Never stop running for the goal!

In this spring and summer we are almost holding our collective breath as the pandemic seems to be slowly winding down here in the US. We wonder what normal will look like after having “worshipped” via Zoom for so long.

The Spirit is actively creating something new in this transition and return to the celebration of the Eucharist with our brothers and sisters, together, as a community in Christ, as Christ’s body. Those who have been waiting for Baptism can now receive that most important sacrament by which, as St Paul tells us, we die with Christ and rise with him.

Through the sacraments of baptism and the receiving of the risen Christ in the Eucharist at Mass, a deep and radical change takes place within us. In the words of Nicholas Cabasilas (a 15th-century Greek theologian): “O wonder of wonders! It is God himself we touch in the Eucharist and God becomes one with us in the closest union.” And again, of the sacrament of baptism, “When we come up from the water we bear the Savior upon our souls, on our heads, on our eyes, on all our members…. We have been stamped with Christ.”

These days can be a renewed experience for all of us of the life we receive only through Christ, in Christ, and in the sacramental life of the Church. This was a favorite topic of St. Paul, so I reached out to Sr. Margaret Kerry for some thoughts on this theme. She has such a rich experience of speaking with people both about the faith and about St. Paul to help us deepen this topic. For years she has been writing reflections on Paul’s letters for our lay Paulines (Pauline Cooperators) as an ongoing study. Her focus is on baptism, the sacrament that opens the door for all of the sacraments as we join the family of God. The following material is from Sr. Margaret.


Thank you so much for inviting me to explore the sacraments with you in the spirit of St Paul. I would first like to put this in context by recalling Paul’s words, quoted loosely, “Never stop running for the goal!” St. Gregory the Great wrote, “Jesus became incarnate so that he may be seen by us. And Jesus wants to be seen so that we may imitate him.” In relation to this, Blessed James Alberione exclaims, “How sublime this is! All baptized Christians are called to become one personality in Christ, to graft ourselves to Christ, so that truly Christ lives in us.”

St. Paul explained this imitation of Christ, this goal of becoming Christ, in terms of living in Christ when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (Gal 2:19-20). St. Paul imitated Christ so brilliantly that he could exhort others, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).

Through our baptism, this conformity with Christ is already a reality in us. We enter a covenant with God. On our part, we pray that the “grace of God will bear fruit” so that this conformity with Christ will attain fullness. We have been given the first fruits of the Spirit who helps us in our weakness. “With Christ in us we are a new creation!” (see 2 Cor 5:17).

Saint Paul, you lived in deep intimacy with Jesus and spent your life proclaiming him to all God’s people. Teach us to do the same.

By virtue of our baptism, we live in Christ; in him “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We are members of his Body, his dwelling place. Show us what it means to live out of this amazing reality: that, having encountered the love of God in Jesus, we are called to share it as his missionary disciples.

Baptism admits us into a mysterious and permanent communion with Christ. In the ancient church, baptism was also called “illumination,” because the sacrament gives light; it truly makes us see. This is clear from the Acts of the Apostles, which recounts Paul’s encounter with Jesus, his “conversion.” He had traveled to Damascus prepared to take any followers of the Way into custody to Jerusalem. Instead, Jesus appeared to him outside Damascus, calling out, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” When Paul asked Jesus who he was, he was told to get up and go into Damascus where he would be told what to do. Paul waited three days in Damascus, unable to see anything. The darkness gave way to light when Ananias, sent by the Lord, baptized him so that he might be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul was transformed by the irresistible presence of the Risen One. Once blind, he was now able to see. The illumination that Paul received on the road to Damascus is what happens for every Christian at their own baptism. Baptism admits us into mysterious and permanent communion with Christ. “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of [Jesus] Christ” (2 Cor 4:5-6).

Lord, illumine us, grant us an encounter with your presence in our world, open our eyes, grant us a lively faith, an open heart, and great love for all, love capable of renewing the world.

Even after such a tremendous grace as was this encounter with the risen Christ, Paul writes again and again in his letters about an ongoing “conversion.” In his letter to the Romans, he famously writes about his struggle: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Rom 7:15, 18-19).

The verb Paul uses for conversion is an active verb signifying “ongoing transformation.” Paul admitted that he was always on the road to conversion. “I strain forward to what lies ahead, pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). He depicts the ongoing struggle we all experience in our call to live fully our Baptismal commitment. “Creation waits in eager expectation for us to be revealed as new” (Rom 8:19).

Yet Paul also assures us that, through our baptism and our ongoing transformation, we are being transformed from glory to glory. “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18).

