Jesus said to make the tree bad or make the tree good, but you will know the tree by it’s fruit. Ask any gardener worth their salt and they’ll tell you that good fruit is dependent on pruning. And not just indiscriminate pruning, but pruning of a knowledgeable sort. It takes savvy to know what needs to be cut, when it needs to be cut, how it needs to be cut, and what needs to be left alone. These things aren’t always apparent to an untrained eye. All of this from the gardener’s perspective. But from the tree’s perspective, aka MY perspective … Ouch! Ever get tired of being pruned? I know I do. But that’s just human nature. Or, more to the point, the nature of hardwood. That hardwood being in reference to my own hard head. Ah, but the alternate. The alternate is to be gathered up with the chaff, which thing, after harvest, is a useless commodity, and cast into the fire. Well, suddenly, pruning doesn’t seem half bad. (Hmm, suddenly I see myself as quite the sap. ;-)) I think the Rule of St. Benedict is like a set of pruning shears. Well, at least I get to pick the shears used, if not how they’re used.

From the Rule of St. Benedict, in reference to the Rule, Prologue:48; “Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation.”

The point here being that hard as pruning may seem to the tree (me) the Gardener a; knows what He’s doing, and b; He is kind in what He does. It is a kindness on God’s part to insure that, via pruning, I bear good fruit. Not to mention missing the after-harvest bonfire.

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life,” The Rule, 72:11-12. “Them”, in this instance, being the monks of the monastery, and, by extension, all who put the Rule to use in their walk with Christ. This includes the Oblate of course. The Rule is just one more tool in the Christian toolbox for those intent on abiding by the Gospel. Different people, different personalities and circumstances, different tools. All from the same toolbox, which thing could easily be termed “the goodness of God”.

The point of this post? Oh, that’s easy. I thought I’d try something different. An out-and-out advertisement for Benedictine vocations. 🙂 Tired of searching the box for the tool best suited to your needs? Click on the link found on the right of this page, Subiaco Abbey,  and go from there. St. Benedict’s Rule has proven a competent square in the hands of the Master Carpenter in the building of saints now for hundreds of years.

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 8:56 am  Comments Off on Growth