Vineyards

by Melodius Monk

Every October grape harvesting happens at the friary. A familiar smell fills the basement as the grapes are carried in, stomped, then processed to make our wine for Communion. Much work has gone into growing the grapes. In fact, a whole year’s work of pruning, fertilizing, spraying, suckering, watering, netting, and other tasks which culminate in a few days of picking and processing the fruit! Bad weather these last weeks, greedy birds, or a slip-up from a novice vineyard assistant are a few ways to ruin a year’s hard work. 

After helping harvest our grapes this week, I started thinking that this wine-making venture is similar to following God. There’s no good wine without risk and hard work. But there’s also a large element of trust: trust in the weather — something way out of our control. Throughout my life I’ve had many examples of God’s blessing and watch-care over me. Still, I’m not certain that a new venture I am starting today will be okay, especially a whole year from now. I worry about the risk, the uncertainties, the necessary work. So, like the process of growing grapes, I ask for the grace to trust Him who does have it all in control.

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About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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