Love. That elusive, romantic, desirable state of being that seems to promise an extraordinary level of hope and happiness. We long to give it and to receive it, yet find it fleeting, challenging, unpredictable, and at times painful. Yet somehow, LOVE is the key to our salvation. There’s a simple and profound message in the Gospel of John that illuminates the secret of successful holiness and it’s tied up in the simple request to abide in the love of Christ. How is such a thing accomplished? The answer might be simpler than you think and a delightful challenge that will place you on the fast-track to discipleship from which you’ll never turn back.
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi”, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. – John 1:35-39
In this workshop I ask you – What are you looking for?
And I invite you to – come and see.
Abide in His Love is a current evening talk being presented at Saint Paul of the Cross Monastery Retreat Center. It is being offered once in the fall and once in the spring during Lent. Please consider coming out to hear this inspirational and challenging talk. Links for extended content summarized below will be active after the completion of this talk in the spring.
For dates, please check out the “EVENTS” page on this website or follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates as event dates draw near.
Jesus the True Vine: The Gospel of John tells us again and again that Jesus asked – in fact pleaded – that we remain in him, abide in him. He calls us to a deep, personal, and constant union with him. This call, when answered, results in a fruitful existence where we fulfill what God has planned for us and assist in making his presence on earth visible to others through our own actions and words. The relationship of the vine and the branches is one of complete sharing and interdependence. It has purpose and power. When we let ourselves answer that call and truly become bonded with Christ, we are rewarded with all that we seek and experience true joy. This is clearly laid out for us in Sacred Scripture in a way that answers all of the questions we may ask about such a relationship with God.
Abide in His Love – What it means for me: Through further exploration of the Gospel of John we learn what abiding in his love really means for us. We can see the rewards for doing so, and the complications that entangle themselves in our lives when we do not. We learn that we are called to TRUST. We are called to LOVE. And we are called to BELIEVE. And in doing so, we become fruitful and bring forth blessings that we couldn’t have otherwise imagined. In keeping his commandments we are manifesting Christ in the world around us.
Letting go of SELF: The concupiscence that we struggle with due to original sin is no joke! It’s a daily struggle to try to focus ourselves on something other than … our self. We are prideful, selfish, self-centered creatures that need to come to the realization that only through denial of the self are we made more malleable so that God can work with us, in us, and through us. Through denial of the self we empty ourselves and make room for God within. This doesn’t mean that can never treat ourselves or do something nice for ourselves! What it does mean is prioritizing and making God and His Will number one. It makes conforming our will to God’s Will and operating from that perspective rather than our tendency toward self-centeredness and self-love.
The Object: The object of all of this is of course doing what what we were created for – what we are destined for – getting to heaven. The object and goal of everything in our lives, when it is God, is also eternal beatitude, our final destination, that face to face confrontation with our heavenly Father. If we don’t understand how that fits with everything else above … this pdf file will help connect the dots and get you moving on your own spiritual journey toward the destiny that you – and all of us – were intended to experience.