“It is not dutiful observance that keeps us from sin, but something far greater: it is love. And this love is not something we develop by our own powers alone. It is a sublime gift of the divine mercy, and the fact that we live in the realization of this mercy and this gift is the greatest source of growth for our love and for our holiness.” - Thomas Merton
Good gardeners know...
that they cannot make things grow. They can create optimal conditions for growth such as till the soil, plant the seed, let in proper sunlight, water the plants, fertilize the flowers, prune the branches, etc. Through these efforts, they trust that which gives life will make things grow. Similarly, there are a number of things we can do to continue growing after the retreat weekend. However, we cannot make ourselves grow spirituality. It is God’s gratuitous gift – grace or mercy – that will bring about growth. Let us develop habits that cultivate growth, and trust patiently that God will continue to draw growth out of us. Gradual growth in the fruits of our relationships or hidden in the roots within our own hearts.
Let us trust that God will keep God’s promise to give us the grace we need to live out the retreat, as we had asked during the Closing Mass on Caritas.
Habits to develop, ways to continue growing: