Thursday, March 7, 2013

Purity of Heart


In order to serve the Lord, we must have great purity of heart. 

Essentially, to know God's will our hearts must be clean and clear, able to see directly in the light of the Gospel. This does not happen over night, nor is it entirely our work. But we can set up structures to support the seed of holiness planted in our hearts.

Regular examination is key. Not neurotic navel-gazing, nor the narcissistic self-perfecting of our ego, it remains the sole means of clarifying our thinking. Quiet reflection on the grace of God in my today teaches me who I am and who he calls me to be.

It can degenerate. It can become destructive. But the power of self-knowledge empowers me to choose minute by minute to give my life over to God’s direction. 

The Holy Spirit then takes over the process. We cannot cleanse our hearts from the darkness that hides in the corners, behind the scenes, in the background. Only his light penetrating into every part of our lives can begin to illumine and then purify our hearts completely. 

Miserere nobis, Domine...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Taking God at his word



It seems that he means it.

God, if he is indeed God, cannot change, cannot lie - and, I'd be willing to bet, he doesn't even exaggerate. Well, I suppose that the Lord did, a bit, or used exaggerated language in order to get across some very serious points, but, in himself, I don't think he does.

So when he says he calls...he calls.

If the saints tell us that he chooses people, they mean real people, people who have a certain height, a certain hair color, noses and hands and fingers of a certain shape. People who like pizza - or don't. People who have amazing talents ... and equally amazing blind spots. In short, if God says he calls people, he calls people - real, live, flesh and blood people... like me, like you.

And we sort of cringe at that. "I'm not worthy." Check. "I've done stupid or sinful - in a really big way." Check. "I'm not holy enough." Check. "Who, ME?!?!?!" Check.

It's not about us. It's about him. He loves. You. Me. His Church. All the people of the world. He looks at individuals, real people, and just loves. And so he calls. We're NOT worthy, but that love loves us into worthiness, not because of any gifts or talents we already have, but out of the extreme prodigality of his gifts. Love makes worthy the beloved.

So, don't be afraid or balk or worry. Because yes, he is calling you to some great thing. What it is - well, figuring that out is discernment. The call is there, go for the gold.