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Spiritual pruning helps us bear more fruit

BY SISTER HILDEGARD RYAN OSB

Sunday, May 6th, 2012,  is the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Lectio:  The Gospel is John 15:1-8 

Read the text.  Stand back from the text.

Reflect.  Read it a second time.  Take space.

Allow the Holy Spirit to play on the fibres of your heart like a harpist and bring forth your response in prayer.

Meditatio:  Some background to the text which will help us respond. St Augustine sums up the meaning of this text simply:  “The passage…in which the Lord calls himself the vine and his disciples the branches affirms in its own way that, as mediator between God and the human race, the man Christ Jesus is head of the Church and we are his members.  It is beyond dispute that a vine and its branches are of one and the same stock. Christ became human so that he might be a vine of human stock, whose branches we could become.”    And:  “Little fruit or plenty, there can be neither without Christ, because without Him, nothing can be done.”

EVANGELIZATIO – my lived response to the texts given to me by the Church for my “formation”.  In responding to these texts I am listening with the ear of my heart, taking their riches into my life and changing all the time more and more into Christ.

I am challenged by the reality of spiritual pruning – that even if I, a branch of the Divine Plant, do bear fruit, I will be pruned by God from time to time, so that I can bear even more fruit.  It is never finished:  the growth, the fruit-bearing, the pruning.  And the pruning is the most painful part.

Lectio Divina is a way of life, not a method of prayer.  It is about reading (and listening), reflecting, praying in tune with the Holy Spirit within me, resting in God, responding in the way I live, and continually pondering on the Scriptures.  The traditional Latin words for this way of prayer are:  Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, Contemplatio, Evangelizatio and Ruminatio.  

Sr Hildegard Ryan OSB writes from Jamberoo Abbey 

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