I have discovered that everything comes from the heart because it is the heart which guides our thoughts, body, and tongue.
Since I live in one of the states that are in lockdown, everything is closed but essential services. I went to Adoration and Mass last week and one hour after, it was announced they will not have public Mass. At the end of that same week, I took advantage of Adoration and Confession, then one hour later our churches were closed and no confession offered.
This crisis is turning out to be a blessing for me in my personal and spiritual life. A couple of weeks before Lent started, God asked me to get on my knees and to go deeper with Him in prayer and begin my penance and sacrifice early. I started a 54-day novena and was preparing for what I thought was going to be a very busy Lenten Season glorifying the Lord by speaking at conferences, events, leading retreats and parish missions. But as you know, it all came to a screeching halt.
Give Me A Pure Heart, Lord
A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:12).
During that time, the readings were screaming at me, everything pointed at my heart. If I have a pure, clean, contrite and humble heart then everything else will follow. I was feeling God pull me toward Him and desire my heart through deep Christian meditative prayer more than my Lenten sacrifice.
A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn (Psalm 51:18-19).
Through prayer, He gave me my Lenten sacrifice which was some intense bodily mortification. I embrace the feeling of hunger as I offer it up to Him for my love of Him. In light of the lockdown, I feel Him calling me to hunger for Him through the sacraments. With no Mass, Eucharist, Adoration or Confession, I am offering up my heart to Him and asking Him to purify and transform me through this sacrifice as well as through my mortification. I have been called to seek more on suffering for my sanctification and to help save other souls.
Every year I watch The Passion of the Christ and this year I watched it on the third day of Lent. I was so moved by the scene where Jesus picked up the Cross so lovingly as the bad thief mocked Him for doing so. I began to delve into mystics and saints amazed at how much they loved Jesus and the spiritual, physical and supernatural love affair they developed with Him. I was in awe by the victim souls who suffered so much to repent for sinners and their pure love of Jesus.
The Heart Is Love
But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their HEARTS, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile ( Mark 7:20-23).
I continue to pray for my heart to be pure. I have seen the fruits of this prayer in my thoughts and my words. I seek mental prayer like I never have before. It’s my time to love God more as I receive His answers and His peace. My mental prayer time is lifting my head and heart to God in love. St. Therese of Avila says, “Prayer is not in thinking much, but in loving much.”
Let’s all pray for a pure, clean, contrite and humble heart in order to love God the way He asks us to and to love others as is written in the two greatest commandments.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things ( 1Cor 13:1-7).
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1Cor 13:13).
Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Love
If you are like me, you may feel as if you are in the desert with no Mass or Sacraments not to mention the cancellations of the events you were looking forward to attending. We thirst even more now for faith, hope and love.
There is some water for you in this desert! There is an online Catholic Conference which I was asked to speak at this Saturday, March 28th. “Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Love” is an all-day conference packed with inspirational speakers, music, prayer ending with a live Mass streamed by the Bishop in Buffalo. It’s all online and can be watched on any device.
I have a special discount for you! Please use promo code KENDRA when you register online for this discount. Don’t worry if you cannot watch all of it live. When you register you will have access to watch it On Demand. Please pass along to your friends and family who are also thirsting for some spiritual enlightenment and inspiration. My talk will be, “If I Have Not Love, I Am Nothing” – click here for the rest of the agenda. I hope you join us on Saturday.
I pray you continue to love the Lord in these times and go deeper in prayer and sacrifice. He brings good always. Ask for Him to help you love Him more – everything else will follow. Have a blessed and inspired day.