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Confessing Your Heart

The associate priest at my parish dispenses the sacrament of Reconciliation, or better known as confession every second Saturday. He’s been pastoring at my parish for almost three years, normally it’s two years for the new priests, but sometimes they stay longer like three or four years. I was taught that it’s good to have a regular confessor to regularly hear your sins so the priest might be able to see certain paths that cause you to commit a particular sin. So when I go to confession, I make sure it’s the week that Fr. Bryan is celebrating Mass, which means he will be in the confessional from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Saturday afternoon.

Becoming acquainted with the language of your heart should be easy…right? Is riding a bicycle easy the first few times, not usually. I am trying to learn the ways of the heart, accepting what is in front of me and go! But sometimes I am left still watching everyone in front of me. Still trying to copy what they do, still not getting that the journey I am on is different. I might be similar, or have something in common with others.

Sometimes I don’t want to know what my heart or what the Lord wants of me. Inside of me, something is not right. Fear has leaked in, mixing in with peace and love. The tips of my toes wobble back and forth as something is played out in my mind. Am I ready to run or am I steady with courage?

What stops me from running the race?

Not knowing the end result even though it’s the depth of the journey that matters the most. In many ways, the destination doesn’t exist outside of a place to rest in His plan. Sometimes, it’s the running that makes me aware that I can talk about, and that I need to talk about why I keep my heart in seclusion. The language of your heart wants to live out loud, not in darkness or in anger.

I kneel on the one side of the grille, and the priest is on the other side. Most won’t look at you, but once I have listed the sins I remember committing, I will pick a ‘sin’ to discuss. There is no life, no fresh air in what I talk about. I am held back by doubts, fears, unknowns, and other people’s judgments on themselves. Maybe it is a judgment on myself, but the other is more likely acting something out that was planted in their life, long before you enter into it. Yes, I need to take responsibility for what is my part, but I also must let go, of my anger to see my part, my place in what is called this present time.

There is no man on the other side of your heart but Jesus. In the secret places of our heart, we render to what is God’s. Nothing that I take is forever. I may stash away what I believe are parts of my heart, but nothing physically can claim the language that takes an area in the place that is only hinted at.

But what if you speak and no one hears you… I mean really hears your heart

Do it anyway. It’s like a dialect with different clicks, nuances, and tones. Keep speaking it until someone, a small group of intelligent individuals nods their heads in appreciation.

 

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Hearer of the Heart

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He knows  this place better than I do. I am fearful of truly knowing what’s in my heart…why? I’ve convinced myself that what my heart says and holds isn’t really what I want. Kind of crazy. If He’s in my heart there is no reason to fear. But I’ve had years to stock up the lies that are louder than the whispers coming from my heart. You have heard the cries, and  you know my heart so much better than I do.

Blessed is she, who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises. Luke ~1:45

Instead of letting the worry or anxiety fill up inside of your head, and crowd out the goodness that does exist. I have forgotten that He is my heart that each time it beats, it is a reminder. Does your heart burn with yearning when you are doing the exact opposite of where you want the direction of your life to go?

Keeper of my Heart

If I was left to my own devices, I would have a heart that would be smashed to pieces. I am not kind or gentle with this place where He abides. For if I was to push away all that I determined wasn’t good, I would never know His mercy. He makes sure that I am aware of what he wants for me, and He is teaching me to savour the moments when He makes himself known with his love swelling inside of me. The image that appears in my mind, is one of a volcano, and the lava spilling out is his love. Something as simple as cleaning a toilet, but staying in that moment, we are we able to visit and treasure one another. Remembering to stay close to him as we journey through the morning to mid-day, then the afternoon, which rolls into the evening. We can always be attentive and accepting of his desire teeming inside of us, or we can ignore this grace that He offers us.

When we are blessed with the knowledge of where he resides , we are blessed in fact by His constant vigil. Never does he leaves us, his nearby presence is not there to bother us but to assure us of His everlasting love for his children.

Not many of us are passionate about what we love or what we do. Were all too busy trying to get things done, to be bothered with being passionate about our lives, and in turn serving others through this passion.

For me, life is Christ.  Philippians~1:21

Giving up could be an option, but there are already too many things that have been left aside in favour of something much sweeter.

This mystery of Christ which lives in us has us wandering not knowing exactly where we are headed, except that we know He tugs at our heart, and it is He who is leading us down this path called life.

 

 

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Au Revior

 

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In my last post, I incorporated some words that had been on my prayer radar (in my journal) for some time. In my daily ongoing stuff, there are words that stay with me as I wearily walk through life. I might be wary in my path, but I keep thanking Him for the things which bump against me. Sometimes it’s the hard surfaces that ribbed us in the wrong way.

