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Posts Tagged ‘pruning’


Wisdom 6: Seek Wisdom

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Favorite from November 11, 2009.

My daughter and I are praying for a common cause these past few days and I just found this morning that we each picked up a Bible and turned to the same verse.  It spoke to each of us about the cause we hold between us.  We are praying for someone who “lords it over” others and on the same day at nearly the same hour we stumble upon the same verse.  We are all more connected in more ways than we know and understand.  We ought to try to be more aware of this . . . especially regarding those whom we perceive to be enemies.  We need to pray more for them, and we need to pray more for all of us.

Jesus tells us (John 15) that he is the vine and we are the branches, and he reminds us that we can do nothing in and of ourselves; we must rely totally on God.  He also tells us that we are so loved that we will be pruned and tended so that we will bear fruit to nourish the world.  This pruning will be painful but it is essential for our own transformation . . . and for the transformation of the world.  It is in our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others that we find our best selves, our true potential.  It is in this self-giving that we reach out and embrace Christ and the work he has in mind for us.  It is through this work – completed in love with the one who knows all suffering and all pain – it is through the Narrow Way and through This One that we find our own divinity.

Hear, therefore . . . hearken! 

Authority for this divine work comes from Christ himself.  God alone decides.  We cannot presume to understand the complexity of God’s plan; nor ought we decide what tasks are ours to take up or to put down.

The Lord shows no partiality nor does the Lord fear greatness.

When we allow our fear and anxiety to get in the way of our own conversion, we behave as though God cannot handle the difficulties in our path; yet we know that God is capable of all.  With God, all things are possible.

For the first step toward discipline is a very earnest desire for Wisdom.

We find strength to do what we must do when we sink into the comfort offered by the Holy Spirit.  With patience, with silence, and with waiting . . . Wisdom arrives to accompany her handmaidens whom she sends out into the world.

Hear, therefore . . . and hearken! 

And let us pray . . .

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Matthew 7:15-20: Receiving and Bearing Fruitapple-tree-300x224

May 7, 2015

Pagan gods demand to be carried while Yahweh carries his people. When we do the Lord’s work we are carried by God. We need not struggle for our daily shelter and bread. They will appear as a tent in the desert and as manna on trees’ branches and the ground. These are the fruits of God’s love for us. What fruits do we bear to God?

God says: I do not ask for holocausts or burnt offerings. I do not want to punish or frighten you. Rather, I want nothing more than your peaceful days and serene nights. My goodness and kindness will carry you if you make your heart open to me. My strength and persistence will sustain you if you allow me to wash your feet. My hope and love will heal you if you come to me with willing hands and mind. I give you the gift of life each day when you rise. All I ask is that you share that gift with others. The pruning you experience at my hand may dishearten you but when you trust the wisdom of my Way this discouragement will vanish. The pruning you undergo only brings forth more abundant and more beautiful fruit than you will have imagined. Trust me. Do not be afraid. Rise and receive the gifts I bring you. Then turn and share them as best you are able.

Enter the word pruning into the blog search bar and consider how and why life prunes us each day.

From a reflection written on June 27, 2007.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011 – Psalm 16 – Song of Trust and Security in God

Written on May 27 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

From the mini-reflection in today’s MAGNIFICAT Morning Prayer (Cameron 369): “When seen in the light of Easter joy, our sins can weigh us down with discouragement.  Yet God’s love does not deal in punishment as human vengeance does.  God’s love disciplines and prunes us in order to free us – sometimes a painful process – so that we might not die like a withered branch but live and bear much fruit in the risen Christ”. 

And from today’s Gospel which is John 15:12-17: It was not you who chose me I but who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  This I command you: love one another.

We know how difficult change is yet we cannot avoid it for it is inevitable.  We know how difficult life is; in one way or another we experience pain and sorrow daily.  Because life is never free of suffering we might use this kind of pruning to find our best selves.  We know that we exist for a purpose and that purpose is to find our skill set as kingdom builders.  Perhaps we have the idea that we wish to design the architecture in this new kingdom when what God needs from us is that we serve as caretakers of the needy.  Or maybe we hope to serve in some significant organizational role when instead God needs us as harvesters.   Rather than focus on the specifics of our work or on the obstacles to attaining what we wish to attain, we might best focus on God alone instead, for only in God do we find a sheltering place that is secure, permanent and healing. 

We do not chose God, God chooses us.  In this we can be secure; this we can trust.  God loves us through the pain of life and not in spite of it.  Let us look beyond our immediate sorrows and desires to see where the boundary lines have fallen.  Let us examine our circumstances to find that we are in pleasant places with a goodly heritage. 

If we are troubled about the pruning that is taking place in our lives today, we may want to turn to God to ask him for the strength to trust God as we ought.  Let us turn to this Psalm to pray . . .

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.  Amen.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 27.5 (2011): 369. Print. 

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