I am the vine, you are the branches … I am the true vine: and my Father is the gardner. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away; and everyone that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth much fruit. (John 15:1-5)
This purging or pruning action of the Father is what disconcerts us. We see an orchard in full bloom, and what has a more delicate charm? And yet those flowers must disappear if the branches are to bring forth fruit. There are many flowers in our life that seem of great value to us. In God’s sight they are only flowers, and in His mercy He removes them that we may yield Him fruit. He alone knows the deep desires of our hearts, and He alone can satisfy them. We must trust Him absolutely if we wish to achieve out heart’s desire. We are not only the children of God, but we are members of the Mystical Body of His well beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Every single thing that happens is part of a plan for the development of that Mystical Body. The Three Divine Persons are continually directing events towards that end. The Father to the Body of His Son. The Holy Spirit is continually moving each of us interiorly that we may live the life of the Son. The Son Himself is continually pouring His grace into our soul that we may share His own life. Is it any wonder that all things work together for the good of them that love God?
The whole trouble is that – literally – we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has His plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help Him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it, we cannot improve on God’s plans.
Once a man has realized that God wills his happiness and that all that happens to him is ruled and regulated by God with infinite wisdom and power towards that end, and that all God asks of him is to co-operate with that loving will of His – then, that man has found the beginning of peace. And if he would be filled with that peace which is as a river, full, overflowing, rising up from the depth of his own heart, the peace which surpasses all understanding, the peace which the world cannot give – let him devote himself to the practice of abandonment to God’s will, always remembering that where God’s will is to be done or to be accepted, Jesus Christ is waiting to share our doing of it.
He always does the things that please the Father.