Yesterday coming home, I found a box by my door. It contained a big round eggplant, four ears of corn, and a dozen tomatoes. They were fresh and newly harvested. Even without a name from whom they came I knew they could only have been given by John, who cuts my grass every other week.
John and I used to talk about plants for I also grew eggplants and tomatoes and corn. Like him, I also did vegetable gardening and enjoyed it immensely.
Last season I had a bountiful harvest of eggplants, tomatoes and bitter melons. But if I were to buy my produce from a grocery store, I would pay much less than the cost of the water, the seedlings, the garden soil and fertilizer, not including the time I have spent so I could eventually reap this harvest.
There is much more to these eggplants and tomatoes than relishing them in my favorite pinakbet or any eggplant dish shared with family and friends.
Especially to hobby gardeners, there is a certain pleasure to be derived from preparing the pot with top soil, putting seed into the soil, seeing the seeds germinate and the plants grow taller each day, then bearing flowers from which would come the fruits ready for picking.
One of the benefits of leisure gardening is the opportunity to reflect on what you are doing at the moment. It is amazing to see the transformation of seed into seedling and fruit. I know I had no role in it at all. Somebody else did. The growth and transformation would happen without me, even when I am sleeping. All I did was to nurture it in my own little ways. I therefore cannot boast it was my doing.
Like eggplants and tomatoes and corn, we are planted on this earth . . . to grow and bear fruit. This is how we give glory to Him Who put us here. This is our mission. This is what gives meaning to our life here on earth: We must grow and bear fruit . . . with the help of His grace!
May He Who designed the eggplant, and us, the pinnacle of His creation, make us grow and bear fruit!
And may it be in abundance !!
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
"Finding God in All Things" is the signature spirituality of the Jesuits. Ignatian spirituality is grounded in the conviction that God is active in our world. As the great Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: "God is not remote from us. He is at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle — and my heart and my thoughts." The spiritual path laid out by Ignatius is a way of discerning God's presence in our everyday lives. And doing something about it. (http://jesuits.org/spirituality)