Lord, grant us freedom in your Spirit so that, from this inner abundance filling our earthen vessel, we can say “it is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20)

Ultimately, our transformation takes place, not through our own power, but through the power of the Risen One. Paul invites us to glory in our weakness as the power of Christ is manifested in us. When Paul experienced what he called a “thorn in the flesh,” he begged God to take it from him. But Paul said that the Lord refused to take this suffering from him. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then glories in his infirmities, because the power of God is made manifest through them: “So I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me” (see 2 Cor 12:9).

Through our baptism, Christ confirms a permanent dwelling in us, the beginning of new life. “He will change our lowly body to conform to his glorified body” (Phil 3:12). Paul speaks of this permanent dwelling, this conformation to the glorified body of Christ, as living “in Christ.” In fact, Paul uses the word “in” over 164 times when he refers to life in Christ! By living in Christ through the graces of our baptism, by deepening our union with Christ through the Eucharist, Jesus restores us to the fullness of life in the Triune God in whose image we are created. In turn, we are sent as Christ for others.

God, in your mercy, transform us into your likeness so that we become way, truth and life for our families, our neighbors, our Church and for those who have not yet encountered you. Amen.

Jesus, I want what you have!

Keeping the commandments. It is something that children wrestle with as they prepare for their First Penance. Do you remember that first time you had to examine your conscience? Later this tension to fidelity to God’s Word and the Ten Words of Law becomes “second nature,” spiritually speaking, or else rebellion to the invitation to holiness found in the commandments becomes ingrained in thoughts, words, and habits, ultimately manifesting in a life of pain and sorrow. According to the words of Jesus there is no middle road: “Whoever breaks one of the of the least of the commandments…whoever obeys and teaches these commandments…”

St Silouan the Athonite said that the apostle John says that the commandments of God are not difficult to keep (1 John 5:3). For the one who loves, they are easy to keep. They are difficult only for the one who does not love.

Keeping the commandments is a matter of the heart. Recently I was resting in prayer, silently contemplating Jesus who had climbed a mountain for time alone with his Father. It was night. I imagined myself quietly watching from a short distance, my elbows on a large boulder, holding my face in my hands, as I observed Jesus standing a few yards away. I could just see the silhouette of Jesus as he stood looking up into the star-lit night sky in this place to which he had retired to be with his Father. The intensity of love that I sensed between him and his Father, the energy of their wordless communion, the giving and receiving, the loving and responding, the gift and obedience…. Even though I was not a part of their unspoken communication, Jesus’ bond with his Father was unmistakable and strong. When Jesus’ had finished praying he turned and noticed me watching. He walked quietly toward me and sat down. My heart full, I said simply, “I want what you have.” And he said to me, “I want you to have it too.”

I want the love that Jesus experiences to take hold in the deepest recesses of my heart. I want my sole desire to be to surrender my life entirely to that love, to desire to speak, think, and do only what the Father has given me to do. In other words, I want to be true to the Father’s love for me and for others in the totality of the way I live. But when I examine myself I see that I am not like Jesus who could say, “I say only what I hear from the Father.” My love is only a distortion of divine love.

I want the love that Jesus experiences to take hold in the deepest recesses of my heart. I want my sole desire to be to surrender my life entirely to that love, to desire to speak, think, and do only what the Father has given me to do.

The law of God helps us recognize our poverty and our utter dependence on God. It floods us with God’s mercy which renews us, as we realize we cannot keep the commandments unless God himself remakes our hearts. And he will do so, if we open our heart to him. As Jesus said to me, “I want this for you too!” What generous kindness that will not fail to be brought about through Jesus’ action on my poor heart.

Pope Francis said that the commandments help people face the disarray of our hearts in order to stop living selfishly and become authentic children of God, redeemed by the Son and taught and guided by the Holy Spirit.

The commandments are a gift. They save us, as Saint John Paul II reminded us in his speech on Mount Sinai, from the “destructive force of egoism, hatred and falsehood. They point out all the false gods that draw [us] into slavery: the love of self to the exclusion of God, the greed for power and pleasure that overturns the order of justice and grades our human dignity and that of our neighbor.”

To keep the commandments is paradoxically to know that we can’t keep them without the power of God at work within us, without the Spirit remaking our hearts and minds, without the blood of Jesus washing us clean and transfiguring our entire being in himself.

Image credit: Il Ragazzo via Cathopic

Heartbreak in Kamloops

 Indigenous Catholic Icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, BC artist André Prévost

Heart of Jesus, broken for our sins, have mercy on us.

