Looking at my bonsai tree today got me thinking. When we find a plant that is suffering from drought and it is beginning to show signs of decay, a thorough regime of watering gradually brings it back to life. Giving it just one soak with the watering can isnt going to bring it back to life straight away. It takes time and patience and a lot of weeks before it comes back to life and is blossoming, becoming the tree it was always created to be.
We unlike plants have the ability to call on Christ and have our souls watered with grace. However we can still apply all of the above to our souls. Prayer is our water, but prayer is never always answered in an instant, and its effects are never always experienced as quickly as we would often like it to be. Like with water and my bonsai tree, prayer has the purifying effect on the soul and with time and patience the gradual effects of prayer will shine through in time, bit by bit, purifying our sinful souls, so black with sin, so blind to the spiritual. Like Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, prayer raises us from our dark tombs, and then begins the gradual process of unravelling the bandages that covered our sinful secrets, so that they may be seen by the light and purged of all the ugliness.
Having drawn those comparisons between the bonsai tree and the soul, we have to remember to keep it watered, otherwise it will slip into decay again. We must attend to the garden that is our souls, lest through neglect it becomes so unfit, that even the demons just abandon it having seen it is already ruined to the point if no return. Because nothing gives the devil more of a foothold than a soul who is without need of temptation.