Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Centre of Our Hearts

"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you, for you alone?  He burns with the desire to come into your heart."  (St. Therese of Lisieux)

"The Tabernacle is a reminder of Christ's life in us and of our surrender to Him.  We, too, are the Living Tabernacle of Jesus, a reminder, also, that our life is not governed by appearances and impressions, but by faith in the invisible Reality.  He is there as the ever-flowing Source of Grace, as our Invisible Director and Helper.  Being the living Centre of our life, He must become the Centre of our hearts and minds, the Centre to Which we are directed and from which we judge all our problems, as well as the world's."  (The Living Pyx of Jesus, Pelligrini, Australia, 1941, p. 19)

What is the hub of a monastic building?  The chapel.  The Tabernacle.  The Blessed Sacrament.

Why?  Because Jesus is the absolute Center of monastic life.

It is simple.  And knowing this simple truth, we begin to understand monasticism.  

Pondering it in prayer, we begin to understand monasticism of the heart.

'You know, my loving Jesus, I do want my soul to be spotlessly pure and undefiled, so that it will be for You a most beautiful Home, a Home from which no one will ever dislodge You - Your own living tabernacle, where You will ever dwell, and where I shall live consciously and lovingly with You, and always have a word with You before I speak, act, or make a decision.  I want You to be so happy, so much at home in my soul, that You will take complete possession of it and live Your life in me.'(from Fervorinos From Galilee's Hills, compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, 1936, p.143)

'To be with God it is not necessary to be always in church.  We may make a chapel of our heart, whereto to escape from time to time to talk with Him quietly, humbly and lovingly.... Begin then; perhaps He is waiting for a single generous resolution.'  (Brother Lawrence)

Painting of woman:  Tarbell, The Bleu Veil, in US public domain due to age