What sustains or energizes me? My job? My children or family? The good opinion of others? Some vision of success or position? Financial comfort or security? A pastor or other church leader? To whatever degree I am relying on anything other than Christ to sustain me, I am attempting to draw nourishment from a false vine.
Jesus is the true vine that sustains us as we grow in faith and bear eternal fruit.
Thank you to my newest Friends of the Show, Celine E; Kathleen Y; Kelli K; Julie L; and Christine L, for loving and lifting me!
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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on her method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Take a walk outside and observe the living things that surround you. Does any one of these things exert effort to grow or bear fruit?
I | Ignatian – Use all your senses to imagine this conversation Jesus had with His disciples on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane where He will sweat blood as His Passion begins. Would they be passing through a vineyard on the way to the Garden that evening? Think about how many times Jesus used the metaphor of grapes and wine in this conversation. What is He saying to you?
A | Augustinian – When we work in a garden, we take pride in what we grow. Endless hours are spent making sure the soil is correct, we dig out the weeds, and prune the plants so that our harvest is healthy and abundant. When the word of God enter us and remains in us, God becomes our gardener. He enriches our soil (soul) with much needed nutrients, he removes all the weeds (sin) that crowd around us and stunt our growth, and he prunes off the dead leaves and branches that hinder our togetherness with Him and others.
Sink back into your chair…take deep breaths…inhaling the goodness of God and exhaling the pressure and stress of your day. Bring yourself in His presence. Ask God for the grace you need to hear what He is saying to you today. What shape is your garden in today? How is God and His word tending to you? What dead leaves or branches need to be removed or pruned from you? What do you need to remove from our life that stops you from blooming into the person God wants you to be?
T | Thomistic –
A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.
a-bı̄d´: Old English word signifying progressively to “await,” “remain,” “lodge,” “sojourn,” “dwell,” “continue,” “endure”; represented richly in Old Testament (King James Version) by 12 Hebrew and in New Testament by as many Greek words. In the Revised Version (British and American) displaced often by words meaning “to sojourn,” “dwell,” “encamp.” The Hebrew and Greek originals in most frequent use are ישב, yāshabh, “to dwell”; μένω, ménō, “to remain.”
How does the dictionary entry for “abide” add to your understanding of what Jesus meant when He said, Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing”?
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Jesus, You watered this tree with Your Blood. This Blood, by its warmth makes it grow, if man with his free will grafts himself onto You, and unites and binds his heart and affections to You, tying and binding this graft with the bond of charity and following Your doctrine.