Every year we have a large vegetable garden. It would be hard to imagine a summer without planting. This year we planted a large number of root vegetables. We planted carrots, beets, potatoes, garlic, and sweet potatoes. One of our neighbors ordered lots of sweet potato slips, too many for her garden. She offered us plenty from her surplus. This was a new crop for us. We found some empty buckets, filled them with rich soil and planted the little thin roots they call slips. All summer the kids tended the garden, watering when it was dry. This summer we had very little rain so there were many days of carrying the heavy buckets of water. It is fun to see the plants growing and the tomatoes and squash setting fruit. But when it comes to all the root vegetables one has very little idea of what is growing under the surface. One has to stay the course, keeping faith that at the end of a long season of work, by the Grace of God there will be a harvest.
As the nights are getting colder, there is the realization that the gardening will shortly be coming to an end for the season. There will be no more early morning watering....all that will be finished. All the potatoes will be dug up. Carrots will be pulled and the sweet potatoes we have been so anxious to discover in the buckets will be unveiled. What will we find?
In many ways so much of our daily work in the spiritual garden is taking care of plants that right now have hidden fruit. Some of our plants are fruiting in the light of day, but as many gardeners know, those are much more easily taken by critters. It is the fruit that is under the ground that is often most protected from predators such as the hungry squirrels that patrol the garden.
How do we stay the course and not grow tired when our plants are setting hidden fruit? May I suggest that it is Our Heavenly Mother who helps us stay the course. She wants us to have a bountiful harvest to give to Our Heavenly Father. But we need to ask for her help. Raising children today is not easy. There are so many distractions that lead our young children away from Our Lord and all that Our Lord is asking of each of us. To have a Heavenly Mother who can help in guiding our children, encouraging them, and at times correcting them is a tremendous help.
Our Blessed Mother sees our struggles and she gives us tools to help us. She understands that some tools may be too large for her little children to use. So in her attentiveness to each of our needs, she shapes some of these tools in such a way that even her youngest children can use them. One of these important tools is Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is a means to keep us on the straight path. Over the last three years this tool, which was crafted by St. Louis de Montfort was being shaped in such a way that it could be taken up by some of our youngest children. Indeed, the smallest ones need the help of their parents to use the tool. When these small children first take it up they need to be accompanied by their parents who can show them step by step how to use it. On September 29th this new tool was unveiled! It is the book Child Consecration: to Jesus through Mary. Many wise gardeners, experienced in years, such as Robert Cardinal Sarah and Cardinal Burke have taken up this tool and given their approval. We are so excited that it is now available!
In the coming weeks, we will be harvesting and all that has been hidden from us will be clear. But until then we keep our heads down and stay focused on our duties under the watchful guidance of Our Blessed Mother. For those of you who would like learn more about the new Child Consecration book visit our new website childconsecration.com
The new book can also be ordered through EWTN Religious Catalogue HERE.
Photos: The top photo is of our sweet potatoes growing in pots. The bottom picture is one of our raised beds. In the center of the bed is a thick line of carrots which we hope to harvest soon.