The Sting of Thorns

Field of Thistles Overlooking Local Mountain Inlet

For each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. ~ St. Luke 6:44

From a distance, nettles may seem fresh and green, but up close we see they’re ugly and tangled. The thorns in our lives can either be difficult people or painful circumstances.

Christ said to St. Paul, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

When the stinging thorns of life claw or scratch at us, God always responds to our prayers – and according to our salvation… with the healing balm of grace.

Fragility is given strength to endure prickly situations, and we are guided to do what’s right.

May we not become as thorns ourselves… in the lives of others.


Growing in Good Soil

It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine. ~ Ezekiel 17:8

And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.  Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears, let him hear.’ ~ St. Matthew 13: 3 – 9

And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. ~ St. Mark 4:8

And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. As he said these things, he called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ ~ St. Luke 8:8

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. ~ St. Luke 8:15

Like So Many Thorns

Photo circa 2002, St. Sophia old chapel, on the Great Feast of Pentecost

When thoughts are choking me like so many thorns, I enter the church, the hospital of souls. The beauty of the icons delight my vision like a verdant meadow, and without my noticing, it stirs my soul to praise God.

~ St. John of Damascus

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