Jan 22, 2013

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MEDITATION: Back to the sources

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing (John 15:5)

Like most organizations the Centre for Christian Spirituality last year during its planning session also decided on a motto, a guiding metaphor for the coming year.

It simply says: “Back to the sources!”

For the Centre which has never claimed to be an official church, but is an ecumenical organization who wants to assist the Christian community in exploring and fulfilling its true vocation, these sources have always been the testimonies of the apostles about God’s unique and unconditional love for humans – God’s love and forgiveness which, according to the apostolic tradition, was disclosed to us in such a surprising and life changing way by the Jew, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus, so John testifies, is the true vine in whom we are called to abide so that our lives will not become empty and meaningless, but may bear much fruit (John 15:1-5). In communion with Jesus, so we are promised, we may discover the living water, the fountain of life from which the Samaritan woman drank in John 4 and which changed her life so completely.

To abide in Jesus as the source of all true joy and fecundity, does however not happen automatically  It requires from us a certain discipline and commitment, a conscious decision to explore and live from the sources. And for this – and this the Christian community had already discovered and practiced many ages ago –  the Christian believer needs well arranged and regular periods of solitude and silence, prayer and fasting, Bible reading and meditating and most importantly: someone to guide us along the way, a so called spiritual director.

Given the huge political and social challenges of our day, also the influence of our modern society where speed, comfort and material gain and prosperity had become the dominating concerns, often leading to a conspicuous loss of depth and integrity, it has become more important than ever to find and follow the way to the true sources.

Without this the coming year will become extremely tiresome.

Carel Anthonissen

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