The past several months have been a whirlwind of suffering, beauty and miracles. The Lord continues to purify. After moving my parents into my home because of my mom’s broken hip, and after recovering from COVID, I was able to go to the Easter Triduum. The Liturgy on Holy Thursday made me weep as the Priest washed the feet of 12 men in our parish. I felt spiritually protected in that moment as I remembered the closing of churches the previous year. I was just so grateful to be there.
At the Easter Vigil 9 people came into the church. Nine people who fought through restrictions and lockdowns just to be able to have the chance to join the church that Jesus left us, in all it’s mess, and to receive Christ in the Eucharist. The whole Easter Triduum just made me so thankful.
On Thursday I went to the old chapel to pray for the first time in a several weeks. I said my devotions and as I knelt to pray, I am ashamed to admit this, but I had the thought, “I wonder how many co-workers come in here and pray?” The Lord sharply rebuked me, “None of your business, and until you stop entertaining thoughts like this your heart will never be pure.”
And like he has before, he showed me the thoughts I entertain. I wept. I do not feel I can sufficiently explain the goodness of God and the darkness of our hearts.
Take captive every thought. 2 Corinthians 10:5
I reviewed all the times a politician made think I wanted to punch them in the face. A person on Facebook made me want to tell them they’re going to hell. A person on twitter made me want to call them a moron. I had deleted these accounts a couple of months ago, so as not to be tempted, but here I was in the chapel still comparing in a moment of pride.
Until you stop entertaining thoughts like this your heart will never be pure.
The place where God is, the place where he wants to take us, it contains no darkness, no snark, no animosity, no despair, no bitterness, no sin. It is a place of nothing but charity and mercy. It is a place of abundant life. There is no knowledge of evil. Heaven contains none. He wants His will on earth as it is in heaven. We live in a society that cannot even look at another person without trying to size up whether they are good enough to be in our tribe. But God says, what I made is good. Sin keeps us turning away. I cannot control whether other people’s hearts become pure, but I can allow God to purify my heart.
The Lord wants for us to want what he wants, that other souls be saved because saving means being surrounded by nothing but unconditional love. How many of us have just longed for that? It’s available, it’s feely offered, Love hung on a cross to die for us.
When we look down upon others in pride, or compare in envy, or just wish ill upon another, we are not loving like God loves. It’s impossible to love like that right?
With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
I looked up at the crucifix and told God I was sorry. I asked him to continue to purify my heart. I recognize that total surrender to the Lord of Lords will bring a Pentecost like we have never seen before.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
I realized that ever since I had shut down my social media accounts I have been happier. The anxiety I experience I am handing more quickly to God. It is almost as if our technological age has created a whirlwind of calumny, ridicule, gossip and hatred. A perfect storm to create a demonic frenzy. I have no doubt God will deal with this. I think many of us will be shocked when he shows us who we are.
I thought of the beautiful Beatitudes and how it is the pure of heart who see God. Like the Blessed Virgin who beheld the gaze of love staring at the Infant Jesus. The pure of heart see the good, want the good for others, and bring the good to the world. May Jesus and Mary teach us to have hearts like theirs so we can be light shining in the darkness.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. John 3:20