Monday, February 2, 2015

Tree of Life Sea Glass Mosaic Final Post-Mary as the Tree of Life

"Happy the soul in which Mary, the Tree of Life, is planted; happier the soul in which she has acquired growth and bloom; still happier the soul in which she yields her fruit; but most happy of all: the soul which relishes and preserves Mary's fruit until death, and for ever and ever. Amen." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary

Tree of Life Mosaic with natural lighting
Christi Jentz and I completed our Tree of Life Sea Glass Mosaic this past weekend!  We began the project last June with the passage from the book of Revelation in mind, but as I prayed over this project during the past seven months, I came to feel that St. Louis de Montfort's explanation of  Mary as the True Tree of Life who bore the fruit of the tree, Jesus, to be more meaningful to my heart than the Revelation passage, although that is still very fitting and very beautiful.

I renewed my Marian Consecration on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  While attending the noon Mass on my work lunch break on my consecration renewal day, I was pleased to hear Father speak about consecration and the need to renew the offering of our complete self, our bodies, mind and spirit to the Lord.  Father had no idea, of course, that I was thrilling from his words, feeling that this was a confirmation from God that my consecration must be pleasing to Him.

And the fact that we completed the mosaic in time for my Marian Consecration also felt like a little confirmation of my thoughts regarding the Tree of Life as a sign of Mary's self-giving for Christ.   For the past seven years as I bent down upon the shores of Lake Michigan to gather the small shards of glass, I always felt that each piece of glass I collected was a small prayer of praise to God from me, and a gift of love to me from Him.  So shaping the glass into a Tree of Life Mosaic became a meaningful prayer of completion.  It became a way that I could give the gift of sea glass back to Him, through my love for Mary and my desire to draw ever more closely to the Heart of Jesus.

What a glorious day this day of Consecration is-presenting myself to Jesus through Mary on the day that she presented Jesus to God, and then seeing that gift symbolized in this beautiful work of art, made with small, found pieces of glass arranged with love by the hands of artisan Christi Jentz, who patiently taught me as I worked beside her, just as our Lord learned his artisan craft of carpentry by working beside the ever-patient St. Joseph.  The Presentation has come full circle, hasn't it?  Mary and St. Joseph presented their Son as a gift, and I, in turn, present the offering of my life and my love for sea glass as a gift to glorify both Mary and Jesus.  How amazing this life of faith truly is and how much there is to ponder in the words of St. Louis de Montfort and his book The Secret of Mary!

Tree of Life Mosaic with white background
"Chosen soul, provided you thus carefully cultivate the Tree of Life, which has been freshly planted in your soul by the Holy Spirit, I can assure you that in a short time it will grow so tall that the birds of the air will make their home in it. It will become such a good tree that it will yield in due season the sweet and adorable Fruit of honour and grace, which is Jesus, who has always been and will always be the only fruit of Mary." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary
Tree of Life mosaic with blue background
"This tree, once planted in a docile heart, requires fresh air and no human support. Being of heavenly origin, it must be uninfluenced by any creature, since a creature might hinder it from rising up towards God who created it. Hence you must not rely on your own endeavours or your natural talents or your personal standing or the guidance of men. You must resort to Mary, relying solely on her help." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary
flowers in springtime details
"The person in whose soul this tree has taken root must, like a good gardener, watch over it and protect it. For this tree, having life and capable of producing the fruit of life, should be raised and tended with enduring care and attention of soul. A soul that desires to be holy will make this its chief aim and occupation." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary
leafing out in summer details
"You must guard against grubs doing harm to the tree. These parasites are love of self and love of comfort, and they eat away the green foliage of the Tree and frustrate the fair hope it offered of yielding good fruit; for love of self is incompatible with love of Mary." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary
autumn color details-if you look closely at the top orange triangle in this section, you will see that it is a seed, like a tiny mustard seed....
"You must offer yourself to Mary, happily lose yourself in her, only to find God in her. If the Holy Spirit has planted in your soul the true Tree of Life, which is the devotion that I have just explained, you should see carefully to its cultivation, so that it will yield its fruit in due season. This devotion is like the mustard seed of the Gospel, which is indeed the smallest of all seeds, but nevertheless it grows into a big plant, shooting up so high that the birds of the air, that is, the elect, come and make their nest in its branches. They repose there, shaded from the heat of the sun, and safely hidden from beasts of prey." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary
winter ice details
"Yet you need not be alarmed when the winds blow and shake this tree, for it must happen that the storm-winds of temptation will threaten to bring it down, and snow and frost tend to smother it. By this we mean that this devotion to our Blessed Lady will surely be called into question and attacked. But as long as we continue steadfastly in tending it, we have nothing to fear." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary

"You must not allow this tree to be damaged by destructive animals, that is, by sins, for they may cause its death simply by their contact. They must not be allowed even to breathe upon the Tree, because their mere breath, that is, venial sins, which are most dangerous when we do not trouble ourselves about them." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary

"It is also necessary to water this Tree regularly with your Communions, Masses and other public and private prayers. Otherwise it will not continue bearing fruit." ~St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of Mary

the last of the sea glass from seven years of collecting

the last of the sea glass from seven years of collecting

with the soon-to-be finished project in the background

our next project-Mother and Child
For more on this Tree of Life project see the initial post here, a follow-up here, another follow-up here, and Christi's blog here.


  1. Anne, Thank you for writing this. Monfort's words are very fitting. Blessings to you and your family on the Feast of the Presentation and always! CMJ

  2. I was just thinking about your Tree and wondering if it was finished! God is so good with His perfect timing - for you and for me! Happy and blessed consecration day!

  3. What an incredible collection of sea glass, and a beautiful gift to present to Jesus and Mary on this feast! Very cool, Anne and Christi. I look forward to seeing the next piece. - Kelsey Porada

  4. These creations of art are stunning. The prayerful process amazing. I love this devotion of yours to our Mother and Lord. So very happy for your consecration on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. What a fitting anniversary!! These quotations of St Louis de Montfort are rich and inspiring and full of love for Holy Mother. Thank you for this wonderful post Anne. I could look at your sea glass creations for a long long time. Can't wait for your next project of Mother and Child. Wow...I will contemplate this tree of life more in my daily practices. Mother Mary must certainly be smiling at you; within you.....God Bless....

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