In this talk, David reflects on the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Jesus tells us that God the Father prunes the disciples who live as branches on the vine. He does this so that our discipleship is more effective. The pruning process can be painful, but most experiences of true growth are. The key is to let our loving Father be the one doing the pruning, not ourselves. St. Peter provides a model of a pruned branch for all Christians.
“He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” -John 15:2
- Suggested Scripture:
- Psalm 51
- John 21:1-19
- Steps for reflection:
- Step 1: Go through month by month since last Easter, recalling what you were doing, who you were with, and what most occupied your time and energy.
- Step 2: Ask God to reveal to you where you may have slipped up. When were the moments you were not acting out of love? Was there anything that damaged your relationship with God, with others, or with yourself? Is there any pattern you notice?
- Step 3: Express to God your sorrow for these things and your desire to grow into a fully loving person who bears much fruit.
- Step 4: Thank God for his love and mercy. Perceive the reality that you are a loved sinner, a pruned branch, and savor it.
- Optional: If you are Catholic and feel moved to do so, take advantage of sacramental confession.