twirling in her grave.

I am easily lost on this sea of invisible waves though I am not resistant to getting into the boat, even if I don’t know how to navigate.

All this hurried communication is foreign to my long standing…um, kneeling…tradition of a prayer life. There is a strong aversion to this “advancement” by my sensibilities as a gardener— one trying to be one with the Creator’s creation—that must regularly be tamed.

Often I find prayer requests waiting on-line. Sometimes the petition is added to the prayer board hanging near my home altar. In the recent past it was added to a slip of paper, tucked into the pocket of my jeans and carried into the gardens. But lately I find myself bowing my head at a glowing monitor rather than with a radiant dawn.

My favorite outdoor place to pray is among trees shortly after sunrise. At St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan, there is a parallel line of aged Norway spruce that runs nearly half the length of the 95 acre site.  I feel cloistered among their cathedral-like limbs that drape and sway and whisper with the slightest breeze. I am grounded by earth and trees and sky. It is there that I feel I am a part of creation, rather than apart from it when surrounded by technology.

Recently I’ve begun to wonder about our Pope and his desire to embrace a new evangelization with @pontifex. I am certain that his media team will filter what millions will tweet, certain that His Holiness will see only selected bleatings from his sheep. And I wonder if, in all this rapid fire movement of the heart with words spewed at the speed of light, he takes time in the Vatican gardens to ground himself with the slower pace of creation.  I wonder if he sits under the trees and talks with God, wonder too where in the garden is his favorite place to pray.

I think I’ll ask him…

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