From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “true”

Lectio Divina: “true”

Gospel reading: John 15.1-8

[Jesus said] ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.’


Jesus says, ‘I am the true vine.’ Elsewhere he also says, ‘I tell the truth’ and ‘I am the truth’.

‘True’ has a number of meanings: it aligns with facts and reality; it is an accurate and exact representation; it can be relied upon. It is a standard. True North. A true line in woodwork that is exact and accurate. Something which other things can be measured by.

In for example Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Thomas Merton wrote of the true self and the false self. My true self is who God created me to be in God, that belongs utterly and completely to God. My false self is the mask I have accreted over time, that perhaps protects me but also hides me from others, myself and God.

Abiding in the true vine that is Jesus will help me to rediscover and recover my true self. It may -it will- be painful because it may -it will- involve pruning away of my false self. But is worth it.

I am also reminded of Richard Skinner’s short poem in ‘Echoes of Eckhart’. There is no division between the trunk of a vine and its branches, between the true self and God.

A splendid tree!

Meister Eckhart is studying
Where trunk becomes

He stares and
He stares
But he can’t see

The join


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.