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Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

“You will never love enough”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/06/23 at 12:00 AM
No matter how much you may love, you will never love enough. The human heart is endowed with an enormous coefficient of expansion. When it loves, it opens out in a crescendo of affection that overcomes all barriers. If you love Our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart. (Way of the Cross, 8th Station, 5)

Let us now consider the Master and his disciples gathered together in the intimacy of the Upper Room. The time of his Passion is drawing close and he is surrounded by those he loves. The fire in the Heart of Christ bursts into flame in a way no words can express and he confides in them, ‘I give you a new commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

Lord, why do you call it a new commandment? As we have just heard, it was already laid down in the Old Testament that we should love our neighbour. You will remember also that, when Jesus had scarcely begun his public life, he broadened the scope of this law with divine generosity: ‘You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute and slander you.’

But, Lord, please allow us to insist. Why do you still call this precept new? That night, just a few hours before offering yourself in sacrifice on the Cross, during your intimate conversation with the men who — in spite of being weak and wretched, like ourselves — accompanied you to Jerusalem, you revealed to us the standard for our charity, one we could never have suspected: ‘as I have loved you’. How well the apostles must have understood you, having witnessed for themselves your unbounded love.

If we profess the same faith and are really eager to follow in the clear footprints left by Christ when he walked on this earth, we cannot be content merely with avoiding doing unto others the evil that we would not have them do unto us. That is a lot, but it is still very little when we consider that our love is to be measured in terms of Jesus’ own conduct. Besides, he does not give us this standard as a distant target, as a crowning point of a whole lifetime of struggle. It is — it ought to be, I repeat so that you may turn it into specific resolutions — the starting point, for Our Lord presents it as a sign of Christianity: ‘By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.’ (Friends of God, 222-223)

“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/04/25 at 12:00 AM
The heart has been created to love, do not doubt it. Let us therefore bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into the love that we feel. Otherwise, the empty heart takes revenge and fills itself up with the most despicable vileness. (Furrow, 800)

How are we to approach Jesus, what are we to say, how should we behave?

Christian life is not made up of rigid norms, because the Holy Spirit does not guide souls collectively, but inspires each one with resolutions, inspirations and affections that will help it to recognize and fulfil the will of the Father. Still, I feel that, on many occasions, the central theme of our conversation with Christ, in our thanksgiving after holy Mass, can be the consideration that our Lord is our king, physician, teacher and friend.

He is our physician, and he heals our selfishness, if we let his grace penetrate to the depths of our soul. Jesus has taught us that the worst sickness is hypocrisy, the pride that leads us to hide our own sins. We have to be totally sincere with him. We have to tell the whole truth, and then we have to say: “Lord, if you will” — and you are always willing — ”you can make me clean.” You know my weaknesses; I feel these symptoms; I suffer from these failings. We show him the wound, with simplicity, and if the wound is festering, we show the pus too. Lord, you have cured so many souls; help me to recognize you as the divine physician, when I have you in my heart or when I contemplate your presence in the tabernacle. (Christ is passing by, 92-93)

“Where is he that is born king?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/03 at 12:00 AM
Humility is another good way to arrive at interior peace. He has said so: ‘Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls.’ (The Way, 607)

Where is he that is born king of the Jews?

Moved by this question, I too now contemplate Jesus “lying in a manger,” in a place fit only for animals. Lord, where is your kingship, your crown, your sword, your sceptre? They are his by right, but he does not want them. He reigns wrapped in swaddling clothes. Our king is unadorned. He comes to us as a defenseless little child. Can we help but recall the words of the Apostle: He emptied himself, taking the nature of a slave?

Our Lord became man to teach us the Father’s will. And this he is already doing as he lies there in the manger. Jesus Christ is seeking us — with a call which is a vocation to sanctity — so that we may carry out the redemption with him. Let us reflect on this first lesson of his. We are to co‑redeem, by striving to triumph not over our neighbour, but over ourselves. Like Christ we need to empty ourselves, to consider ourselves as the servants of others, and so to bring them to God.

