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DAILY DEVOTIONS:

Apr
27

'Bound in Love'

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

- John 15:5

I recently attended Mass at a local convent where a sister was making her final professions of vows. My sons were altar serving. It was a moving and powerful liturgy.

During his homily, the bishop referred to American writer Flannery O'Connor, who had said that she used strong and even grotesque imagery in her fiction because readers needed to be shouted at in order to even begin to understand the workings of sin and grace.

Vowed religious life, the bishop said, is also a radical sign of grace and mercy. He said that the heart of a religious is bound in love to "the poor Christ, the chaste Christ, the obedient Christ."

I am not a vowed religious, but the words are no less powerful for me. He is the vine; I am one of countless branches. I pray the fruit I bear to the world tastes of humility and love.

Jesus, without you, I can do nothing.

- Amy Welborn
 
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Comments:

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I am so grateful to this community for the diverse insights we share, especially the keen insights from the contemplative life (shout out to Daniel), and the way we support each other and penetrate space and time (zones) and become fully present for each other, even though we are not actually "here" at the same moment. We are truly branches dependent on each other, and the vine cherishes us all.

Amy, grateful for your helpful reflection today. Like you, we may not be vowed religious, but we clearly make our personal "promises" and take them to heart.

Thank you for relating the Flannery O'Connor story! It reminds me of how comedians work--Sandra Bernhard's "Without You, I'm Nothing" illustrates this (and perhaps John 15) perfectly, and Joan Rivers often said she HAD to scream certain words at her audience, not just to keep them awake, and with her, but to help them get the joke! All three of these ladies sure have helped us understand sin and grace.

Fr. Andrew Greeley did the same in his writings.
Rev. Robert Schuller, too, in his writings and his sermons. Miss them.

Grateful to you all for allowing me to be a part of our family tree/vine/branches. My prayers are offered everyday in support of whatever we are aspiring to, or being tested by.
Harold | Posted on: 2016-04-28 05:09:57
 
Beautiful!

Have a blessed day everyone!
Carmen | Posted on: 2016-04-27 11:15:20
 
Lord, thank You for allowing me to be a branch on Your vine. I strive everyday to understand and to do Your will (with You in my heart), as I never want to be the branch that withers, dies and gets thrown in the fire. Amen.
Sandy | Posted on: 2016-04-27 11:09:12
 
Very beautiful reflection this morning. I pray for all those who are sick and suffering in anyway and for their friends and family that suffer with them. May they feel God's healing in their bodies, hearts, and souls and find peace. Amen.
Mary | Posted on: 2016-04-27 08:19:42
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My newest Novena is for all of God's people to love him as he loved us. That we will help the poor, clothe the naked, Comfort the sick and lonely, bring a smile to give to you comma spread God's word except your. All this was inspired by Sundays gospel . It's been an inspiration for a long time to me because I've been saying a devotion to our lord Jesus does it for the drops of blood he lost on the way to his death.
Gail | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 09:33:17
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This touch my heart since there has been much suffering with the loss of several close family members and yet now finding out about another one who is very sick. This LF family is such a lovely group.
Sandy | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 11:04:57
 
Amen. :)
freeter | Posted on: 2016-04-27 07:45:30
 
Lord Jesus I am nothing without you. You are my life.
marianne | Posted on: 2016-04-27 07:10:29
 
Yes, Jesus, without You, I can do nothing!

Matthew 19:25-26, "When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Psalm 16:2, "I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.”

Today's gospel in John 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing."

How do I remain in Christ?

What is the use or purpose of bearing fruit? So I can do all things? Why? So I feel better about doing all the right things?

John 15:7-8, "If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples."

Here it is.....If My Words abide in me!.......By this (abiding - studying His Word, asking - praying His will and God acting on it) God the Father is glorified and I will bear much fruit (singular fruit of the Spirit as a whole) and become His disciple!

Lord, You have given me Your Spirit to guide me through Your Word and remind me what You have said. May His Fruit grow in my heart and develop into love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, so You will be glorified and I am Your disciple! Amen!
Salina | Posted on: 2016-04-27 06:55:59
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In my humbled opinion I believe that the meaning of "abiding" in this sculpture passage is an receptive silence to the word written in the heart. Abiding is a passive word that intones no action, where as active prayer and study require action to be effective. Abiding in Him is a passive posture receptive to the Grace that leads to life in The Spirit. Just my humbled opinion.
Peace be with you all!
Daniel | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 08:17:19
 
Thank you for the message and for all who come here to read it I pray. Let me be a strong witness, in whatever way you see fit, to your love Lord.
am | Posted on: 2016-04-27 06:55:57
 
Jesus teach me to trust in you
Leif | Posted on: 2016-04-27 06:09:55
 
A powerful phrase "Jesus without you I can do nothing".
Thank you Lord for this Gospel today and thank you for this beautifully. Thank you for my faith my life and my family. Please Lord be with me and help me tomorrow.
Help me to not be afraid- I trust you Lord. Please Lord have mercy and
Be merciful. Amen
A Sinner | Posted on: 2016-04-27 05:53:11
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A Sinner,
I always read your daily comments. I will pray for you to not be afraid. Have faith! God is with you.

MEH | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 11:00:04
 
Thank you Lord for allowing me to be one of your branches!!! Please be with my daughter today as she takes her Doctorial exam go PT. you know her anietybe issues. Please release her of all so she may recall all that she has learned over the past years so she may pass and do your will through her life passion helping others. Thank you Lord in advance for your blessings!!! In you all things are possible.
Caren | Posted on: 2016-04-27 05:46:47
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Amen!
JW | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 09:02:23
 
Lord please give me the strength to get through this day and focus on what needs to be done. Bestow your grace on me and forgive my wrong doings. Let the branch I am pull me closer to you. Amen.
Kathi | Posted on: 2016-04-27 05:28:10
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Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. Please forgive my selfish tendencies, wrongful thoughts and attitudes and most of all, my wayward wanderings and strayings from you, my God. Jesus, I love you and I truly need you. Please walk with me through thid day.
Robert | Posted on:: 2016-04-27 08:45:01
 
 
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