Jesus helps us make room in our hearts to love freely and generously
by Sister Donna Koch
As I read the Scripture for Sunday and this coming week I could not help but notice the amazing guides and example we have in the lives of the saints and angels we will be celebrating. The readings of Sunday prepare us for what is to come.
We are asked to trust the Spirit at work in the lives of those around us. Being judgmental of others can lead to resentment and jealousy. In the words of the Psalmist, “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.” Hardness of heart will reject truth in the face of evidence. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is the heart. The healing medicine of the Cross helps us release those negative attitudes, prejudices, resentments, selfish actions and judgments that we have allowed to rule our lives. It also helps us release those we have held hostage in our heart.
God refreshes, is truthful, is just and helps us reach out to the poor and fearful, the lonely and the broken-hearted.
The Spirit leads us with wisdom, anoints us, heals us and sends us forth with angels and archangels as companions on the journey. This week we might ponder:
- What is the Spirit saying as I listen to the murmur of my heart?
- What companions have helped me heal and experience God’s love?
- How is the Spirit leading me?
"Hardness of heart rejects truth." This surely is a calling for us to become ever-more creative, sensitive, holistic in our work to "reach the heart" in non-threatening, non-judgmental way. If we learn to share from our hearts, stories of our own conversion to "Love-of-God," experiences of inner-repentance, and the changed behaviors that came because of G O D's work-of-grace within us, surely this is what the gospel calls us to.
"THANK YOU" so much, Sr. Donna, for offering us this message of 'eternal truth.' Surely, Francis of Assisi is an excellent role model for each and all of us when it comes to 'showing us' what inner repentance and conversion look like. And also to know that this is a life-long process, not a one-time event.
Francis, once "taken up in the Love of God," could never be complacent about his continued growth -- and depth -- of knowing and living G O D's Love. We are to do likewise.
Responding to your second question, "companions" who have "helped me heal and experience G O D's Love," I specifically think of Sr. Therese Evans, who was a friend of Fr. Chester Cappucci, O.M.I., who was co-pastor @ St. John the Baptist Parish, Howard, in the late '70's - early '80's. Sr. Therese was a very gifted woman who had developed a Healing Retreat called, "Creative Christian Living." Fr. Chester invited Sr. Therese to facilitate this life-changing retreat at our parish. The entire experience was a true blessing.
I also think of the other Oblates at St. John's, and in a specific way, Fr. Mac, who brought T.E.C., Teens Encounter Christ to the Diocese of Green Bay. My experience of the T.E.C. Retreat in July, 1980, was also very life-changing, life-affirming ..... and it was a good follow-up to what I had experience in the Creative Christian Living Retreat.