Where is the king? Could it be that Jesus wants to reign above all in men’s hearts, in your heart? That is why he has become a child, for who can help loving a little baby? Where then is the king? Where is the Christ whom the Holy Spirit wants to fashion in our souls? He cannot be present in the pride that separates us from God, nor in the lack of charity which cuts us off from others. Christ cannot be there. In that loveless state man is left alone.

As you kneel at the feet of the child Jesus on the day of his Epiphany and see him a king bearing none of the outward signs of royalty, you can tell him: “Lord, take away my pride; crush my self‑love, my desire to affirm myself and impose myself on others. Make the foundation of my personality my identification with you.” (Christ is passing by, 31

“Giving is a vital need for those in love.”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/03 at 12:00 AM
Your talents, your personality, your opportunities… are being wasted: you are not allowed to make full use of them. Meditate well these words of a spiritual writer: ‘The incense offered to God is not wasted. Our Lord is more honoured by the immolation of your talents than by the vain use of them.’ (The Way, 684)

Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Let us pause here a while to understand this passage of the holy Gospel. How is it possible that we, who are nothing and worth nothing, can make an offering to God? We read in the Scriptures: “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above” [1]. Man does not even manage to discover fully the depth and beauty of the Lord’s gifts. “If you knew the gift of God!” [2] Jesus exclaims to the Samaritan woman. Jesus Christ has taught us to expect everything from the Father and to seek first of all the kingdom of God and his justice, and everything else will be given to us in addition, for he knows well what we need.

In the economy of salvation our Father looks after each soul with loving care: Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. It would, therefore, seem useless to be concerned about presenting to the Lord something that he has no need of. As debtors who have nothing with which to pay, our gifts would be like those of the old law that are no longer acceptable to God: Sacrifices and oblations and holocausts for sin you have not desired: neither are they pleasing to you.

But the Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: My son, give me your heart. Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It’s not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord. (Christ is passing by, 35)

[1] Jas 1:17
[2] John 4:10

Render Your Hearts and Not Your Clothing

In Uncategorized on 2013/03/19 at 11:18 AM
To the priests, consecrated men and women, and the laity of the Archdiocese [of Buenos Aires].

Rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and rich in mercy.

Little by little we have become accustomed to hearing and seeing—through the media of communication—the often unhappy and even depressing news stories about contemporary society. These are presented at times with an almost perverse joy, and we have grown accustomed to touching it and feeling it both around us and in our very flesh. This drama unfolds on the streets, in our neighborhoods, in our homes, so why not in our hearts as well? We coexist with a violence that kills, destroys families, and stirs up wars and conflicts in so many countries in our world. We live with envy, hatred, calumny, and a certain mundane-ness in our hearts. The suffering of the innocent and the peaceful never lets up; a blatant disrespect of the rights of both individual persons and groups of the most fragile is not distant; the money-making empire with its demonic effects like drugs, corruption, the ill treatment of people—including children—joined with material and moral misery have become today’s currency. The destruction of dignified work, painful emigrations and the absence of a clear future have also united themselves to this symphony. Our errors and sins as Church are also not outside this great panorama. The most selfish personal reasons—not in  any way the smallest of offenses—, the lack of ethical values in society that has spread to families, to those living together in neighborhoods, towns and cities, these all speak to us of our limitations, of our weaknesses, and of our incapacity of transforming this innumerable list of destructive realities.

The trap of powerlessness leads us to think: Does it make any sense to try to change all this? Can we do anything as we face this situation? Is it worth trying to change if the world continues its carnival-like dance, masking everything for a while? Nevertheless, when the mask falls, truth appears and, although it may sound anachronistic to many, what re-appears is sin, a sin that wounds our flesh with all its destructive force twisting the destinies of the world and of history.

Lent presents itself to us like a shout of truth and sure hope; it is in our best interest to respond “yes,” to say that it is possible to not disguise ourselves and draw plastic smiles on our faces as if everything was good. Yes, it is possible for things to be different and be made new because God continues being “rich in goodness and mercy, always ready to forgive” and he urges us to begin again and again. Today we are once again invited to undertake a paschal way to Life; a way that includes the cross and renunciation which may be uncomfortable but is not sterile. We are invited to recognize that something is not quite right in the way we are living, in society, or in the Church; we are invited to change, to turn around, to be converted.

