“Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families.”

– Blessed John Paul II

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Joseph – a day of great JOY and celebration here at Our Lady of Solitude.  St. Joseph is dearly loved here, counted on as our spiritual father, and entrusted with all of our needs and intentions.  In the hand of every St. Joseph statue in the Monastery are notes of petition and notes of gratitude. 
just a lil desert storm rollin in!
Because it was a Solemnity, we had a free day!   At breakfast we were all discussing how we were going to spend our day.  I declared that at least a chunk of my day would be spent weeding!  Not exactly the ideal ‘free day’ – but the ground was wet from a few days of rain, so I wanted to get at those weeds pulled while the getting was good.  Sr. John-Mark volunteered to join me and off we went.
Now Sister grew up in OH and I grew up in PA – so we are familiar with having to weed.  But weeding in the desert is a whole new business.  You see the weeds here – most of them at least – come complete with thistles, thorns, and prickles.  Combine that with the hard dry earth and you will understand why weeding the day after a big rain is so greatly desired!
Thanks to the good people from St. Henry’s (who gave us some awesome gardening gloves for Christmas), our hands were protected from these nasty ole desert weeds. 
Just a lil’ light weedin’
It occurred to me that Lent is the perfect time to weed.  I mean there we were on our knees on the stones (OK, so we had those cushiony knee pads that we were kneeling on!) pulling out the only thing that seems to grow here with any speed and ease: WEEDS.  They were everywhere and some of them were huge (Proof that we don’t weed as often as we should!).  
The Lord uses this time of the year, this season of grace to weed the garden of our souls.  The ground is wet with the rain of His mercy.  The sun is shining. The time is right.  If we let Him do this business of weeding, then we may be surprised how easily these ‘weeds’ are plucked from the ground of our soul.  Even the ones that have been growing for quite a long time.  If the ground is wet enough, if the grace has rained down enough, even those weeds can be pulled out…and pulled out FROM THE ROOTS.  

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the garden of my soul to be overgrown with nasty ole thistley weeds.  I don’t want the beauty of the flowers to be lost in the midst of the weeds.  I don’t want the weeds claim my garden as their home sweet home.  And we know for a fact that, without effort, the weeds will take over.     
So, dear Lord, Divine Gardener of my soul, come and pull out the weeds of vice, even the weeds that I have neglected for so long.  I beg You to dig them out from the roots.  I only want the flowers of virtue to grow in this little patch of the earth.  I only want what You find beautiful to grow in my garden enclosed!

(On a side note: NCR ran a great article on their blog.  Be sure to check it out…and leave a comment while you are at it!)