Easter In The Heart
One of my favorite quotes through the years has been that of Blaise Pascal: “The heart has its reasons which reason does not know.” On my own, I used to take the liberty of changing it to “The heart has its seasons.” However, recently, I have come to know that, indeed, the heart does have its reasons. I also believe that it is good for us to listen to our hearts.
These days, after a long and challenging winter, I have been meditating on what the heart may be saying. I like to think that every season has its gift. Poet David Whyte, in his poem, Sweet Darkness, writes that there are some things we can only see in the dark. This is encouraging. It seems like it is a good thing to bring forth the gift of the winter, before hastening too quickly into the wonders and beauty of a much awaited spring.
Winter was a good teacher for me. It taught me how to yield. I had a chance to yield when the weather changed my plans, often. I learned to yield when the lights went out, and the light of my life became a candle or flashlight. It also taught me the flip side of things. When the snow covered the trees, bushes and our land, and the sun came out, the beauty was breathtaking, even when I thought we had had enough snow. It was still very beautiful. I remembered the winters when we longed for such a scene. And now, I look forward to the Risen Life of spring. I also pray to meet the Risen Lord. I want to be open should this occur.
So, what are some of the deeper “reasons” and messages of the heart? Sometimes, when I open a book at random, the words that meet me end up being a gift. Recently, in our People’s Companion to the Breviary, I chanced upon a selection by John English, S.J. In a very unusual way, English discusses the meaning of spiritual consolation. Could anything be nicer than Easter consolation?
The writer goes on to say what spiritual consolation is. Spiritual consolation means being drawn toward God who knows us and loves us. Furthermore, when we come to the point where we accept, and take as our own, our unique personal histories, we receive a new experience of spiritual consolation. I do wonder how many of us embrace our own unique personal histories, and see these histories as gift and as a story of God.
This new experience helps us when we come to making decisions. We ask ourselves, “Does the decision before me really fit who I am, and who I am called to be? And, when I look back, will this decision be in harmony with my own unique personal history as God sees it?” With this approach, one comes to a God-given awareness that our personal histories are meaningful and that they are an expression of God’s loving Presence within us.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D