Josemaría Escrivá Obras

As a way of giving outlet to my prayer — this may be helpful for some of you as well — I often materialise even the most spiritual of things. It is a method that Our Lord used. He liked to teach through parables, using images from life around him: a shepherd and his flock, the vine and its branches, boats and nets, seed scattered by the sower...

The seed of God's Word has been sown in our hearts. What kind of ground have we prepared for him? Are there many stones? Is it full of thorns? Are we letting petty and exclusively human cares trample all over it? Lord, make my plot of ground be good, fertile and generously exposed to sun and rain. Let your seed take root in it and produce a fine crop of good wheat.

'I am the vine, you are the branches.' September comes and the vines are rich with long, lissom branches, flexibly intertwining and bending under the weight of the grapes now ready for the harvest. You see, the branches are full of fruit, because they share in the sap that comes from the stem. Otherwise, from the tiny buds we knew just a few months back, they could not have produced the sweet ripe fruit that gladdens the eye and makes the heart rejoice. Here and there on the ground we may find some dry twigs, lying half-buried in the soil. Once they too were branches of the vine; now they lie there withered and dead, a perfect image of barrenness: 'separated from me, you can do nothing.'

Then there is the treasure. You can imagine the immense joy of the lucky man who finds it. The hard times, the suffering are over. He sells everything he has and buys the field. His whole heart is there, where his treasure lies hidden. Our treasure is Christ. We shouldn't mind having to throw overboard everything that impedes our following him. Our boat, once freed of its useless cargo, will sail directly to the safe harbour of God's Love.

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