New Gloucester, Georgia: The "Grow Your Spirit" gardening club of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, following on the heels of last year's popular devotional/recipe book, Grace Comes Like Zucchini Squash, is offering another spiritual booklet for Catholics who pray and till the earth: By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them.
"The idea for this year's devotional came from a practical reality," admitted master gardener Serafina Rubowitz. "We share what we grow this time of year, just as we share seeds in the Spring. And frankly, we get things growing in our gardens that we couldn't identify if they bit us on the nose. We're still wondering about that curly-que snake-looking thing. So, of course, we took our questions to the Lord, who always graciously answers us...in this case, he answered in Matthew 7:16-20."
Fr. Ernest Johannsen, the pastor, added, "Jesus often taught using very earthy, agricultural terms. If we could only see our rotten vegetables, our weedy patches, our mystery fruit, as the work of the Lord to further our spiritual growth, we not only would flourish in the Lord, we would have gardens that rival those in Southern Living! Now that's a coup!"
The devotional booklet has daily reflections and gardening tips for the "high season" of the harvest: August through October. A sampler included biblical reflections titled "The 'first fruits' of those risen from the blossom rot", "Matt 21: 18-27: How to explain withered up fig trees", and "Workers in the Vineyard: tips on hiring landscapers (hire early)".
The devotional booklets will be available this weekend for $2.00, after the gardening club's bonfire of trees not bearing good fruit.
(bonus points to whomever identifies the vegetable at top right)