Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of Holy Ground, Holy Hours and Holy Men

"But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.” from Matthew 13:1-23

After hearing the above Gospel reading at Mass, my son Joe questioned me: "Mom, what kind of soil are you?" We all want to be the rich soil, don't we, because we know that it's the "right" kind of soil, the one that will yield the most holiness in our hearts. But sadly, somehow, I don't think I'm there yet, and maybe I need more composting in my heart to enrich my soil. I had to honestly answer that question by saying that right now in the present moment the garden of my life is growing in the rocky soil, for I am always quick to hear the word of God and impulsively and joyfully accept it and believe that now I will finally live as a loving and faithful child of God, that my faith is rich and deep and strong. But along comes a storm or two, and maybe a drought in between, and before you know it, I'm withered and complaining, barely hanging on to my faith. I need some type of continual sustenance to change my rocky soil into the rich and fertile holy ground of deep and lasting faith.

Yet it wasn't too long after I answered that question when I felt the sweet consolations of God despite the sweltering heat of summer and felt that maybe through the prayers offered today at Roses for Our Lady's monthly Holy Hour for vocations at St. Francis de Sales Seminary, that my soil was perhaps becoming just a little richer and more prosperous. The chapel was filled with over sixty people praying fervently for an increase in vocations for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. We were blessed with the presence of newly ordained Fr. Kevin McManaman and his parents, too! I could feel the love of God permeating throughout the chapel, pouring out from His presence in the Holy Eucharist and filling the air with the joy of both answered prayer and prayers yet to be answered.

In the Holy Ground of the Seminary the soil is always rich and moist with prayer and I felt in my heart that God was drawing the roots of those prayers deep into the earth where they would be strengthened and sustained and result in the sweet fruit of many holy and happy vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Holy ground, fertilized by holy hours of prayer, resulting in holy men. How rich!!!

What kind of soil are you?


  1. Ugh. I asked myself the same question after hearing the Gospel this weekend. The answer I came up with is that I am soil that needs constant watering and fertilizer. Its one of the reasons I keep visiting your blog and others!

    God Bless!

  2. Anne,
    I'm glad you wrote about this because I was thinking about it too. What came to mind during the gospel today was that good soil does not just happen. It takes years of cultivation. I thought about all of the people in my life who have cultivated my wonderful parents, beloved teachers, good and holy pastors, and a faithful is overwhelming to realize how many people God has sent to till my soil. So when I say I have rich soil, I think it's a credit to them (as I have done my fair share of collecting rocks that I have to keep throwing out).

    This thought made me realize the great responsibility we all have to each other. While we are at work cultivating our soil, there are countless others who need help and guidance to tend to theirs...our spouses, our children, coworkers and friends. What a beautiful thought that we are all helping each other in our gardens of faith! Deo gratias!