On this day, the words of the prophet Joel are both strong and challenging. Rend your hearts, not your clothing: be converted to the Lord your God. These words are an invitation to the whole people of God, no one is excluded.

Rend your hearts and not the clothing of an artificial penance that has no guarantee for the future.

Rend your hearts and not your clothing of a formal fasting and a sense of fulfillment that will keep us satisfied.

Rend your hearts and not your clothing of superficial and selfish prayer that doesn’t reach the core of our life so that God can touch us.

Rend your hearts and not your clothing so as to say with the psalmist: “we have sinned.” “The wound of the soul is sin: Oh, poor wounded one, recognize your Doctor! Show him the wounds of your faults. And, since from Him our most secret thoughts cannot hide themselves, make the cry of your heart felt [to Him]. Move him to compassion with your tears, with your insistence beg him! Let Him hear your sighs, that your pain reaches Him so that, at the end, He can tell you: The Lord has forgiven your sins”(Saint Gregory the Great). This is the reality of our human condition. This is the truth that allows us to draw closer to authentic reconciliation…with God and with one another. It’s not about discrediting our self-esteem but about penetrating the depths of our heart and being responsible for the mystery of suffering  and pain that has bound us for centuries, for thousands of years… forever.

Rend your hearts so that through this crack we can truly see ourselves.

Rend your hearts, open your hears, because only in a heart that has been torn and opened can the merciful love of the Father, who calls us and heals us, enter.

Rend your hearts says the prophet, and Paul almost begs us “allow yourselves to be reconciled to God.” Changing our way of living is a sign and a fruit of this torn heart has been reconciled by a love that far surpasses what we know.

This is the invitation when we are faced with so many wounds that damage us and lead us to the temptation of hardening ourselves: Rend your hearts so as to experience in quiet and serene prayer the gentleness of God’s tenderness.

Rend your hearts so as to feel the echo of so many torn lives and so that indifference will not leave us sluggish.

Rend your hearts so as to be able to love with the love with which we are loved, to console as we have been consoled, and to share what we have received.

This liturgical time that the Church begins today [Ash Wednesday 2013] is not only for us as individuals but also for the transformation of our families, of our community, of our Church, of our country, of our entire world. These are forty days so that we may be converted to become more like God’s very holiness; that we might become collaborators who receive the grace and the possibility of reconstructing human life so that all people can experience the salvation Christ won for us with his death and resurrection.

Along with prayer and penance, as a sign of our faith in the Paschal mystery which transformed everything, we also dispose ourselves to begin as in years past our “Lenten gesture of solidarity.” As a Church in Buenos Aires that marches along to Easter and that believes that the Kingdom of God is possible we need that, from our hearts—torn by the desire for conversion and love—may blossom grace and effective gestures that will relieve the pain of so many brothers and sisters who walk with us. “No virtuous act is great if from it does not flow some benefit for others…Therefore, regardless of how much of your day is spent fasting, regardless of how hard the floor is you are choosing to sleep upon, how much ash you eat, and how much you sigh, if you are not doing good to others, you have done nothing great” (Saint John Chrysostom).

This Year of Faith is an opportunity given to us by God to grow and mature in our encounter with the Lord who is made visible in the suffering faces of so many children without a future, in the trembling hands of the forgotten elderly, and in the unsteady knees of so many families who keep giving their all without finding any support.

I wish you a holy Lent, and penitential and fruitful Lent and, please, I ask you to pray for me. May God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin take care of you.

Paternally,

Buenos Aires, February 13, 2013, Ash Wednesday

V Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, sj

Translated by Sr. Marlyn Evangelista Monge, fsp

A must see video by the Nobel Prize winner for the invention of the MRI

In 13 History on 2012/04/20 at 9:11 AM

CONCEPTION TO BIRTH

Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.  Tsairas is the Nobel Prize winner for the invention of the MRI.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=fKyljukBE70   

Posted with permission from © Creative Commons

 

After you have seen this superb video, please go to the categories of COLLEEN CARROL CAMPBELL  and  MARY SUMMA for more articles related to this topic.
Also, of interest: development of heart; complexity of brain.