Reflection by Aidan Troy, C.P.
I am not a surgeon, a doctor or a scientist who knows in detail the workings of the human body. According to God’s revealed word at Mass today, there is a direct link between the heart and the mouth, or more precisely, our speech. What is in my heart is expressed by what I say and how I say it. When I talk, I take you on a guided tour of my heart and let you know something of what I carry in my heart.
The heart is essential for life and survival. A new born baby in an incubator will put up a great fight for life and survival. At the other end of life, many times I have seen the final breath and word of a person going to God.
A person can be extremely shy and keep their heart under lock and key. Yet, when they speak, a glimpse of the heart is given. You catch sight of another, just as an x-ray reveals the state of lungs or internal organs. There are wonderful people whom we only come to know when they engage with us.
God gives us our heart. God gives us the power to love. What we do with our hearts is up to us. It is suggested that the slight indent in the side of the heart, shows that God keeps in Heaven a tiny part of our heart. This allows us to feel a link with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our heart beats in rhythm of His.
Every morning the Prayer of the Church gives us Psalm 95(94) to pray. I love this Psalm and it speaks to my heart. “O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the desert, when your fathers put me to the test, when they tried me though they saw my work. For forty years I was wearied of these people and said, ‘their hearts are astray; these people do not know my ways.’ Then I made an oath in my anger, never shall they enter my rest.”
To pray this psalm every day, reminds us of the gift of love received from God. God lives in our hearts and gives us His Word. But all does not work out as God would want.
It breaks my heart to hear time after time of the betrayal of the heart of love for a heart of lust, a heart corrupted by power, a heart that destroys innocent lives. This happening anywhere cries out to God with the tears of the innocent. For this to happen within the Body of Christ, is sinful, sacrilegious and criminal. It was never meant to be like this. Personally, I am devastated at some of the recent revelations at the ‘highest’ level of our church. The fruit of the heart must be good and not rotten.
Even when I am lost to know how we have reached this terrible state, I must never forget that I must take the plank out of my own eye before I try to take a splinter out of yours. When I don’t, Jesus gives me a name – ‘Hypocrite!’ This does not mean that I remain silent in the face of evil, but that I realise that I too am fragile and in need of God’s grace.
To know myself is essential to holiness. To become the saint that I am created to be, the starting point has to be self-awareness and truth. A prayer that helps me is to ask Jesus to open my eyes to my own heart and its way of loving or lack of loving. In His healing of blind people, Jesus gives us the reminder that He will help open our eyes and see with love. He is by my side and protects me as soon as I reach out to Him. His heart never stops beating with love for us.
The first reading today from Ecclesiasticus we hear, ‘The test of a person is in his conversation.’ In February, we had the 2nd of our conversations at which our Passionist Provincial was present. This type of exchange helps us grow in mutual understanding and awareness of issues on both sides of the conversation. But there must come a time, even while the talking continues, when action must follow. We are in urgent need of some action as this year we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of our beloved St Joseph’s.
The hope given us by St Paul is strong – ‘never admit defeat.’ I’ll pray about this!