A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time, 2nd Edition

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9781939221230: A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time, 2nd Edition
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Have you ever wandered outside and wished you could find a place to just sit and pray, a garden space to find solace in the demands of today's world? Do you desire to create a garden space that will help meet your spiritual needs? Have you wanted to create a memorial garden and not known how to begin?

A Garden of Visible Prayer shows you how to develop a contemplative outdoor space in a creative and systematic manner. Whether you are a new gardener or an old hand, wanting to create a public or a private retreat area, this book will guide you in a step-by-step approach to discern what leads you, personally, to a deeper sense of spirituality and then how to take that information to create your own outdoor space for prayer.

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From the Author:

Introduction in Book:
     I am a gardener and a Christian. It seems God is always close and speaks clearly to my heart whenever I seek Him in a garden. I have always been involved with gardening and growing. Our family business was greenhousing, my maternal grandmother and I would garden together whenever we could and college started with botany and horticulture though graduation came with a business degree.
     Many years later when the economy plummeted, I sought the peace of gardening and growing once more. I had already completed the requirements for being an Advanced Master Gardener so I studied and received certification as a greenhouse grower and began working in the industry. As a landscape consultant, I helped many customers with questions and realized how hungry others were for the solace that could be found in a garden.
     This sparked a growing awareness to combine the desire to serve God with the talent he had given me. I began creating prayer gardens at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan. Because of the size of this Center, 95 acres, the St. Francis Garden Society was created.
     I prayed as I worked that others would find a way to come to the gardens. If they could quiet the din of daily life enough it would allow the gentle voice of God to be heard. I felt assured that the Holy Spirit would do the rest and bring them peace. As I planted and weeded at public gardens, church gardens and at the retreat center, visitors would let me know that my prayers were being answered.
     I pray that this book will help you to find a way to create either personal or public spaces for prayer. May the journey bring you closer to God. Because it is in our desire to find and please God that we indeed do so.

From the Back Cover:

Long time gardener and author, Margaret Rose Realy believes that solace and the gentle voice of God can be heard in a garden. Take a walk with her within the pages of her beautifully crafted unique book, A Garden of Visible Prayer, as she descriptively guides you every step of the way to create your own personal retreat space, incorporating a variety of elements, which will lead you to prayer. Even with meager means or a small space, by following the steps in this book, your end result will be a distinctive and beautiful setting in which you can bask in God's creation and where you may very well hear His voice telling you to, "Be still and know that I am God."

~Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is a Catholic speaker and author of numerous books, and EWTN TV host of "Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms."
Many books can show you how to design a garden that pleases the eye and ensures good plant growth, but few books help you create a garden that promotes your spiritual growth. Margaret begins by giving you tools to determine the spiritual aspects that you want in your garden, as well as the sensual and physical characteristics that influence site, plant and accessory selection. She then provides practical design techniques, pointers on plant selection, soils and media, containers and tips on planting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. This book is useful for anyone designing a new garden, but invaluable for those of us looking to create a space for meditation, contemplation and prayer.

~Dean M. Krauskopf, Ph.D., Extension Education Emeritus, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service

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