Many, many years ago, when I was a novice, our novice directress decided to take a day off. She asked us to pack up a picnic basket and blankets and enjoy the day outside.
We left the Motherhouse, journeyed to the other side of our property, spread out the blankets and enjoyed cheese, crackers and grapes. I noticed that one of the novices peeled her grapes before she ate them. Quite naïvely I asked, “Is that a Vietnamese custom?” She laughed and said, “No, I do this for two reasons. I dislike the bitter taste of the skins and, for, well, a spiritual reason!” She held up a skinless grape and continued, “See this grape? Look through its flesh and you can view the seed in the middle of it. Suppose that the seed was alive. It would only know the reality of its existence as far as it could ‘see,’ which wouldn’t be far because it was in complete darkness before it was peeled. By taking off the skin, it experiences a new reality – one that has not only light but shape.” “O-kaay,” I answered. She went on, “The skin represents our sinfulness and imperfections. Through the grace of God, sin and imperfections are peeled away, giving us a new existence and a new perspective. The exposed meat of the grape represents the virtues, particularly humility and trust.”