And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear. Mark 4:8-9
I recently read The Sign of Jonah by Lucy Patier. It is a prophetic book about what will happen to the church in the future. It mirrors what God tells me in prayer except it has more detail. What God revealed to her is written so beautifully to me. I will pause here and say that save for my Spiritual Director I don’t tell too many people what God shows me in prayer unless God compels me to. The reason I don’t is three fold. First, sometimes what is shown to me is just specifically for me. But beyond that, when it comes to the prophetic gift, I find it hard to articulate what God tells me. It is sometimes “apocalyptic” and though for me, I do not get any anxiety when God shows me something because He shows it to me as a Divine Love Story, I have in the past tried to explain it to some people and it seems it can induce anxiety in them. The spirit of fear is everywhere. The other reason I do not write it for all to read is because I am a mere human trying to interpret what an overwhelming and enormous God is showing me. I am often wrong about the way I interpret something, but what is shown to me is true. A friend once told me, you don’t have to be right, just be true. I have taken that to heart. I limit what I post out here to that which calls you back to God. To steering yourself towards unity with God. Anyway, back to Lucy’s book, it is a depiction of the future and a road map of what our homes should look like in those times using the analogy of a heart.
After reading it, I started to meditate on what she wrote and pray about it. I spoke with my friend Ashley. And it seemed to me, that this roadmap of the future times was not actually something that we had to wait to do. It is a roadmap of spiritual maturity. What do I mean by that? It is actually how to cultivate hearts in rich soil, so that the message of the Gospel becomes our way of life. You see, no matter what happens in the future, really what this roadmap does is beckon us to unity with God and following it will actually banish the spirit of fear, so that no matter what happens, you can say with confidence, “Jesus I trust in you.”
I will focus on Lucy’s analogy of the chambers of the heart and expound on it. This should be the model for families, for parishes and for communities. Learning this and living this way can change the world we live in.
The heart is the lifeblood of any body. This includes the Mystical Body of Christ. For the Mystical Body to work in unison as a life giving body, it must be fed from the Heart of God and therefore become a reflection of the Heart of God. With this in mind I would like to outline how the journey through the heart of God will transform lives.
A heart has four chambers, each doing its part. The Right Atrium of the heart receives oxygen-poor blood. We will call this chamber the Chamber of the Holy Spirit. The right ventricle is how the blood is sent out to the lungs in order to be reoxygenated. We will call this chamber the Chamber of God the Father. The left atrium is the where the reoxygenated blood is received back into the heart as the holding chamber that then gives it forward. We will call this chamber the Chamber of God the Son. The left ventricle is how the blood is sent back out to the rest of the body to give it life. We will call this the chamber of the Mary the Mother of God.
CHAMBER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Prayer)
Just as the heart receives the oxygen poor blood, this chamber will be the place where healing and restoration begin. This is the place that is the field hospital for sinners and should be emphasized as the welcoming place. The main purpose of this chamber is to facilitate the encounter with God. The person is received as they are and they are ministered to with healing, deliverance, and restoration in mind. In this place a person received should not be given condemnation and judgement for where they are, otherwise they feel the same rejection that probably led them to a life of sin in the first place.
The Holy Spirit is emphasized in this chamber. We want people to help people recognize and embrace their Baptismal Promises and the gifts they have received from the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
We should offer meditation on God’s love and mercy for us, through an emphasis on deliverance ministry and Eucharistic Adoration. This chamber is the place of Mercy and Forgiveness, so Confession should be greatly encouraged. This is a place where you are received and you encounter God. The key for us is to not stay stuck here, where we only receive or seek good feeling. We need to take the encounter, the personal encounter and move forward.
The goal of this chamber is to Experience God. To experience the real presence of the Holy Spirit. Prayer and discipleship should be the focus of this chamber because prayer unites us with God. It is important that they understand that God is there and has always been there. That God is the perpetual giver and it is we who are to learn how to receive what he is offering us in every moment of every day.
In this chamber people should be taught how to pray with the goal of understanding God’s undying love so we will desire conversion of heart, which will be a movement to the next chamber.
