I awoke this morning and just knew I had to share this with all of you –
While we usually think of Easter being the time to clean house, I suggest use Lent and clean house on Ash Wednesday. And by house, I mean our interior home; our soul. From 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:16 we have: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
This image of being a temple for Christ, letting my heart, my soul be a home in which He could dwell has been an important part of my relationship with Jesus.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away……way back in the 80’s when Star Wars was new and fresh, I was working hard on trying to both a good Catholic and a really cool college student. And by really cool, I mean actively drinking and more…..
Anyways – during this time I had two distinct circles of friends – those I partied with and those I prayed with – and I worked hard to make sure these circles never met or knew of each other’s existence. I was pretty good as this ruse until I was given a pamphlet that cut through my falseness and reminded me of who I really wanted to impress.
Long before WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) there was My Heart, Christ’s Home by Robert Munger, a Presbyterian minister who wrote this piece in 1951.
Upon receiving this pamphlet I began to work hard to make sure I only had 1 group of friends (guess which one?). Eventually, to that end, I made arrangements to transfer to Franciscan University.
While I got my copy in 1980 to this day – though I have lost my original copy – I remember its powerful imagery. I regularly bring it to the forefront of my mind as an examination of conscience of sorts as to how my heart (and my home) would look to Jesus – and then to His Mother, Mary, His foster father Joseph and all the saints and angels from heaven.
Is my heart/my home a welcoming place for these amazing people who live in heaven or have I only outfitted myself for the company of those who only live for this world? Am I authentically one person before all people or do I still sometimes try to live separate lives? Is my faith a Jekyll and Hyde relationship with Jesus and those I work/play with? Will those I encounter be able to see the Jesus Freak I want to be?
Over the years, I have shared this piece with my children when I thought they were old enough (teens) to appreciate its depth and now I share it with all of you.
Perhaps this Lent, you will use it as a way to clean your own house, or as a teaching tool for your older children, siblings, or the parents who help with your clubs.
P.S – Just so there is no confusion – we are and will always be Catholic to the Core but that does not prevent us from seeing the truth that exists in other Christian faiths and sharing it with you. And by that same measure, we will speak out against those Catholics who are like the Pharisees of today’s gospel who cleanse the cup but not their hearts. For example, C.S. Lewis is always good to read and Nancy Pelosi is not a good role model for our daughters!