“Oh my God, teach me to be generous….” (St. Ignatius Loyola)
I am so grateful for the spiritual “gardeners” in my life who did not give up on me. Despite my fits and starts, my doubts and many distractions, they cultivated my faith, feeding it with no guarantee that their efforts would ever bear fruit. Their generosity of spirit has been a precious gift to me.
Today’s Gospel invites us to reflect on the importance of cultivating our own spiritual growth, but it is also a call to a greater generosity. What does it mean for my life that God expects his faithful people to bear fruit? Each of us, in our own way, affects the faith of others, for better or worse. We do it by the witness of our lives. We create the ground in which the faith of others can thrive. That co-laboring with God to bring people into deeper communion with the divine is the response of a true disciple to God’s gift of love.
Can I be the generous gardener who says “Shower your grace on this person, Lord, and I will companion them so their faith may grow.”?
—Pam Coster is Executive Director of Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org