CHAMBER OF GOD THE FATHER (Scripture)
The next chamber of the heart is the right ventricle. The right atrium (1st chamber) pumps the oxygen poor blood into the right ventricle (2nd chamber) which pumps blood to the lungs. This gives the breath of Life where oxygen is received. This is where people come to KNOW GOD. They understand that they are a loving child of a Good Father. Sons and Daughters of a King. This is where spiritual growth really begins to blossom and can grow because rich soil was cultivated in the Chamber of the Holy Spirit through prayer. This is where real catechesis begins. Instructing ourselves and others on how to be ambassadors of the King. Education is Key. Reading Scripture, making your home a hearth and a refuge of God. Truth of the goodness of the church’s teachings are revealed. The grace of our faith emphasized. Reading the bible in Lectio Divina style as the WORD is primary here. Cultivating spiritual friendships and living the example of the Domestic church where family life in God is emphasized.
This chamber is focused catechesis and the rich theology that the Catholic Church provides for all of its members. Emphasis is placed on studying and learning the faith both through the Word of God in Scripture and through the Traditions of the Church.
We want to enhance the experience of God from the first chamber with the Knowledge and Wisdom of God. To help people understand that God is a good Father who wants to prosper them and not harm them, and that the church is a gift where faith and reason coincide in harmony.
The reception of God’s love, here in the first two chambers lead us even deeper to the next chambers.
CHAMBER OF GOD THE SON (Sacraments)
The next chamber of the heart is the left atrium. This chamber receives oxygen RICH blood from the lungs. This is the Chamber of God the Son. This is where the Light and Truth of Christ is emphasized. This is the Chamber of THE SACRAMENTS and the SACRAMENTAL LIFE. Because people will have passed through the first two chambers this will no longer be a “going through the motions” area. It will be where life is FULLY LIVED. Having been received and coming to know GOD through prayer and HIS WORD, this is where we see real spiritual maturity.
It is here that the laity embraces our roles as Priest, Prophet and King. This role enhances community and is built around the community.
We also will build up our Priests and their Priestly mission. Rather than having our Priests be over taxed, we the laity can begin support, pray for and fill up our Priests with joy so the relationship becomes reciprocal. They feed us Christ’s BODY, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY. We are turning into living Sanctuaries that having passed through the other chambers, know how to receive and become the Light of Christ and do not fear proclaiming the truth of Christ.
Priests can have their cup filled so that they can share it with their faithful – praying and making reparation for sinners – Devotions can take place – Liturgy fills our cup with the grace of the Sacraments what is Holy and Sacred comes alive in this chamber.
This chamber is where we become living Sanctuaries of God through emphasis on the Sacraments and through proper liturgical norms as prescribed by the church which is rich with meaning and beauty.
CHAMBER OF MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD (Service)
The final Chamber of the Heart is the Left Ventricle. This chamber pumps oxygen rich blood to the rest of the Body. It is for this reason this is the Chamber of Service. When someone has cultivated their spiritual life through prayer, the word and the Sacraments, they are then able to become a GIVER. They are able to say yes to what God has asked of them. Our Lady embodies this. Her union with God came first, so her yes, her FIAT became complete service of God. They become a light of Truth to the World because their service is the service God has actually called them to and is borne out of love of God, thus fulfilling His mission and bringing HIS LIGHT, LOVE and TRUTH to the world.
Many times we see this area emphasized first, encouraging service but without the foundation of the other chambers. It is important to emphasize the other chambers so that when service takes place it is not from a secularized stand point, but a Godly one. When we serve based on knowing God’s will for us, we “set the world on fire” as Saint Catherine of Siena stated.
It is here that the virtues of humility, obedience, and purity should be emphasized. Compassion as a grace received and gifted to others. Consecration to Our Lady should also fall under this chamber. This is where we reach out in the way that God has actually called us.
The goal is to bring the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to the Community at large but in a way that truly brings the will of God to people.
In many Eucharistic Miracles it is the heart muscle that has been found by scientists, because it is the heart that brings life to the Body. The Human DNA of Jesus came totally from Mary, so it makes sense for her to be in the Heart of God.
If we stay stuck in only receiving and trying to gain the “spiritual experience” we don’t mature in our faith. We have to get to the place where it no longer becomes about us receiving, but it moves to us GIVING, like Mary did, in total obedience to the Lord.
We are in tumultuous times. The church is at risk of schism. The church is riddled with sin. Align your heart with the heart of God. This is how we prepare for these times.
When your heart is aligned with God’s heart you can trust and be so secure that you will need nothing else, especially no worry of tomorrow.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them. Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere. ” Luke 9:1-6