Freedom of Heart

Freedom of Heart

Have you ever tried to grasp a handful of sand? It slowly escapes from the crevices of your hands. You are attempting to hold onto it, but in the act of grasping, you lose it. This is what happens when our heart is pulled down by an attachment. Being able to identify any attachments in our hearts is important for any kind of discernment so that we receive fully His abundant graces and have the freedom of heart necessary to say “yes” to God’s will, as Mary did. Though the thought of attachment might inspire aversion, it’s not as foreign to our human nature as we might think. In the story of original sin, for example, we see Adam and Eve trying to grasp at the good things in the Garden. However, attachment is more than simply experiencing pleasure in something,...

De-cide: the art of cutting away

De-cide: the art of cutting away

How did Michelangelo create the David? The David is one of the most famous statues created by an artist who is a household name. Why is that? These are questions that have been handed down through the ages along with the fame of this man and his statue. They are similar to another question that every man encounters in his heart: what is the purpose of my life? Vocational discernment – discovering how the Lord is inviting one to love fully and completely – and Michelangelo have a lot in common. The answer to how Michelangelo created the David and how to discern God’s will for one’s life is the same: cutting away everything that is not the David. Vocational discernment is like Michelangelo sculpting the David. It takes time to learn how to listen to the voice of...

Just around the river bend

Just around the river bend

This last month we found ourselves on a mesmerizing path in the mountains, discovering the beauty of creation with every step and with every turn. I propose that we continue our adventure, but this time discovering a New Land. For those who have never seen Walt Disney’s Pocahontas, we are told the story (in a roughly accurate historical representation) of a group of European explorers who, in their search for the much pursuedgold of North America, happen upon the Native Americans of the new world. While there is a plethora of themes offered us in just ninety minutes, originally designed for a younger audience, I desire to reflect on a scene that we are introduced to towards the beginning. Pocahontas is the onlydescendant of the Chief of their tribe. After her...

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening

I close my eyes I see myself on a mountain path. What a fascinating adventure, as I discover the beauty of creation, this place in which the Maker of all has left so many clues of His care for us. With each step I take, trampling upon the loose gravel, I observe the pine needle sand the flowery meadow, where I can barely see where the path will lead. I am struck by the deep blue of the gentian flowers and the bright yellow of the alpine anemones. A stag has walked this trail; I can tell from the hoof prints I see. And what are those holes in between the rocks? It’s the groundhog’s burrow. Everything speaks; and yet, a careless tourist could be clueless about the beautiful reality surrounding him. At times our spiritual journey resembles this tourist: it is both...