Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Lord's Living Garden

Before I begin this morning (writing what I hope will be the blog post that gets me back in the swing of daily blogging after a joyous and busy and family-filled Christmas holiday), I want to wish my baby sister a very happy birthday.  She's celebrating a big one today, a milestone birthday, and she deserves all the love and best wishes she's sure to get from her wide circle of friends and loved ones.  Happy Birthday, Sister!

This sister of mine, the youngest in our family of five siblings, has a take-charge, outgoing, love-exuding personality that wraps everyone around her in its joyful embrace.  Though we come from the same gene pool, God did not grace me with such a personality; He gave me a quieter, more reserved (I often think of it, in moments of weakness, as more boring!) sort of soul.  And there have been times in my life when I've wished He'd deemed to make me more the way I think I'd like to be.  But therein lies the rub: we human beings often think we know how things should go and what's best for us; but if we trust in God--if we remember that He loves us exactly as He made us and knows better than we ever could what's truly best for us, we can learn to be comfortable in our own skin. Certainly, there is room in the world for all types of souls; if we were all cut from the same cloth (or grown from the same seed), wouldn't that be boring indeed?  As St. Therese of Lisieux put it, "If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness."
St. Therese (born Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin) as a young girl, before she entered the convent.
The tiny flower in the garden is every bit as pleasing to God as the most magnificent bloom.  The wildflower need not wish to be a hothouse orchid.  St. Therese spoke of this theme often--she is, after all, known as the "Little Flower" who promised that after her death she would "send down a shower of roses from the heavens" and spend her heaven "doing good on earth."  I am a devotee of this dear little saint, a humble cloistered nun who died at only 24 and yet is recognized as one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church.  She wrote, "I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy.  I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues.  And so it is in the world of souls, Our Lord's living garden."

Okay, I'm definitely out of practice here, after some very lazy days (including December 27, when my family got snowed-in and we ended up watching movies all day...and I didn't get out of my p.j.'s until 4:30 p.m.!).  I'm struggling with a way to find the right words to tie this post up neatly.  I guess I'll just end with best wishes to the birthday girl, one of the loveliest roses in the garden.


  1. Awww.... thank you Laura! I was just telling our other sister that I am actually very thankful that I am celebrating this birthday (as bad as it is to be so old!!) And I am very thankful to have you as my wonderful sister! I love you and I love my family very much!!