Navigate to...


Salvation Begins Now

May 22nd, 2012by Bill Tonnis

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Jesus said that God is the vine grower and He is the vine. Each one of us is like a branch from that vine. When we are conscious of this divine connection and live in that consciousness we are truly living in the will of God. It is living in a constant flow of love and acceptance. However, when our egos take over and life becomes all about memy will…my plan…then we are not consciously connected to the Vine. My own “private salvation project” as Thomas Merton called it will not lead to life that lasts (branches with fruit)…but to dead-ends (withered branches). Don’t forget that Jesus also says that God will prune the branches that bear fruit. That means that there will be some painful struggles that will lead to bearing even more fruit…if we remain consciously connected to the vine.

It means walking with my cross like Jesus did. It means going through the struggles of life with Christ as my companion. It is a process of dying to myself…my false, egocentric self, so that my true self can rise. Jesus showed us the process that leads to growth, transformation, wholeness and becoming our true selves. It’s the process where we begin to experience the kingdom of God.

What is your part in building this kingdom? Quite honestly, you probably can’t come up with the answer by way of your mind. It’s more of a “heart” thing. How can you “hear” the Holy Spirit calling you to your next step on the journey? Just like anything…it takes practice. If you want to get better at anything you have to invest some of your time. You have to sit still and listen. Let the thinking mind be quiet.

Be present to God through silent prayer, Eucharistic adoration, meditation and through receiving the sacraments. Believe me…contemplation will lead to action.  God will inspire you to use your gifts and talents in the service of building God’s kingdom.  Each of us is a unique expression of God who is meant to be a unique expression of God’s love to the world. Let’s start now!

Photo credit: florriebassingbourn/flickr
Used under Creative Commons Licensing
Bill Tonnis

Bill Tonnis is the Director of Youth & Outreach Ministries at Our Lady of the Visitation Parish. He is single and a parishioner at St. Monica St. George Parish in Clifton.