One Minute Reflection – 2 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:26-31, Psalm: Psalms 22: 26-27, 28, 30, 31-32 (26a), Second: First John 3: 18-24, Gospel: John 15: 1-8 and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373)
“I am the vine, you the branches; he that abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
REFLECTION – “I must warn each of you about His vine – for who has never cut back everything that is superfluous in himself ,to the point of thinking that there is nothing more to cut?
Believe me, what has been cut, grows back; the vices that have been chased away return and we see tendencies that had gone to sleep, waking up again. It is, therefore, not enough to cut one’s vine once; rather, we have to do it again and often and if possible, even without ceasing. For if you are sincere, you ceaselessly find in yourself ,something to cut…
Virtue cannot grow among the vices; for virtue to develop, we must prevent the vices from increasing. So suppress what is superfluous; then the necessary will be able to spring up.
For us, Brothers, it is always the time for cutting, it is always necessary. For I am sure that we have already left winter behind us, we have left behind the fear without love, which introduces us all to wisdom but which doesn’t let anyone grow in perfection. When love comes, it chases away that fear just as the summer chases away the winter… So may the winter rains stop, that is say, the tears of anguish that arise because of the memory of your sins and the fear of judgement… If “the winter is over” and “the rain has topped” (Song 2:11)… the sweetness of the spring of spiritual grace shows us, that the time has come to cut our vine. What else is there for us to do other than to become entirely committed to this work?” – St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church – Sermon 58 on the Song of Songs
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us. Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You. When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You. Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love. Our Lady Holy Mother of Our Lord and our own, pray for us! St Athanasius, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.