Through a devotion to Mary, we too can cultivate in our own souls the tree of life, which will yield endless fruit. When we birth the holy, it starts small and vulnerable but slowly gains strength. Ultimately, we hope that what we create will flourish and be life-giving for ourselves and for others. We can ask Mary to support our dreams and visions in becoming deeply rooted with wide-reaching branches to nourish everyone.

Trees require regular care and attention, just as our souls do. Mary supports us in this holy work. As we come to the end of our birthing journey, we can ask Mary to bless us. Consider going on a walk to visit a particular tree. Maybe you already have one in mind; maybe you need to go look for one. See if there is a tree in your garden, your neighborhood, your local park, or on a nearby trail that can become an external symbol for this internal tree of life. Make a regular pilgrimage to visit this tree, and sit with its trunk supporting your spine. Listen for the wisdom if has to offer to you. Rest into the quiet so you can hear what Mary might be whispering among the rustle of leaves and the scampering of birds and other creatures. Ask how your own holy birthing can grow strong and steady like this tree. Close your eyes and feel your back lifted and supported, and imagine your inner tree growing tall and wide as well.

How might the tree of life within your heart help to strengthen and nourish your holy birthing in the world? What are the fruits you offer to others? What is the healing medicine you have to give?

Christine Valters Paintner in Birthing the Holy