Repotting Orchids . . . Reflections on the Spiritual Life

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

It was a mess! 

What had begun as a quiet morning was interrupted by a loud crash as the orchid pot hit the floor.  Sphagnum moss, bark chips, and pieces of orchid littered the stairwell. 

I put down my laundry basket that I’d been carrying when it collided with the orchid on the window sill.  As I stooped down to examine the situation, I was stunned to see the roots of the orchid had escaped the confines of their pot. They were now free to spread out in their constant search for air, water, and nutrients.  I knelt there and examined the roots, the pot, and the orchid’s leaves & flowers.  It became a moment of contemplation and prayer for me, and I reveled in the beauty of God’s creation.  Then, it dawned on me that this orchid could be a metaphor for what our spiritual life can look like at times and how God invites us to search for more.  I believe this is especially true for those discerning God’s call in their lives. 

Let me back up for a moment and share a little about Orchids.  One of the most important things to know is that they are epiphytes, which are plants that do not grow in soil but attach to other trees, or to a wall, or to some other stable surface where they can use their specially adapted roots to extract moisture and nutrients from the air around them.  Thus, they need something stable to hold on to – just like us in our spiritual life, we need God and faith.  Secondly, they need certain things, like water & nutrients, to live and to grow – just like we need the Word of God and the sacraments to flourish as people of God.  Third, their leaves must turn toward the light to absorb the energy needed for photosynthesis – just as those discerning God’s call must spend time sitting in the light of God’s love in prayer and contemplation to find the enlightenment they need to take the next step. 

I invite you to take a few moments to reflect on your own spiritual life.  What do you need to flourish and to grow?  Do you need to be repotted or trimmed?  Share from your heart, then listen to the master gardener, and allow yourself to be tended to.  Who knows what new life awaits to blossom forth.


Is the master gardener calling you to tend to your life as a religious sister?  Are you eager to discover or explore your calling?  If so, contact us.  


Posted in God Calling?, Vocations Blog

2 responses to “Repotting Orchids . . . Reflections on the Spiritual Life

  1. Sr. June,
    Such wonderful thoughts. Thank you for encouraging me to look at the spills in my own life and grow from them.
    Dale Coski

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