By now you may have heard the shattering news of the mass grave of 215 children at Kamloops Residential School, a government school operated by Catholic religious in British Columbia, Canada. For many of our American readers, this may be the first time you have heard of the residential school system. But for our Canadian readers, this is the latest in a decades-long string of tragic revelations of the legacy of an educational system designed to rid Indigenous children of their culture. It was a government program founded on racist ideology, enabled by various churches that ran the schools in accordance with the government mandate.

Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins, have mercy on us.

Unfortunately, to identify the sin of racism as present solely in members of the government or churches of that era would not be accurate. The sin of racism was harbored in the hearts of many across Canadian society. It was systemic, as evidenced by the residential school system. With the last residential school closing in 1996, the wounds of this racism are still very fresh, and the sin of racism is far from eradicated.

Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.

In a recent video released by the Archdiocese of Edmonton with Chief Littlechild and Archbishop Smith, Chief Littlechild encouraged viewers not to let this news break us, not to let it rob us of our hope. As Catholics, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, this is a difficult history to face, accept, and take responsibility for. Where is our hope? Where is our comfort? Where is our transformation?

We find all these things in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.

Christ’s heart suffered, bled, and died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). Christ’s heart broke for each and every child taken from their families to be put in a residential school, and for every family and community that lost them. Christ’s heart broke for the sins of those perpetrating wounds in Indigenous children, families, and communities. Christ’s heart broke for every time the dignity of his beloved Indigenous people is attacked in the streets and workplaces of today.

I was born in Winnipeg, the city with the highest Indigenous population in Canada. As of the last census, nearly 93 000 people identified as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit. In the climate of a richly Indigenous city, I witnessed many attacks on the dignity of my Indigenous brothers and sisters from people I knew and loved. It was heart-breaking. Yet I have also witnessed the conversion of racist attitudes in some of these same people. I have seen their conversion happen in Christ and know firsthand it is possible.

It is possible to face these dark realities together, honestly, as a Church, in the light of Jesus Truth. It is possible to open ourselves up to vulnerably examine our own hearts to find where we need conversion, in the light of Jesus Way. And it is possible to enact healing and reconciliation in the light of Jesus Life.

It is possible to face these dark realities together, honestly, as a Church, in the light of Jesus Truth. It is possible to open ourselves up to vulnerably examine our own hearts to find where we need conversion, in the light of Jesus Way.

Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.

As we turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus this week, let us pause to search our own hearts. Are there attitudes of resentment, self-righteousness, labeling, judgement, blanket annoyance, or impatience we hold toward another group of people? Do we look at people who are different from us and wish they were the same as us? Do we get defensive when mistakes or sins are pointed out to us instead of openly allowing the Lord to use people’s comments to convert us?

Let us make the final request of the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our own: “Jesus, touch my heart and make it like your own.” In him we find the humility and the gentleness we need to allow ourselves to be changed, converted, and enflamed with a zealous love for him and his people. May he form his heart in us, so that we may love with his love–a love that can transform the world. And may we learn from the Indigenous wisdom of listening to others for as long it takes, so that we may truly understand, honour and love others with this gift of Christ.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, touch our hearts and make them like your own. Amen.

by Sr. Orianne Dyck

We are grateful to André Prévost for the use of the icon above.

To pray with this Indigenous Catholic Icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you can visit BC artist André Prévost’s webpage here:

Helpful Resources:

To learn more about Catholic efforts to seek truth and healing, you can read about “Our Lady of Guadalupe Circles” here:

To pray with an Indigenous Catholic Icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you can visit BC artist André Prévost’s webpage here:

To pray the full Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (excerpts of the Litany appear in this article in bold), visit:

To watch the joint statement and interview with Chief Littlechild and Archbishop Smith referenced in this article, visit: and

To read Pope Francis’ statements regarding the Kamloops discovery after Sunday’s Angelus, visit:

Guest Post: The Hearts of Jesus and Mary

June is the month of the Sacred Heart, and this year the feast of the Sacred Heart falls on Friday, June 11. In this feast Jesus pours out the love of his heart on us. But Jesus always comes with Mary. The next day, June 12, is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the union of these two hearts we are completely enveloped in divine and human love.

The heart is the symbol of love, one that’s even used widely in our secular culture (as in Saint Valentine’s Day). It’s a universal symbol most people can relate to easily. From his heart, Jesus pours forth the ocean of his love, and Mary does the same from her own tender maternal heart. They both have an unconditional love for us. That doesn’t mean they don’t care if we sin, but rather that they still love us despite our sins. Jesus in his Sacred Heart and Mary in her Immaculate Heart want to pour out their love on us. If we stray, they call us back.

