Saturday, December 05, 2015

Yes, Make a Palace in My Heart

By Beth DeCristofaro

John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. (Luke 3:2-4)

Lord Jesus, during this holy season, may I focus on the journey to Bethlehem for your birth so that you may help me prepare myself that you may make a palace in my heart. (Paraphrased from St. Therese of Lisieux)

In His Apostolic Exhortation, EVANGELII GAUDIUM, Pope Francis might have been speaking directly about the holiday season as we know it in the USA.  In the second paragraph he says:  “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good deeds fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.”[i]

Ironic that this holy time of year is a time of such great distraction – a shrine to consumerism rather than divine new potentialities.  St. Therese recognized that Jesus longs to be born anew within each one of us.  All too often, however, we sell ourselves and those we love short by looking only at the trimmings (glittery as they are) and striving for the perfect gift rather than being the perfect gift for Him.

In what ways might we take John’s words to heart and explore the wilderness within to make straight the path of the Lord?  Take advantage of Cursillo, your parish, spiritual direction, the sacraments that with His help you may do the hard work of tidying the corridors and scraping the splattering’s off the walls of our own hearts and minds so that Jesus might be born anew within our own souls. 

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