Have you ever watched a gardener prune extra foliage from a tomato plant? To the casual observer, pruning may seem like a drastic and even foolish thing to do, when only a short time ago the tomato seeds were planted and nurtured with such care. But the experienced gardener knows that too many vines and leaves will sap the plant’s energy and diminish its productivity. For Christians, Lent is the season for pruning. It is a season for trimming away the excess in our lives, whether that excess be food, clothing, an iPhone, alcohol, television, social media, or other “stuff” with which we try to satisfy our insatiable hunger or boost our sense of self-worth. Like good gardeners, we choose to go through the often painful pruning process, not out of some destructive or masochistic urge, but because we know it will lead to a more growthful, more fruitful harvest of the spirit.
By Delores Dufner, OSB