Our hearts were made to be full of love. Our hearts were made to love fully.
As it says in the beginning of Genesis 1:26, “Then God said: Let us make men in our image, after our likeness.” It would reason to seem that our hearts would too be made in the image and likeness of the heart of He who made us. I don’t know about you (but I’m feeling 22…just kidding) but my heart is far from perfect. It doesn’t exude charity at all times and it definitely doesn’t make sacrifices as the heart of our Lord does daily. It should though.
In the last few months I have come to the conclusion in prayer that my vocation first and foremost is “the universal call to holiness”, however as a Catholic I have heard this phrase over and over and I think it doesn’t carry with it the weight that our true calling carries. I was thinking what phrase would exude my true understanding of this universal call and I think, “we have a call to be beaten down daily for the love of the cross, that our will may be perfectly united in the sacrificial love of GOD who died for each and every one of us,” has a much better ring to it. That’s how I feel anyway. Whenever I struggle and I bring that to the suffering of Christ crucified my heart ignites with love. However, when I start to question why I am struggling, AKA bring about contempt for said suffering, my heart starts to cool. The coldness of Christian’s hearts, I believe, is one of, if not the worst plague that can hit the Church. As sad as it is for me to admit, I have been a part of that plague and I think if push came to shove most of you reading this would have to admit your own struggle with being a part of the cold heart’s club. Daily I get up and I ask Mary to let my heart beat in unison with her Son’s. Some days it does and I can look around and have no problem in proclaiming that today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it; other days however, it seems it is easier to say this is the day the Lord has made, when is Friday?
In answer to this struggle the Lord has been posing the question to me lately, why do I do the things that I do? I’ve been applying that question to every aspect of my life and I’ve come up with a few answers that are good and holy and other answers that are grounded in laziness and pride.
The lesson the Lord has taught me through my asking this question, is that my actions must always be for a purpose, and a good purpose at that. I’m a cradle Catholic, I pray, that’s what I do. Why though? I have forced myself to dig deep and ask, what is the purpose of my going to the Lord? Is it obligation? Is it tradition? Yes and yes but even more than that, it is because I was made for perfect love, to be loved perfectly and to love perfectly. That is why I pray. That is why I fast. That is why I get out of bed in the morning. Before I go to bed I do an examination of conscience and I ask of every happening of that day, did I do that out of love? Sometimes I receive great joy that the Lord helped me to love in that time but other times I can see that I didn’t do said action for love’s sake but for something more selfish. In that I learn how to improve daily, to be a “better version” of myself tomorrow than today.
It’s getting to the point in the semester where I can either, lose sight of the goal and let my heart cool, or I can tighten up on my attitude, that the goal may be the shining light that guides my path and warms my heart. The choice is mine; God loves me enough to give me that choice. The choice is yours too; I warn you though, it is much harder to be you when you extinguish the flame that lights your heart. Don’t be afraid to analyze your daily actions for why you do them. The answer should be that we do everything for the greater glory of God.
At the end of this semester, this year, my seminary studies, my life I hope to be able to pray 2 Timothy 4:7 with my whole heart.
“I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
My dear brothers and sisters, when the going gets tough get jacked because it’s another opportunity to give everything. There is no greater feeling than being poured out as a libation. When the Lord was emptied He gave the most. Let us be empty that we may fill the world with love.