Remain in Me


First published May 8, 2015…


IF you are not at peace, ask yourself three questions: Am I in the will of God? Am I trusting Him? Am I loving God and neighbour in this moment? Simply, am I being faithful, trusting, and loving?[1]see Building the House of Peace Whenever you lose your peace, go through these questions like a checklist, and then realign one or more aspects of your mindset and behavior in that moment saying, “Ah, Lord, I am sorry, I have stopped abiding in you. Forgive me and help me to begin again.” In this way, you will steadily build a House of Peace, even in the midst of trials.

Those three little questions summarize the whole of the Christian life and determine its fruitfulness or lack thereof. Jesus put it this way:

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 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 15:4-5)

In a word, being faithful, trusting, and loving according to God’s Word is friendship with Him. What “god” in all of the world’s religions desires to be as intimate with His creation as Our Lord Jesus, the one true God? As He says in today’s Gospel:

You are my friends if you do what I command you… I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…

Everything in the world seems to be turning upside down—and it is happening so fast. I am reminded of the image the Lord strongly impressed upon my heart of a hurricane: the closer you get to the eye of the storm, the faster and more fierce the winds. Likewise, the closer we get to the eye of this present Storm, [2]cf. The Eye of the Storm the more quickly events and evils are going to heap up one after and upon the other. [3]cf. The Seven Seals of Revolution 

Last night as I pondered with amazement the number and seriousness of monumental changes happening around the world, I sensed the Lord warn that this Storm will be too much for any human to bear without grace. That while war is breaking out here, plagues will break out there; while food shortages set in here, civil chaos will break out there; while persecution is unleashed over here, earthquakes will rock peoples over there, and so on…. That is why I believe we are reaching a point where reading the news headlines should be done with great caution, if at all: there is so much deception, violence, and evil bursting out all over the world that one risks falling into discouragement and even despair. Why? Because…

…our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (Eph 6:12)

Do you want to know what Jesus wants to do with His faithful flock during all of this? Bless them. Bless them with a sumptuous spiritual banquet. If this sounds absurd, listen to what the Psalmist says of the Good Shepherd:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows… (Psalm 23:4-5)

It’s in the midst of this culture of death, in the midst of the final death throes of this age, that Jesus wants to grant new graces to His People right in front of our enemy’s eyes. The way to receive them then is three fold: be faithful, trusting, and loving—in a word, remain in Him. Take your eyes off of the Storm and put them on Jesus in the present moment.

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? (Luke 12:25-26)

Last, and certainly not least, if you are to bear fruit, then the sap of the Holy Spirit has to flow through your heart. There are two means by which this happens: the Sacraments and prayer. The Sacraments are essentially the roots of the Vine. And it is prayer of the heart that draws all the nutrients and Sap into the branch of your own heart. Prayer is simply the act of gazing with love toward the Lord, whether with words or not. This kind of prayer, this prayer of the heart, is what draws grace so that we can be faithful, trusting, and loving. That’s why Jesus calls it friendship: remaining in Him is the exchange of His heart for ours, and vice versa. This comes through prayer. Put another way, the bricks and mortar of the House of Peace is prayer.

There is no new Gospel—even in these “end times”. I have been pondering much lately on the simple words that Jesus asked us to pray in these times, as conveyed to St. Faustina:

Jesus, I trust in You.

Think about that. He revealed to St. Faustina that the message of Divine Mercy was going to prepare the world for His coming:

I heard these words spoken distinctly and forcefully within my soul, You will prepare the world for My final coming. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 429

You’d think Jesus might have given us a lengthy devotion, or a long prayer of exorcism, or a new program of spirituality in order to enter into the spiritual battle of these days. Rather, He gave us five words:

Jesus, I trust in You.

Let these five words be constantly on your lips throughout the day, weaving together like a needle and thread the three acts of being faithful, trusting, and loving. After all, no matter how bad the Storm gets, Scripture itself seemed to foretell the prominence of these five little words:

The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord, and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord. (Acts 2:20-21)

Really, what we are called to is an imitation of the “Woman clothed with the sun”:

Your lives must be like mine: quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the second coming of God. Blessed Mother to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diaryn. 625

No, I don’t have much to say on where to put your money, how much food to store up, or whether you should flee your country… but if you remain in Jesus, don’t you think He will lead you?

I want to share with you this song I wrote. It’s one of my personal favorites. Perhaps it could be a prayer for you this evening…





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