Mary can transform hearts. In Paris in 1836, a holy priest, Monsignor Charles Desgenettes, was assigned to Our Lady of Victories parish. Spiritually the parish was dying. Only a faithful few old people still went to Mass. Determined to bring about a spiritual revival, the priest consecrated himself and the parish to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. He announced that he was going to call a meeting about being consecrated to Mary. To his astonishment, the church was packed for the meeting! In time a complete spiritual revival took place—and devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart was the driving force.

If we need renewal in our life, whether as a church or as an individual, devotion to Mary is a great place to start. She will draw us closer to her son, Jesus, and together the two hearts of Jesus and Mary will help our own hearts burn with love of God and neighbor.

By Sr Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP

Image Credit: Tacho Dimas via Cathopic

The Heart of a World in Pain: Meditation for Corpus Christi

I spent a couple of hours this morning before Mass meditating on Alexander Schmemann’s profound articulation of the mystery of the Eucharist…. a gift to myself on this most beautiful of liturgical feast days. The vast horizons of this Orthodox priest and writer’s soul seem to peer into eternity as he contemplates the liturgy of the Eucharist:

The Liturgy is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom…. Our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. The liturgy of the Eucharist is where individuals of every culture, socio-economic bracket, and way of life come together in one place to bring their lives with them in order to be more than what they were: a new community with a new life. In the liturgy we are immersed in the new life of the Kingdom… (cf. Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, page 28-32).

This morning my heart is also shadowed by conflicting emotions, sorrow, a desire to make things right if I could, to erase wrongs, to supply for what is now lacking, to heal the ones who are broken…. On this day I am mindful of very difficult stories that have been in the news and are on all of our minds and hearts lately: the discovery of the mass grave with the bodies of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School in British Colombia, Canada; the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre; the one year anniversary of the death of George Floyd; the ongoing violence on our streets and in our homes.

The inexcusable and horrific stories of how we creatures of the same God and Father of us all can harm each other, taking from each other life, hope, future overwhelm our hearts. They are so incomprehensible that our minds and hearts recoil from even learning about them, facing them, putting things right. Let’s take a step back, again letting Schmemann be our guide, as we ask ourselves from where this evil among us comes, this evil we first encounter in the story of Cain turning on his brother Abel, these two sons of Adam and Eve who had chosen to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden at the serpent’s suggestion:

Man ate the forbidden fruit. The fruit of that one tree, whatever else it may signify, was unlike every other fruit in the Garden: it was not offered as a gift to man. Not given, not blessed by God, it was food whose eating was condemned to be communion with itself alone, and not with God. It is the image of the world loved for itself, and eating it is the image of life understood as an end in itself.

To love is not easy, and mankind has chosen not to return God’s love. Man has loved the world, but as an end in itself and not as transparent to God. He has done it so consistently that it has become something that is “in the air.”

It seems natural for man to experience the world as opaque, and not shot through with the presence of God. It seems natural not to live a life of thanksgiving for God’s gift of a world. It seems natural not to be eucharistic.

The world is a fallen world because it has fallen away from the awareness that God is all in all. The accumulation of this disregard for God is the original sin that blights the world.

On this Feast of Corpus Christi I’ve been thinking about how all of life is meant to be eucharistic, a life of thanksgiving to the God on whom we depend for everything. Life lived in a eucharistic key is a journey of love and adoration toward God. We lost this eucharistic life in Adam and Eve. In Christ, the new Adam, this eucharistic life is restored to us. Contrary to the first Adam, Christ offered himself to the Father in perfect obedience, love and thanksgiving. Christ did not reach for his own glory, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Christ’s life was a symphony in the key of Gift and Gratitude. He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant for our salvation, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross! As Gift he received from God the highest place, and to him every knee must bow to the glory of God the Father (cf. Phil. 2:5ff).

For “the wages of sin is death.” The life man chose was only the appearance of life. God showed him that he himself had decided to eat bread in a way that would simply return him to the ground from which both he and the bread had been taken: “For dust thou art and into dust shalt thou return.” Man lost the eucharistic life, he lost the life of life itself, the power to transform it into Life. He ceased to be the priest of the world and became its slave.

In the story of the Garden this took place in the cool of the day: that is, at night. And Adam, when he left the Garden where life was to have been eucharistic—an offering of the world in thanksgiving to God—Adam led the whole world, as it were, into darkness. In one of the beautiful pieces of Byzantine hymnology Adam is pictured sitting outside, facing Paradise, weeping. It is the figure of man himself (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, page 17-18).

