Posted by: geolocke | 2013/12/09

Create In Me a Clean Heart, O Lord (Ps 51) (Tuesday Nov 25, 2008)

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.” Psalm 51

Our heart is the source of our Joy and our Love. It is the well-spring of the Holy Spirit which God has placed within us. Sin blocks up this well-spring, preventing our Joy and Love from issuing forth.

I remember once as a child I was walking through the woods near my home and came upon a damp patch of earth and leaves near the head of a small stream. I took a stick and started to clear away the leaves and other debris that cluttered this damp patch of ground until I uncovered the mud below. Then I dug a hole into the mud with my bare hands.

I stood back and watched as the hole I dug filled with water coming up from the ground. At first the water was cloudy with dirt, more mud than water. But the water level rose and began flowing out of the hole, trickling down the bank and joining the small stream below.  It was not long before the water in the hole was running clear as the dirt washed out with the growing flow.

I imagine that the sacraments of Anointing and Reconciliation have a similar effect on us. The Spirit of life which God places in us at the moment of our conception produces Joy and Love. Not joy in the “I feel happy” sense, but the kind of joy that comes from deep within us, seemingly unbidden. It fills our every limb and remains with us regardless of the circumstances of the day. And not Love in an emotional, sensual understanding, but Love which fills our hearts, our minds and our lives. The kind of Love that makes us smile when we see a newborn child being held by its parents for the first time.

Joy and Love both have their source in the Spirit of life that God sets within us, and they are each a product of the Spirit and of each other, so that without one, the others cannot fully exist or properly function. Sin is the one thing that can prevent our Joy and Love from fully existing or properly functioning. Sin blocks up the pathways of our heart and prevents our Joy and Love from coming forth in their pure unaltered states. Their actions are slowed and become lost in conflicting ways and senseless distractions until they become bogged down and cease to function properly, if even at all.

The Sacraments of Healing – Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation – clear away the debris of sin so that our Joy and Love may begin to flow freely once more. This flow might be slow and inconsistent at first, just as the water in the spring I cleared as a child was slow to clear, but with renewed efforts; with continued reception of these Sacraments, especially Reconciliation, the flow of Joy and Love from the wellspring of our hearts will strengthen, and the flow will clear itself of all distractions and conflicting ways. Then our own Joy and Love will issue forth from us, joining with others around us and entering the great flood of Joy and Love which flows between all of us and God, who is our source and our destination in Life.

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