I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday) on preparing spiritually and physically
to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.
for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotswold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page
WEEK FIVE DAY TWO
God gave me grapes, great
clusters of them
then He picked them and took them away
naturally I sulked
it hardly pays to be a branch
and wouldn’t you know it my next grapes
God said you can keep them
so they went to the birds
and the sweetness of the Lord came
pouring in from the Vine
and I said
Father take this branch it’s all yours
He said back to work son
give me the grapes
I don’t know where that came from: I wrote the words in my prayer journal when I was at university nearly 40 years ago. It’s unattributed.
But the words come back to me every so often.
I am running late, lots to do – mostly phone calls which I dislike intensely as I prefer to write, to ponder, choose the right words. Shopping. Looking after a husband with pleurisy. Walking. The gym. Someone to see, coming for Spiritual Direction. Writing. This.
So the bitterness came creeping.
And I knew I needed the sweetness of the Lord to come pouring in.
* * * *
Our curate was priested on Sunday evening. The Bishop came.
I wore my beautiful white silk stole, made and embroidered for me by a dear friend, now no longer with us.
On it she sewed a pattern of vine branches and grapes; of the Spirit descending like a dove; and these words:
And the sweetness of the Lord poured in from the Vine.
Father take this branch it is all yours.
My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
That’s my prayer for today:
Pour in your sweetness Lord
in to me
and out to others
Take my branch Lord – and keep it firmly attached to the Vine.
Here are the grapes
you gave me in the first place
They are yours
to use as and when You will
In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit
Top of embroidery just visible on my stole!