Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
May 22, 2019
Today, in Mercy, our Gospel gives us the powerful metaphor of the Vine and the Branches.
How do we grow more deeply into God? Or how do we let God grow more deeply into us? Or do we even want those things to happen?
If our lives seem to be riding along on their own, we may not pay all that much attention to God’s Presence in our experiences. And that’s where we miss the opportunity to be grafted on to the Vine.
How unfortunate if we never learn to befriend our own souls, because that is the place where God speaks to us. St. Teresa of Avila put it this way:
What friends or kindred can be so close and intimate as the powers of our soul, which, whether we will or no, must ever bear us company?
— St. Theresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
Some practices to help that “befriending” are the appreciation of quiet, the routine of prayer, the love of scripture, the reverence of nature and humanity, and the practice of charity.
The Little Flower offers us great insight into friendship with God:
I understand and I know from experience that: ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ Jesus has no need of books or teachers to instruct souls; He teaches without the noise of words. Never have I heard Him speak, but I feel that He is within me at each moment; He is guiding and inspiring me with what I must say and do. I find just when I need them certain lights that I had not seen until then, and it isn’t most frequently during my hours of prayer that these are most abundant but rather in the midst of my daily occupations.”
― St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul – the Autobiography of St. Therese
Lest my men readers fear I’ve gone all girly with these women saints (and by the way, they were not girly. They were powerhouses of spiritual dynamism!), try this from St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits:
Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you. it is certainly a higher virtue of the soul, and a greater grace, to be able to enjoy the Lord in different times and different places than in only one.
― Saint Ignatius, Letter to Francisco de Borja, Duke of Gandía
Summary of all this thought: God lives in us and we live in God, as branches live in the Vine. May we let ourselves absorb, cherish and celebrate this astounding Gift!
PS: Sending another personal thought on a little later this evening.
Music: I Am the Vine- John Michael Talbot