Garden Spirituality

Blog Bulletin 

Published on: Thursday June 27 2024, 2:23 pm

We all love gardens. That is one space we love to be in! And many of us are happily opening up our gardens and sharing their mystique and beauty with others. Actually, I think gardens could also be seen from that deeper and different angle – as places where we can slake our thirst for Beauty and God!

The ‘garden’ is one thing; however, we often take for granted without really understanding its incredible spiritual potential. Immersion in the delicate, subtle beauty of a garden might be your first step to a ‘God Experience’ quite unlike in a church building! The ‘garden’ presents a tiny, but tangible, image of our visions of what Heaven might look like or feel like. It also presents people with an opportunity to create something beautiful. While in a garden, our inner chip seems to fall in place and we feel wholesome, integrated and even healed! It is like we have had an experience of the love and beauty of God. We remember William Blake’s poem Auguries of Innocence:

“To see a world in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.”

Please don’t be shocked when I say that gardening is one simple, ordinary way for people to pray and to experience God. No direct evangelism! No mission preaching! No sermons! The garden speaks for itself. Goodness, like Beauty, is self-diffusive. It is a sanctuary where the flowers and plants, in all their hues and colours, whisper and inspire sentiments of a spiritual nostalgia. They tug at our heartstrings! Actually, that inner ‘whisper’ is a hidden and unspoken thirst we have for God, the Ultimate Beauty, Summum Bonum (The Highest Good) in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Practically speaking, ‘gardening’ and ‘gardens’ can be excellent opportunities for nurturing friendship, fellowship, quiet leisure and even spirituality. Lovely gardens, some having spiritual corners, encourage reflection, prayer and silence and can help  healing of senses and spirit in our broken, wounded world.

We read in the Book of Genesis that the Holy Spirit of God ‘filled the universe’ at creation. Gardening is like walking on holy ground. It is a creative and spiritual activity that heals and nurtures! There you go! You encounter God even in your back garden!

Have a memorable and blessed Summertime!

Fr Sebastian on behalf of the Ministry Team