Every soul goes through a season of drought, a desert or, as St. John of the Cross referred to it as, the Dark Night of the Soul. When we prune a tree, we are telling that tree to focus its energy on it’s roots, not its fruit or limbs. It must push its roots deeper in order to seek out a greater source of water to support the new growth that will come to its sheared limbs. As searching souls, we face similar spiritual obstacles as well. In the waiting and in the faithful expectation that rains will fall and that summer will come, we grow more than when all is successful and ‘fruitful’. This is where we learn a faith that has mature substance; a faith that will be stable in the darker nights that are yet to come. With a stronger and deeper foundation, the tree is able to spread its limbs higher and produce that much more fruit and shade for those needing it.