Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2001


Prayer garden offers serenity

Now that the last bead had been thrown and the last toast has been made, people everywhere are getting down to real life and to the fact that we are in a season known by Christians as Lent. In this predominately Catholic area, this time has special meaning as we prepare for the Easter holiday. I believe, though, that Christians of all denominations find this to be a time of preparation leading to Easter Sunday. For most of us, it is a time for intensified prayer, sacrifice and reparation. That’s not bad. Our brothers and sisters in the Far East stop what they are doing and pray several times a day, every day. People express some kind of faith in different ways all over the world, and that’s not bad, either. I am not attempting here to preach my own version of “the Sermon on the Mount,” but we must admit that Lent does have a way of making us slow down; at least, it used to. I can remember many years ago that almost everyone was in church from Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday and going fishing or shopping and having crawfish boils with lots of beer on Good Friday (not to mention with corn and potatoes thrown in) was not on our agenda. I like the crawfish boils, too, but sometimes I wonder if we haven’t become a little confused and caught up in our worldliness. Our lives are so busy, so wrapped in keeping up or in catching up with work and home that any day off becomes just that – a day off, so we don’t give that day any significance or let it affect our lives in a different way. There is always a solution if you want or need one. For instance, in Garyville we have a really beautiful prayer garden. Nothing is too hard to find in Garyville, and the garden is in the center of town. It offers beauty, peace and serenity; very conducive to prayer. Right across the street from it is the St. Hubert’s rectory which houses the daily mass chapel and which is open for devotion every day. So, I tie this in with Lent, and with the idea that it definitely is a good time to make ourselves slow down, especially for prayer and personal reflection. Prayer: some need it, some want it and absolutely everyone benefits from it. Prayer is the most sought-after subject in homilies and sermons offered by priests and ministers. There is more interest in it than in almost any other subject. That subject both baffles and intrigues us; captures and fascinates us. I just think the prayer garden in Garyville is a perfect place to pray. It is especially designed and enhanced to offer a special peace. You may not want to or be able to visit it every day, but I am convinced that making visits there once in a while would be of great benefit. Remember the old expression, “Try it, you’ll like it?” I believe that! My family makes a special effort during Lent to meet once a week for “family prayer.” It’s rewarding. I’d like to take it to the prayer garden.