"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Monday, March 5 2018

Along with brisk temperatures and changing leaves, and the inevitable ‘back to school’ reality check, early September also heralded the harvest.  A bushel basket of crisp apples, from the Macdonald Agricultural College farms, took up residence just inside the garage, and we helped ourselves to one (and sometimes two) every morning.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was an oft murmured phrase, with much truth in it!

In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul writes about the fruit of the Spirit, that is the abundant harvest resulting from a life of faith, lived in the Spirit.  “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Galatians 5:22-23  This is such a wonderful list, so much to which we can aspire and so very overwhelming!  For we are encouraged not just to grow as ‘apples of love’ but, at the same time, as ‘bananas of joy’, ‘plums of patience’, ‘mangoes of generosity’ and so on!  How?

Fortunately our ongoing faith journey is nurtured, in a multi-disciplinary way, by the Holy One who knows both our good intentions and our failure to maintain them.  The proverb “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is thought to have originated with St. Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote (c. 1150), “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs” (hell is full of good wishes or desires).  An earlier saying occurs in Virgil‘s Aeneid: “facilis descensus Averno (the descent to hell is easy)”.  God knows how slippery that particular path can be and so calls to us again and again, and again, to metanoia, “a transformative change of heart”, to return to the Way.

Prayer: Guide me, O Lord, each day, as I seek to walk in Christ’s Way, that I may bear the fruit of the Spirit and feed others with ‘good news’. Amen.

Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is!

Recipe:  Savory Apples Not really a recipe, just a suggestion! Rather than planning an apple dessert, serve apples with your main course, for example with grilled pork chops or baked chicken breast. Add steamed green beans or another vegetable.

Apples, ½ cup or more bread crumbs, oil or butter, if desired, and a few of these or other options: a handful of raisins, walnuts or pecans; fresh or dried herbs(thyme, basil, chives, garlic, ginger), cooked chopped mushrooms and/or onions, a little grated cheese, a drizzle of maple syrup or wine… Core the apples.  Mix bread crumbs with a little oil or melted butter, add options and stuff apples.  Bake about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, depending on the size of the apples.