About our helplessness without Christ the Lord
“Because without me youcan do nothing” (St. John 15:5).
Our Lord did not have the habit of speaking in terms of exaggeration. No words in this world are weighed more than His words. When He says that we can do nothing without Him, then that must be taken and understood literally. Here, He speaks of good and not of evil. We can do no type of good work without Christ, aside from Christ and contrary to Christ. He is the proprietor, the giver and the inspirer for all good. No type of good stands outside Him, likewise no type of evil is contained in Him. Our Lord said, ” I am the Vine, you are the branches” (St. John 15:5). What can the branches do without the vine? Can they grow and bring forth fruit? No, they can do nothing but become firewood.
Man can think as hard as he wants, but he cannot conceive of one truthful good which is not in Christ and which does not stem from Christ. If someone were to say that he does good and humane works outside of Christ, you know that those, his works, are spoiled to the core and are corroded, be it from vanity or be it from hidden selfishness. Man, without Christ, is the same as branches without the vine. He Himself told us this. The vine is hidden and unseen, but the branches are seen. Nevertheless, the grapes on the branch and the branch itself depends on the vine. The vine of all-encompassing good grows from the heart of God the Father and is watered by the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. O Triune Lord God, have mercy on us and save us!