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Jesus the Gardener sows seeds of mortification in our souls, that he may also make them blossom into flowers of glory

2 min • Digitized on February 23, 2022

From The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, page 188
By His friend, Jean Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley


Our Blessed Father had a special reverence for the picture of Magdalen at the foot of the Cross, calling it sometimes the library of his thoughts. Perhaps this representation was before his mind’s eye, when just before he rendered up his soul to God he murmured these words: Wash me yet more from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. [Psalm l. 4.] When he was looking one day at this picture in my house at Belley, he exclaimed:

Oh! how happy, and how profitable an exchange this penitent made! She bestowed tears on the Feet of Jesus Christ, and in return those Feet gave back to her Blood, but Blood that washed away all her sins, for Christ has cleansed us from every stain in His Blood, and by the sprinkling of this hyssop has made us, coal-black though we were, white as snow! Oh, gracious rain made by God to fall upon His inheritance, how sweet, how much to be desired thou art!

Magdalen seeks our Saviour while she holds Him. She demands Him of Himself. She does not see Him in the form she looked for: therefore, unsatisfied, she seeks Him away from Himself.

She expected to see Him in His robe of glory, not in the poor garb of a gardener; nevertheless she knew that it was He when He uttered her name Mary. [John xx. 16.]

My dear sister, my daughter, it is our Lord in the clothing of a gardener whom you meet every day in one place or another, and in the various mortifications which present themselves to you.

You wish He would offer you grander mortifications. Oh! my God! the grandest are not the best. Do you not believe that He says to you also Mary, Mary? Ah! before you see Him in His glory, He wishes to plant in your garden many flowers, small and lowly indeed, but such as He loves. That is why He wears a gardener’s dress.

May our hearts be for ever united to His Heart, and our wills to His good pleasure.

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