Lent is my favorite time of the year. It meets us at the crossroad of winter and points to the nearing of spring. It is a time for trimming the rose bushes, turning up the garden soil, cutting dead wood off old apple trees, scraping the moss off the garden wall turned green. "The life of a monastic", says Saint Benedict, "ought to be a continuous Lent". A life of being rooted in the land, of attention paid to the dry wood, the sludge and the weeds in our lives, a life committed to forever be cutting, trimming, planting. A life, in other words, of practicing stability, obedience, and conversion of heart. The good news is : such practice is at the reach of everyone of us. Starting small and with perseverence, and "under God's protection", Saint Benedict promises us, we "will reach . . . loftier summits". We may well become master gardeners.