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Prune/Pruning

“Life in Christ is never a bed of roses. He promised pruning. But if we respond to the Gardener’s tending as fruitful branches, yielding the sweet wine of virtue, we have the joy of knowing that He chose and appointed us to go and bear fruit—in good times, in bad times, and in eternity…The most fruitful and the most joy-filled Christians are the most pruned Christians." (Fr. Mark Sietsema, Bruce Wilkinson)


“Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning: (1) cutting off and (2) cutting back branches. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. In other words, God must sometimes discipline us to strengthen our character and faith.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 15:2-3)


“As a young man, I once saw a wise neighbor severely prune a mature apple tree that bore sparse fruit. The next year, with far fewer branches newly exposed to sunlight, the tree produced an abundant harvest. In this same way, we too can produce spiritual fruitfulness from the pruning shears of our own affliction. From this perspective, the experience of pain is not perceived as meaningless punishment, but rather as an opportunity for growth. While we do not seek suffering in our life, we nonetheless accept it, together with all other things, as God’s saving opportunity to help us live so that hopefully as people get to know us, they will get to know Christ as well.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)


“To get fruit from a tree, it has to be planted well, watered, fertilized, pruned, and so on. In the spiritual life of the…Christian, he has to do the spiritual equivalents of these things. We have to be planted in the Church by holy baptism and chrismation. We have to be watered by consistent, persistent prayer, both privately and as a community. We have to be fertilized by learning the teachings of the Scriptures and the Fathers. And we have to be pruned by asceticism—fasting, simplicity of life, and giving of our time, our abilities and our resources. When we do those things, then we can expect the fruit.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)


“The God who is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, who gives us his divine life and peace and joy forever, is first of all the Divine Lover who wounds His beloved, and then hides from her, hoping to be sought and found. He is the Father who chastens and disciplines His children. He is the Vinekeeper who cuts and prunes His vines so that they bear much fruit. He is the Jeweler who burns His gold in His divine fire so that it would be purged of all impurities. And He is the Potter who continually smashes and refashions and re-bakes His muddy clay so that it can be the earthen vessel that He wants it to be, capable of bearing His own transcendent grace and power and glory and peace.” (Father Thomas Hopko)


#FrMarkSietsema #BruceWilkinson #LifeApplicationStudyBible #RevAndrewDemotses #FatherAndrewStephenDamick #FatherThomasHopko


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