Source of Living Water

In Union with Mary

Day 33: Thursday, week 5


Mary and the Symbolism of the Garden

The garden considered as a positive symbol in dreams is seen as a place of growth, a place where inner life is cultivated. Chinese gardeners always maintain a harmonic ratio between empty and filled space, reflecting the principles of Yin and Yang, the masculine and the feminine. In Christian iconography the enclosed garden represents virginity, namely, inner freedom of heart, and Mary in particular. This invites us to look more closely at Mary in the Annunciation narrative in Luke’s gospel. What else might we learn from Mary’s freely given ‘Yes’ to God?


Rowan Williams describes Mary as the first explicit believer in Jesus; from her womb flows the river of life. And when we echo her ‘Yes,’ the freshness of God in Jesus flows from the centre of our being too.


Mary then in her experience at the Annunciation symbolizes our vocation to be totally available to God, our hearts free, unencumbered by those things that can distract us from connecting to our sacred inner garden from where the living water of love surely flows (Jn 7:38). As for Mary, the gift of ourselves to God leads to the gift of ourselves for others. (Cf. Wisdom 7:13-14; 1 Peter 4: 11-14)


Mandala created by Rachel



  • How will I make time to tend my inner garden each day, mindful of God calling me to “Be not afraid, know that I am God” (Ps 46:11)?
  • What does my inner garden look like? I find an image or draw one.


The prophet Isaiah says:

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places;
and make your bones strong.
And you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water whose waters never fail.


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