In the Mass Christ himself takes all of us and the totality of our life to God. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken unto you. Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it remains in the vine; so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit: for away from me you can do nothing. If a man does not remain in me, he is thrown away as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatsoever you will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:1-7).

In the light of the Eucharist we see that Christ is indeed the life and light of all that exists, and the glory that fills heaven and earth….

He became man and lived in this world. He ate and drank, and this means that the world of which he partook, the very food of our world became His body, His life. But His life was totally, absolutely eucharistic—all of it was transformed into communion with God and all of it ascended into heaven. And now He shares this glorified life with us. “What I have done alone—give it now to you: take, eat. … (page 43).

Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we experience the very joy of the Kingdom because we realize that even as the joys of earth will one day come to an end, there is now through Christ a seed of eternal joy planted in our world that will grow into the Kingdom. And so we pray for the world, we beg God that we might love the world as Jesus loves the world. That we might love the world with the very love of Christ. That we might see the world in Christ, as it really is, and not from our own limited points of view. We intercede for those who are victims, for those who perpetrators, for our are brothers and sisters.

I’ve been wrestling with these shadows of sorrow even as I stand at the messianic banquet and receive into my heart the Life of the world. It is this way with all of us. It will always be this way in this world.

I’ve decided today that what matters for me is where I stand. In what dimension I live. With whose gaze I look upon the world. With whose heart I feel.

I am, we are, one in Jesus, the Vine, our Life, the one who holds us all together as one and brings us with him into the Kingdom of his Father. The image of the Vine and the Branches offers me a way to live through these sad and disconcerting times:

  1. Jesus said that the branches must bear fruit. He commands it actually eight times in John chapter 15. The present tense here points to bearing more than one fruit or one season of fruitfulness. It indicates a sustained productivity. Yet I know by myself I cannot bear fruit. I cannot reach up and grasp for fruitfulness. I need to remain attached to the Vine through the Eucharist in order to be fruitful. I am mindful of the too many branches that have been weakened and have even given up on the Vine because of the activity of some of those who are Christians and Catholics, themselves branches on the Vine. I remember those who have chosen to behave toward others in ways that have separated themselves in some way from the full Life of Christ the Vine. I remember all those who have suffered grievously at the hands of other branches on the one Vine. In every Eucharist I can pray with the heart of Jesus for all those for whom Christ died for he is now the only one who makes things right, who brings shalom, that is, wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and peace with God and reconciliation.
  2. Every branch that does not bear fruit will be taken away by the Gardener. The prayer often on my lips in times like these is: “Thy kingdom come! Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God is at work clearing away what needs to be cleared away so that the voices of his children who have been marginalized and suffered devastating losses can be heard. We need to have the courage to enter into the stories of those who have suffered at the hands of others. I must admit, about some of these situations I knew nothing until I started reading, inquiring, listening. Even a 30 minute tour around the internet can help us hear their voices. Thy kingdom come means that we stand up to hear all these voices and allow the kingdom which is beyond the smallness of our hearts to break open the hold that evil has on us.
  3. We are invited to remain in Jesus as he desires to remain in us. To abide, to be joined to him. To have a sustained union, a steadfast and enduring communion with the Vine. For those who abide in Christ as branches on the Vine there is the promise that they can ask what they will and it will be done for them. I believe this is because the branches that are receiving nourishment from the Vine are of one heart and mind with Jesus. What they ask for the world comes from the heart and interests and desires of Jesus that all be saved, that all be healed, that all be made whole, that all be one.

Through the Liturgy the broken life of this world is brought, in Christ and by Christ, into the dimension of the Kingdom of God. The Mass is the Heart of a world in pain, the seed of Joy, the manifestation of the mystery of God’s presence and action. It is in the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice that the world as it isdivided, torn, broken apart with anger and shadowed in fearis brought to God. For it was for this world that God’s Son, his only Son, gave his life. And so will I.

Image Credit: Dulce Maria via Cathopic

Meditation for Corpus Christi

O Eucharistic heart of Jesus,

In you I find hope and freedom, truth and belonging, forgiveness and healing, friendship and mercy and life!

In your Eucharistic heart, O Jesus Christ, I experience the greatest love. You make me worthy of love, you make me capable of loving others as you have loved me.

O Jesus, in the Eucharist you rescue me from despair by attaching me to yourself, the Source of all Life. Without you I can do nothing (John 15:5).