Monday, February 25, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Heartsick

"The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?"

Jeremiah 17:9 

Look within. We don't like to admit it. It's not a pleasant realization. We don't talk about it in social settings. But each of us, deep within the recesses of our hearts, have the capacity for evil. We are all prone to mistreat others and ourselves in the most unthinkable ways and yet always seem to find ways of justifying or excusing what comes out of our hearts. Look within. 

"I would never do something like that!" That's what he said before his divorce.

"At least I'm not like those scumbags!" You are. You just think about it. They do it.      

"What a sick freak!" You or her?  

Look within. Darkness. It lies just below the surface, waiting for just the right time. A moment of weakness. A temptation that is just too strong to avoid. The next little incremental step in progression. Baby steps.   

"How did I get here?"   

Give evil an inch, it takes a mile. 

Out hearts are sick. There's no sugar coating it. We just have plenty of band-aides and antibiotics to keep the inflection at bay. 

The water within is dark and contaminated. We just have a good filter to purify what comes out.  Most of the time.  CHANGE FILTER AFTER 6 MONTHS

Admitting how messed up we are and what we are capable of is essential. It builds our defenses. We become alert. More aware. We avoid being caught off guard because we know what could be.  We keep evil in remission. 

Look within. Embrace what's within.

"The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works." - St. Augustine    

As we begin this second week of Lent, let us keep in mind that it is through Christ and His Holy Spirit that transformation is possible. Our dark hearts can become hearts of light. The sick tissue can become healthy. Our hearts of stone can become loving hearts that beat within us and give hope to the world around us.

Look within. Embrace within. Embrace without.  

Lord, we know that we have the capacity of evil. We admit this and come to grips with it this morning. But as we trust in You, help us to open ourselves up to Your love, in order for our hearts to be transformed. Work in us so that Your Kingdom can be realized in a dark world. Amen.   

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