Renewed Life – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Acts 8:26-40
John 15:1-8

Glorious spring is here with green popping up everywhere. Trees bud and flower with abundant, renewed life. Jesus describes himself as the true vine, us as branches, and God as the vine grower. Abide with me, Jesus says. Dwell, remain, stay connected to receive life from me. “Every branch that bears fruit [my Father] prunes to make it bear more fruit.” Pruning indeed helps bear fruit. It’s letting go in order to live.

Here’s what I was taught to look for when pruning trees. First, water sprouts, new young growth often all over a tree’s trunk and major branches. Second, branches touching or crossing each other. Third, anything growing backward toward the trunk instead of out. Fourth, branches that are actually dead. In all this, clear the center trunk, encouraging outward angled growth with space for each branch to grow.

Pruning lets go what is alive but not growing in a helpful direction. Pruning lets go what is dead but still taking up space. Pruning lets a tree more fully live and bear more fruit. Letting go is hard on trees and in our lives, yet key to living well. We Brothers say in our Rule of Life: “… we are to accept every experience which requires us to let go as an opportunity for Christ to bring us through death into life.”[i] Read More