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PruningA couple of times a week, my wife (Georgette) sends an email to me and our children with an update on what’s been going on in her life and the lives of our children.  Three of our seven children live out of town — one in California, one in Colorado, and one in Chicago.

Georgette has a unique ability to maintain, nourish, and manage multiple relationships at the same time.  She is in frequent contact with each of our children and keeps current on what’s going on in their lives.

Last week, she shared the following in one of her emails:

I heard the word “pruning” on EWTN radio today.  A tree or plant is pruned to remove the dead, diseased, or damaged stems that may inhibit growth.  The simple act of pruning helps a plant to grow, bloom, and give its best display of beauty and vibrant re-growth.  As a result of the pruning process, a plant ends up being healthier and is better equipped to fight-off diseases and insect damage.

When God allows us to experience physical, emotional, or spiritual suffering, He is pruning us.  What is being pruned is our arrogance, pride, envy, anger, bad habits, or any number of other vices.  When we suffer from physical ailments such as disease, injuries, or old age, we are forced to simplify our lives and trust in God at a deeper level.

At times, God allows the pruning tool of fear, anxiety, or desperation to be used on us so we will multiply our efforts to pray to Him and surrender ourselves to His loving care.

When we are pruned, we are being prepared for future growth.  We can grow, bloom with a new attitude, and give our best display of beauty, which allows us to positively influence the lives of others.

The pruning process that God allows us to go through reminds me a little of what some Christians call being “born again.”  Pruning gives us the chance to slow down, re-evaluate our lives, cut off the dead weight that’s holding us back, and emerge with new growth and vibrant color.

Ultimately, we end up healthier and more resilient — maybe not in a physical sense, but in our ability to handle future trials and tribulations.

I don’t mean to be preachy, but I was inspired by these thoughts and wanted to share them with you.

Thanks for sharing, Georgette.

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3 Responses to “Pruning”

  1. Rich Flavin Says:

    Thank you to Georgette for a wonderful letter. My wife is a Nurse at one of the Hospitals in town. After coming home from a night shift, She was next to tears. I asked her what was wrong. She couldn’t understand why God would make people be so sick. I thought and prayed before I spoke. I told her,”I think sometimes God allows sickness so that the other people around the sick person will step up and use their (God-given) abilities to aid and comfort those who need it”. I like your pruning analogy. I used to be an Apple Orchard manager and would prune trees all winter long. I could later see the results of the pruning in the spring, summer and fall. I’m going to show this article to several people I know who are having trouble.

  2. Sister Roberta Houlihan, CSJ Says:

    My dear Georgette – Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us as you share with your children!! The pruning methods used by Our God are quite different from those used by those who work by clipping dead branches for the good of, and the further growth of the shrubs, fruits and vegetables.
    If only we could realize that that God is helping us to further our growth in Grace – we’d be more willing to “take up our cross”, whatever it may be!
    Harry, thank you, too, for sharing Georgette’s insights with us.
    Love, Sister Roberta

  3. Julie Kirchgessner Says:

    I, too, was inspired by Georgette’s e-mail to your children. I will share it with my own children. Thank you both for your wisdom and knowledge, and for caring enough about others to share by way of your newsletters.

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