Here is the text of her speech
Zachary, thank you for giving me the privilege of saying a few words, on such an auspicious occasion.!
To have earned an Eagle Badge is an accomplishment indeed. To know that many willing hands and hearts helped to make that possible is also an important realization. I believe you to be very aware of that – and this is good. Congratulations for a project well done.
You wanted to create a prayer garden – a beautiful and peaceful spot, where people could be alone with God, and rest in His beautiful creation….for indeed, it was He who gave you the vision.
This is known as the Shrine garden. Not only does it have plants that will continue to grow and spread as ground cover over the many rocks cascading down from about 8 feet….but there are the bright and cheerful colors as well, amongst the green. As with time these plants grow and mature….so will the beauty.
The statue of Our Lady and the Child are the central focus, and tucked in the garden as well, are smaller statues of St. Francis (how appropriate that it now makes one think of Pope Francis as well) ; and also the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux. Each of these loved God with their whole heart….each walked a different path – but each gave their whole heart and life to Jesus.
This also means that those visiting the garden will find solace, comfort and joy; encouragement and hope, as they are reminded of just a few of God’s saints – God’s children, and Jesus’ Mother.
Already people have stopped by – caught up in the beauty, the stillness – and whatever it is that is needed by that person. There is space for them to be still and for a few moments to be able to listen to the heart of God , to gain strength and clarity for what is going on in their lives.
You and your helpers have / had a part in that oasis..We thank you.
You wished to do something for God – for His Church – the people of God. You succeeded.
God has inspired you to look up and aim high. The seeds He planted in your heart will indeed bear much fruit…………especially if you recognize and acknowledge that the gifts and desires He has planted in you – do indeed come from God.
You desire to be of service to others – to better lives in some way. God sent His Son, Jesus, to show you the way. The Boy Scouts – its leaders and members are a part of that way. There will also be others whom God will place in your path – that you may follow Jesus.
Just remember, this will not make the Devil happy, so he will try various things to keep you from following Jesus.
As you go through your life’s journey – there will be hills and valleys – plateaus; there will be rain (at times, more than you want). There will be dry – arid seasons………….all these things work together for good to them that love God……
You may remember in scripture, that Jesus said: ‘BE YE PERFECT” I found that statement mind-boggling! However, I recently learned that the word “PERFECT” is an ancient Aramaic agricultural term that means RIPENING AT THE CORRECT RATE. Meditate on that….. because that is DOABLE ! When you plant a bulb or a seed….just think of the many steps in its journey to full maturity….when it ripened at the correct rate.
May you go and do likewise, Zach. Thank you. Sister Christina of All Saints, Sub-Prioress
A LOOK AT THE SHRINE GARDEN will be coming soon!