From Sister Mary
Sister Mary admiring a passion flower outside the Food Pantry

Dear Friends of Emmaus,

I like the Zen quote “No seed ever sees the flower.” Though it advises me not to worry about results, it also reinforces the need to plant seeds. And it reminds me that I get to choose what kind of seeds to plant. Do I want a flower or not? If I choose to plant seeds of negativity, discord, hatred, I get an invasive weed. If I choose to plant seeds of life, I get a flower. In this newsletter, we highlight a few of the choices that people make to plant seeds of dignity and nourishment and inspiration and generosity. As you know, I believe strongly in planting seeds of beauty.

Recently I had a chance to give a seed of beauty and then receive one in return. A beautiful passion flower plant grows outside our food panty and one morning I picked a flower and brought it inside so our guests and volunteers could enjoy it. I have to admit that I was surprised when one of our guests, Bonnie, stopped to admire it and said to me, “This is amazing. It must be a passion flower. I’ve never seen one in real life—only in National Geographic magazines!” I took her outside and showed her the full plant, picked another flower and gave it to her. After thanking me, she offered this beautiful seed: “I’m going to take this home, press it, and put it in my bible. And I’ll pray for all the people of Emmaus while I do so.”

At Emmaus Grove, our urban farm, we are harvesting the bounty from hundreds of tiny seeds planted in spring. I suppose that’s why gardens are such a delight. Unlike the seed that never sees the flower, we can see the zinnias and squash and tomatoes and baskets filled to the brim and overflowing. The other seeds of goodness and kindness and beauty that we plant require more faith. They demand the faith of Julian of Norwich who, holding an acorn in her hand, wrote: “In this is all that is.” Let us continue, then, to sow our lives and the future yet to come with that simple, but potent, seed of faith.