Cardinal Roncalli, on his way to the conclave that would elect him People John XXIII, said,
"We are not here to be the guardians of a museum but the cultivators of a flourishing garden of life."
The gardening image hits home, of course, for me. Indeed, it is at the heart of my "life verse". Isaiah 58: 10 - 12: a verse I first heard someone quote when I was an undergrad. A verse that instantly seized my heart and seemed to name it although I had no idea why.
I accepted it as a call from God and immediately memorized it. And it came to mind today when I stumbled across John XXIII's image of the Church as a flourishing garden.
Every word of those passages has come to pass in ways I could never have foreseen. The light and the darkness, the scorched places, the ancient ruins, and the watered garden.
And if you will give yourself to the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted
then your light will rise in darkness
and your gloom will become like midday.
And the Lord will continually guide you
And satisfy your desire in scorched places
and give strength to your bones,
And you will be like a watered garden
like a spring of water whose waters do not fail
And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins
you will raise up the age old foundations
and you will be called "the repairer of the breach"
the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.