Seasons in My Garden: Meditations from a Hermitage

Seasons in My Garden: Meditations from a Hermitage

by Elizabeth Wagner

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In Seasons in My Garden, award-winning writer Sr. Elizabeth Wagner reveals how tending to a garden in her Maine hermitage brought her to a deeper understanding of what it means to have faith, love others, and hope in the mercy of God. Her keen eye for the most intricate details of nature will help you find a path that brings you closer to God as well.

Sr. Elizabeth Wagner believed God was calling her into deeper contemplation, so she built a hermitage in the Maine wilderness in order to ponder nature and become closer to God.

Seasons in My Garden is a thought-provoking series of meditations, written as Sr. Wagner watched her own monastic garden progress through the seasons. Her reflections invite you to look over her shoulder as she tends to her beautiful garden and meditates on the mysteries of God’s creation and how it corresponds with her own life.

In this captivating book, you will relate to Sr. Wagner as she struggles with feelings of a cold heart—just as her garden lay frozen under a foot of snow—and realizing that God was working to renew her spirit. As sudden storms threatened to destroy her hard work, Sr. Wagner will help you understand that careful preparation of the soul will help you resist the temptation to resent others.

Seasons in My Garden intricately weaves insights from Sr. Wagner’s own growth through the seasons with spiritual guidance and an understanding that patient tending to your soul will help you grow into a beautiful garden that God can use to reflect his glory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594716355
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 03/25/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Sr. Elizabeth Wagner lives a contemplative life of prayer and solitude at Transfiguration Hermitage, a semi-eremitical community she founded that follows the Rule of St. Benedict. Sr. Wagner is a hermit, writer, spiritual director and retreat leader. She also serves as formation director, gardener, and groundskeeper of the hermitage.

Raised on a farm in Connecticut, Sr. Wagner graduated with a degree in humanities from Shimer College in Illinois. She was attending Andover Newton Theological School when she found her Catholic faith and her love of contemplative prayer. She then entered a Carmelite monastery, but left in search of more solitude. Sr. Wagner also served as adjunct professor of Christian spirituality at Bangor Theological Seminary.

She regularly writes for the quarterly newsletter of the Hermitage and has written book reviews and essays for a number of religious and literary publications. Sr. Wagner was awarded Willow Review’s 2011 award for nonfiction. She is a member of the American Benedictine Academy, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

She lives in Windsor, Maine.

Table of Contents

Prologue: My Call to the Gardens vii


Gifts of Christmas 3

Bare Boness 13

Blessed Boredoms 23

Standing Far Off 31

Qoheleth's Paradox 41


Holy Weeks 53

Fear, My Friends 63

Seeds of Wisdoms 73

Gifts of the Spirits 85


Ordinary Times 99

Ah, Roses! 109

Japanese Beetles 121

Walking on Water 129

Good to Be Here 139

Abundances 149


Goldenrod Days 161

Diminishment 169

Approaching Darkness 181

True Colors 191

Bare Novembers 201

On the Daily Manual Labors 209

Stillness 217

Epilogue: Memories 227

Notes 238

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Seasons in My Garden: Meditations from a Hermitage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Barbara Gawle More than 1 year ago
Seasons in My Garden by Elizabeth Wagner Oh, how I didn’t want this book to end! This unique “wisdom collection” – which should be titled Seasons in the Garden of My Heart – is truly a gift. Each essay is beautifully grounded in the natural world and moves into the depths of the heart in its quest for God. A sanctified earth reminds us that we, too, are sanctified. Sister Elizabeth uses the backdrop of the magnificently rustic and at times harsh Maine environment to craft each wisdom essay into an ascent to the Divine. Her journey often takes her through the wilderness of self-knowledge. The writing offers intricate detail and vast reaches into the depths of both the natural world and the human spirit in its quest for the supernatural. For example, her vision of the delicate rose is “like a chalice, its layers unfolding like the mysteries of the human heart.” She writes of being “clothed by God with the garment of the garden and snuggling into its warm comfort.” Having known Sister Elizabeth personally for over thirty years, I can attest that she has journeyed steadfastly with the Lord through doubt, fear, struggle, pain and hardship, identifying deeply with human nature’s trials and triumphs. As her writing illustrates, she sees intimately into the beauties of the natural world and finds the essence of her spiritual journey in its intricacies. Her writing offers testimony that she witnesses to the Divine in the depths of the human heart. For Sister Elizabeth there is a deeply interwoven connection between nature, human nature and the Divine. I didn’t want this book to end but discovered that it is an invitation for readers to sharpen their senses, and allow themselves to be drawn into the Sacred Presence all around in the natural world, to meet the Divine as they journey deep into their own hearts.