January 2001 I feel my heart now opened.    Shakespeare

Resetting The Heart

In another century, our venerable novice directress used to look real serious, squint her eyes as if she were going deep down inside her own soul and then say: It's the set of the soul that decides the goal and not the storm or the strife. She was quoting Janet Erskine Stuart, of course.

Sometimes, the heart needs resetting. What is the set of my own soul deep down? What do I cherish and hold dear, and what animates all those choices I make every day? Each new day invites us to touch that spot in our souls, that source of strength and love, that well of wisdom and direction.

Resetting the soul calls for constant and continual surrender. Over and over again the heart needs to be given to God. This repeated giving is probably the truest prayer and act of worship. Very likely, it is the best gift that we can give to the world. Carl Jung, noted psychologist, wrote that the greatest gift he gave the world was to go down into his soul and do the work he found there.

Resistance is the usual trickster that we meet in giving over the heart. Surrender has never been an enjoyable occupation. A real wrestling can go on. At that moment, we experience our own powerlessness as we struggle to yield to the very thing that will give us peace, real joy and new energy. Sometimes the voice in the struggle asks us to simply let go. At other times, we are called to act. But even in acting, often we are asked to go against what seems to be our natural bent.

Here at the monastery, we authored and printed a little book of daily inspiration called Honey For The Heart. The Introduction encourages the reader to be good to the heart, to bring it honey. The heart is the unifying element of our lives. It is the place where we are most ourselves, where at times we may feel most alone. From this sacred center, we see things differently. The heart always belongs to the One who made it, from whose own Heart it was born.

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D

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