Pastoral Thought




            My neglected vegetable garden is turning into a mini-meadow. Meadows are important...i.e., fields which are allowed to grow untilled, so that herbs, wildflowers and various species of birds and insects can all live there.  But if you look around, meadows have disappeared. No lot is allowed to grow anything except grass, or else it must be paved over. “Weeds” are unwelcome, even though some of them are wildflowers.

            On my fiftieth anniversary when I went with a pilgrimage group to the Holy Land, I chose to stay six extra days in Galilee because I wanted to walk the countryside and see the “lilies of the field” and the “birds of the air” that Jesus saw. The Son of God made the Kingdom of Heaven real for us by using the common things of this world, of nature, as a lens through which we could find God’s way.

            It is a mistake for us to wipe out those aspects of creation which don’t serve a “useful” purpose. It is not just meadows...but for me the meadow is almost a sacred thing. It is a little world with its own life-cycle, as if chartered by the Creator. When Goldenrod, Milkweed, Black-Eyed Susans and Queen Ann’s Lace show up, look at them.  So, too, Wild Marigold, Daisies and the Joe-Pye Weed. Wild beauty has its own charms.

Father John Hynes