One of my greatest honors is being invited to write for other awesome Catholic websites. In April, I began a 9-part novena/series at the New Evangelizers based on #ASeekingHeart. Here is part one:
Although I’m not an adventurous person, I am on a quest; while maybe not necessarily for the Holy Grail, it is for something holy. Actually, I seek holiness itself, the treasure I seek is not made of gold, but is indeed finer than gold. I have been actively pursuing this treasure since 2004, and while I’m closer than I was ten years ago, it is clear most days that I still have a long way to go. I have put holiness like a pirate’s booty on a map, confident that with enough cunning I can land on the proverbial X marking the spot where the bounty is hidden.
The more the treasure continued to elude me, serving by the way as a reminder of my pathetic map reading skills, the more I was determined to devise a new searching strategy. My intellect was clearly not the key, for all of my acquiring knowledge and preparing a spiritual ‘to-do’ lists, that I thought would uncover the riches, I was still lost in the desert. Confused and weary, I turned to scripture to reset my course.
I read St. Paul’s Prayer:
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places. Ephesians 1:15-20
‘The eyes of your hearts” – those words jumped from the page like a neon sign offering refreshment from a long journey to a weary traveler? These words reset my course. My desire for a life more connected to God, previously based on clicking off faith practicing boxes, now moved to a desire to forge a relationship with my Lord and Savior. The trek, I surmised, needed a more southern course. The journey located primarily in my head needed to move down to my heart, at first I was finding that journey as long and winding as those who wandered in the desert for 40 years in the days of Moses.
As I reread St. Paul’s Prayer for any additional clues in deciphering my internal spiritual map – the word ‘Saints’ catapulted from the page. I felt like Charlie Brown when Lucy finally discernswhat is troubling him in the iconic Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Missing in my journey was a guide – a holy guide – that’s what I needed! This did not mean that I should throw away my spiritual ‘to do’ list or to stop practicing my faith (centered on prayer, Sacraments and scripture) but instead add to it mentors, men and woman who knew the weight of the glory for which I longed – what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. I decided to pray for a posse to help me navigate this head to heart journey. I turned to the Saints, to enlist their help in enlightening the eyes of my heart, providing those eyes heavenly glasses. One by one, they chose me – though I was the one seeking, in the end I was found.
To read more on the assembling of my Saint Posse, please visit:
April begins the nine month wait until the Church celebrates A Holy Year of Mercy recently announced by Pope Francis. That gave me an idea! I invite you to join me in a 9-month novena to ask God for an outpouring of grace to prepare our hearts for all the blessings awaiting us in this upcoming Holy Year of Mercy. Each month, I will post a new reflection and prayer, in great anticipation of this great Jubilee!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are in awe that you allow us to seek you, and in the promise that when we do – you will be found. We thank you for the gift of many facilities for which to seek with – may our mind and heart’s eyes be completely opened and keenly fixed on seeing you in all things. Lord, we ask this day for every veil to be lifted and every scale cast aside. Please send holy men and women, the Saints – blessed to already be in your presence – to guide each and every one of us in these sometimes winding, spiritual journeys.
And we ask all this in Your Son’s most precious name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Visit New Evangelizers for part two .... Kingdom First