"Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them." - Matthew 7:17-20
The above photo is one taken by a very talented young teen I work with in my ministry program. At this parish we have really been exploring the arts as a means of expression and of deeper learning of our faith. We have done so through dance, photography, music, poetry, and the visual arts. . . We titled the above photo "Fruit Snacks".
For some reason out of all of the snacks I am able to get for our gatherings each week they seem to love the "fruit snacks" and because of that we reflected on some deeper analogies of the fruit snacks... I love my Catholic faith but let's be honest - the average Catholic does not do well with knowing his/her Bible. In my lifetime, I have actually heard people who are not even followers of Christ who know the contents of the Bible better than the average Catholic I speak to. And the crazy thing about that is that it was our church that originally decided which books, and readings were "canonical". Even more so, we see how our faith for many is not translated into their daily life, and actions aka "bearing fruit." In many ways, the artwork says this . . . Feed your mind with the "Fruit snacks" and then become those fruit snacks to the world. As the age old quote says "The only Bible anyone may ever read is you."
This blog post I wish for the art to speak for itself, and to give you a simple Bible plan to start reading your bible(it's the one we are given as Idente Missionaries)
1) Read your Bible one chapter a day starting with the New Testament
2) Start in the 4th Gospel . . . John (personally my favorite, probably because it is so poetic and artistic in its nature)
The good thing about starting in John is that it is super simple to feel and see the results in your Bible reading.... It's only 21 chapters! And so that means for a simple 5-10 minutes a day(giving yourself time to reflect), you can finish an entire book of the Bible in less than a month.
3) When you finish John, then go back to read Matthew, followed by Mark and Luke, until you read all through Revelations.
4) When you start, don't think of it as a Biblical scholar... If something confuses you of course you can visit the USCCB site, or read some notes in your bible, but to begin simply focus on what is speaking to your heart... And if you are so confused you feel it is not doing much for you that's ok... Simply in prayer say "Thank you Father for not understanding. I know you are God, and you know so much more than me. Please keep speaking to my heart, and help me to persevere." The key is to build up the good habit of staying in your bible. (In fact Thomas Aquinas would call Virtue a "good habit"... This is a way of growing in virtue)
5) Be very specific and schedule your reading... Whether at morning or at night, make it something you have built into your schedule just like anything else.
Something I would recommend in order to learn and study your bible deeper after that is "The Bible Timeline" by Jeff Cavins. I personally use this and adapt it to teach my teens.
It is my prayer that one day I will see the day where every Catholic "Bear Fruit"
- The Symbol
- All is Love
These are my thoughts . . . My Beliefs . . . My Actions . . . Everything I do. This is the documentation of my quest towards creating more unity in the community by authentic #LOVE.
This blog was started at:
and continued at:
But now, as I have matured in my understanding as "The Symbol" and no longer Brandon Feel-X Morel you can continue my journey with me here.
(click above images to get download link)