This morning I picked up the 33 day consecration to Mary and read the next chapter. It began something like this:
‘What if you look at a crucifix and feel such little love and are barely moved at all …’
Or worse still if you look at a cross and feel absolutely nothing and maybe even hatred and disgust…
It goes onto explain that if that be the case then you are coming face to face with the hardness of your heart.
Now let’s be careful, this isn’t in an accusing way. Between life hurts and the effects of original sin we are all suffering from this disease to a point.
So what to do?
Well you see to our modern society a hard heart seems like quite a good thing. Many very successful business people ‘harden up’ and their ruthless attitude generates lots of worldly success just like their father, the devil!
How many times are children told to ‘harden up’ because having a soft sensitive heart is seen as a major weakness.
And yet Jesus is calling us to have sensitive hearts that are sensitive to the suffering of the world and of Jesus.
It takes enormous strength to have a soft heart and to actually live one’s sensitivity. To feel the pain rather than to run away, to cry those tears rather than cover over it, to reach out in love to hurting communities rather than hide away in indifference, to speak up for justice rather than ignore it….
Yes, the strength of the Holy Spirit comes to us through our soft and Jesus’ like hearts and not through ‘business like hearts’ of stone.
Of course it is a great challenge to keep our hearts open even when we get hurt, ignored, ridiculed, misunderstood and abused and the only way we can do this is through prayer.
Prayer is where we find the strength to overcome the pain, prayer is where suffering becomes sweet, where we become selfless rather than selfish and Jesus offers us His mother Mary to help us.
He desires us to unite our hearts to hers and that she in turn will heal them, strengthen them and transform them into healthy hearts of supernatural love.
This process doesn’t happen passively but rather it occurs actively as Our Lady teaches us how to pray, how to use the sacraments, how to forgive ….
It requires commitment and daily dedication and to ignore this calling and not to continuously work on your heart is a very gross and serious omission. The christian journey is not easy, Our Lady’s job is not easy, sanctification is not easy and yet, it is what it is!
And so today in the midst of all the indifference and hardness of heart, let us be lights of hope and let us not fall into the trap of indifference.
May the Holy Spirit give us the strength in our hearts to deal with the pains of this world and may we never be tempted to close and harden our hearts.
May we be Our Lady’s apostles of love and prayer and may we teach others to pray and remind them of the very great responsibility it is to be a catholic.
Have a prayerful day and may we bring love, joy, hope and consolation to Jesus and Mary today and our fellow brothers and sisters.