The vine and branches

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I’m currently reading a little book by a monk – Finding your Hidden Treasure by Benignus O’Rourke, an Augustinian friar. The book is about silent prayer and meditation and discovering ourselves and God in the process. The chapters are very short, which make it ideal as a sort of daily reading book. Here’s today’s thoughts:

Jesus told his disciples: ‘I am the vine and you are the branches.’ (John:15:5). In our time of silent waiting we are allowing the sap, the life that flows in the vine, to flow through the branches. We are not seeking union with God. We already have that. Our task is to remain close to him and enjoy that union. ‘It’s not that God comes to us, as if he were absent,’ Augustine reminds us. ‘or even that we “go” to him. God is always present to us but we, like blind people, do not have the eyes to see him.’ In order to see God we have to enter a new relationship with him, enter into a new place. ‘It was in my inmost heart,’ wrote Augustine, ‘it was there, Lord, that you made me begin to love you, and you made me glad at heart’ (Confessions 9.4). The awareness of our union with the life-giving vine, the unknown sweetness that we find in our inmost heart, is not achieved without a struggle. It is a struggle between our surface-self, the person on show to the world, and our deeper self.
Benignus O’Rourke
Finding your Hidden Treasure

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