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Weeding out

Weeding out

WEEDS are a fact of life, and we just have to learn how to deal with them. Not only are they in our gardens. They are practically everywhere. They, in fact, appear in all aspects of our life—personal, social, economic, political, etc.

Where we have to be most careful about them is in our spiritual life. That’s because a spiritual life full of weeds is the seedbed of all the weeds we can have in all the other aspects of life. The condition of our spiritual life determines the condition of all the other areas in our life.

We have to see to it, for example, that our prayer is a real dialogue with God and not just a soliloquy, our sanctity not sanctimony, our piety not pietism. We have to see to it that everything in our spiritual life is genuine and authentic, not fake. And to think that nowadays we are practically swimming in an ocean of fake things!

We have to flee from any signs of pretension and hypocrisy. We have to strengthen our unity of life, always making an effort to fix our often fractured life. We have to know how to dominate the many distractions we are having nowadays in our prayer life, and these can be very irresistible and, worse, addicting.

This, of course, will require constant effort at vigilance, discernment and weeding out. But first, we need to know how to distinguish between the true and the false.

This can be very tricky, because weeds can also have the quality of looking like the genuine plants. But thanks to God, we also have the means to be able to identify which is which.

We already have well-defined doctrine of our faith, a good variety of spiritualities to choose from, a rich body of testimonies of saints who can serve as guides, and other means like recourse to the sacraments, to spiritual direction, etc.

We just have to do our part. Much like what we usually do with our gardens, we also have to see to it that there is a regular pruning and weeding out done in our acts of piety. This should be a habit for us, something we do quite automatically.

Christ himself referred to this when he said: “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (Jn 15,2)

In our daily examination of conscience, we should be able to make some cutting off and pruning. We cannot let some days pass without doing this very important thing of cutting off, weeding out and pruning. Especially days when we are confronted with a lot of distractions, we should be quite active in doing this.

This is the way we can manage to create an air of goodness wherever we may be, edifying people around, which is what we should be doing all the time. The end result should be a certain surge of eagerness to do good always. We can notice a certain sense of driven-ness in our life, and that’s simply because we are fit and lean, cleansed from unnecessary burden.