Action Alert!

A spoonful of sugar

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 14, 2012

Today I put the first taps in our sugar-maple trees, then came back to my desk and read Jeff’s post about the slow, painful progress that we often make in life: workaday life as well as spiritual life.

This year we’re committed to making maple syrup. First collect the sap, then boil and boil and boil and boil it until 40 units of sap yield 1 unit of the delicious nectar. That’s real work, although I think it will be fun.

Our household is already producing honey. But when I say “our household,” of course I’m including the hundreds of thousands of bees who do the real work before we claim our share of their harvest.

A wise friend observed that an enormous amount of work goes into the production of sugar, in one form or another. Nature does not yield her sweetness easily. There’s another life lesson there, I think: another analogy for spiritual growth.


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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