Over two weeks ago, I received email which will remain unanswered. Numerous times I have tried to explain without the anger, disappointment and hurt that I was feeling. I’m not trying to push my emotions to the situation aside, but I thought and wanted to defend what I had perceived to be wrong.

So I set off to pray about this email and ask Him how he wanted me to respond.  All I wanted to do was back off, have some time to be quiet and just be with him. Did I mention quiet? Did I mention way too many emotions to list here? No, but please be assured they all showed up.

I may have in my last post mention something about thanksgiving. As I struggled to hear the Lord, I thanked him for all that seems to be going wrong. I keep thanking him for all the things I do not like, and the funny thing is, he shows me how it is a part of his plan. I can’t see this plan, but nor do these situations seem to languish in pity anymore. My anger, disappointment and hurt remain, but of it become clearer to me, but he hasn’t provided me with any answers. Thanksgiving isn’t me being brilliant, it’s the Lord who reminded me. He’s clever enough to suggest something that yes, will benefit me but more likely in the long run glorify him. Soon in the near future, I will think back fondly to the time when my answered prayers were simply struggles. that I couldn’t  see the answer was just waiting to stand up and introduce itself.

Delighting in everything He allows to cross your path. I am seeing in my struggles that His love for me remains. It is easy to think through that we must walk through these hard times with the world’s burdens heavy on your shoulders, and yes, I will admit to having many of those days. But taking the time to stop and thanking Him for these ‘unbearable’ has increased my ability to continue on with the knowledge I am not alone. He is in charge, and my troubles don’t change that. It is why I can trust in Him, or at least start.

Of course, I am thank-full for what is good in my life and grateful for what he continues to be faithful in my life. Saying words out loud instead of letting the words bounce around in your closed mind, opens the heart to His side of things, if of course you are open to receive these blessings.

It used to be that when I wrote, it was best done when I was depressed. I don’t know why, but as an adult it has completely reversed that I am better to write when I am not down. Hindsight is great. It allows for a greater space in all the places where the hurt and sadness, the joy and peace, to converge together and I have the clarity that didn’t exist before.

 

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Pruning the Branches

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Beginnings.

That’s what spring feels like to me. When you can see the ugly brown snow melting away, and the mottled grass starts to show. It used to be as a little girl  – I knew that spring was here when my Mom would get the axe out, and start chopping the ice that lined our front sidewalk. Even the air seem to smell like spring, and no I don’t think they’ll ever bottle it, though no doubt they’ll keep trying. The birds chirp, crocuses push their heads up through the snow, and thoughts and sights of tulips and daffodils are everywhere.

Spring is a time of gift giving.

A time when everything is new and increasing. Just thinking about it, it’s this great metaphor to signify that I am indeed growing! I am idling in spring, picking wildflowers in one hand, and somehow I’m holding burrs in the other. I can’t do one without the other. I may be showing wholeness, but it also reminds me of the hard trek it has taken me to get where I am going. It has been a prickly journey thus far…

I’ve spoken about how it good to be in the valley, but sometimes it’s nice to take a holiday, and travel up to the hill country. The weather is warmer, the breezes are ample and easy, and the sweet fragrances of life are generous.

In the last week, I’ve had three people after hearing everything that God has done, remark that he’s been doing a lot in my life. He has. Though most of what he has been working on probably has been a work in progress for the last 10-15 years( and longer!), and whatever has been healed in the vineyard of my life is going to have a really good year. All the branches that have has been pruned has allowed and cleared the way for a new area of branches to finally gain strength to break out on their own.

My sister is similar to my Mom in many ways, and I used to say jokingly, I was a fluke because I don’t have those same qualities. While I have remained in the same area/city as my Mom, my sister left around the same time that I entered the Catholic Church, probably a little earlier. Over a month ago, I wrote a post about my Mom, and wrote about her simplicity, well my sister isn’t quite a carbon copy, but so much of what they do usually makes me think of either one. It was having this knowledge that led me to an understanding of how my sister had probably been able to forgive my Dad in his inability to father her when she was growing up a lot earlier than I was.

I tend to process ‘events’ in my life longer and deeper depending on the emotional impact it had on me. While there were parts of me that understood, that forgave him for the reasons he was not able to meet my needs as little girl and adult. Still, there were emotions that I held onto because one I knew what I needed but I was unable to give them to the Lord. There was an ache that had punctured my heart so deeply that it needed to heal before I could breathe in the Holy Spirit, and know without doubt that I am whole.

I want truth and I want beauty, and it is hard to come by those two things. Beauty is truth and the truth from that is beautiful, but in reality, it is easy to mimic what is real. Truth and confusion often sit on the same shelf in our lives and in the world. I have struggled to separate from the past, and allowed it to integrate itself into what is now my present, and indeed, it is truly a gift that I have been given.photo-1447958374760-1ce70cf11ee3