Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Heart hearts and hard times

The world is in one hell of a mess!  It is a real challenge to read a newspaper or watch TV or radio news without falling into a pit of despair.  The other day Pope Francis said something which made me think about the reasons behind the dire state of the world. It was in his homily on the story of Saul and David (see here) The Pope

May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.

Hard hearts  or cold hearts or hearts  of stone are one of the the main concerns of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Modern men and  women have closed their hearts to God. Without hearts open to the love of God and lives open to the Holy Spirit there is little hope for humanity.

Pope Francis's words prompted me to think of stone and why scripture refers to hearts of stone.  And this in turn prompted me to think ( of all things) about those lines in the film the Godfather III. As I live near the coast I spend a fair amount of time looking into pebble filled pools, and the words of Cardinal Lamberto  sometimes comes to mind -  when he picks up a stone from a fountain and  says :
' Look at this stone. It has been lying in the water for a very long time, but the water has not penetrated it.” He gives the stone a sharp blow and splits it in two.  Showing it to  Don Michael he observes, “Look. Perfectly dry. The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated. Christ doesn’t breathe within them.” View here.

And that is the sadness of it all.  Like the stones in water, human beings in the West have been surrounded by the living waters of Christ, but they have not been penetrated by it.  Their hearts are dry, hard and closed.  Is it any wonder that the world is in such a mess? The devotion to the Sacred Heart is more important to the future of humanity than we can really understand. The only hope for our planet is that we can open our hearts and allow God's spirit to penetrate us and breathe fire into us.

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