Divine Culture

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me, that bears not fruit, he will take away:

And every one that bears fruit, he will purge it,

That it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:1-2

On Easter morning, Mary Magdalen encounters the risen Christ, and takes him for the local gardener (Jn. 20:15).

Rather than a silly mistake, this impression may reflect her deep familiarity with the Lord, who is in fact the gardener of our souls.

As St. Augustine puts it: “We cultivate God, and God cultivates us. Our culture is that of adoration. His culture consists in extirpating all the seeds of wickedness from our hearts, in opening our hearts to the plough of his word, in sowing in us the seeds of his commandments, in waiting for the fruits of piety.”

As we look forward to Easter, let’s not forget that the joy of the Resurrection is the fruit of a process that begins with purgation.

We cultivate our union with God by inviting him to till the soil of our hearts. Allowing him to perform this work within us is a light burden compared to the alternative (Mt. 11:30), but a burden nonetheless.

As we collaborate with him in this gardening project, let us remember his promise: “In your patience you shall possess your souls” (Lk. 21:19).

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