Seeking the Heart (simple thoughts)
Maybe we tend to say: I’ve been able to do this or that, or: this work is mine, revealing a note of self-satisfaction, or even pride. So I ask: how will we see our life when it nears its end? I think we’ll have a serene and luminous recollection of what God has done in our lives and in the lives of others, and for us this will certainly be reason for joy and peace. Perhaps we shall have a distant and even indifferent recollection of what we will have done on our own; and we may also regret not having the ability and possibility of doing what we were once able to do. God, however, does not so much seek our doing – for in an instant He can create the universe – but He seeks our heart, for it is there that He finds His delight.
Jesus also seeks our heart so He can abide there with the Father: “If anyone loves me… my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him” (Jn 14:23). How consoling and how sweet are these words of the Lord! There is no doubt that He truly loves us. They show how much He seeks out our friendship and our heart!
Our Lady has often shown us how the heart counts more than our doing. During the Annunciation, the Angel did not ask Mary to do many things, but to open her heart to the Lord. When she gave her consent she generated the Son, and thus became the Mother of God. At the wedding feast of Cana, Mary didn’t do many things; she only revealed her concern for others to her Son, and when she told the servants: “do as he says,” (Jn 2:15) Jesus worked the miracle and turned water into wine. And what wine! And what abundance!
Mary knows perfectly well that our life is sterile if Jesus does not live in us; she knows that all our action is useless if He is not with us. Perhaps it is for this at Medjugorje that she speaks to the heart, and teaches prayer with the heart, for she wants to mould our hearts, and make them ready to receive the Lord. She knows, in fact, that Jesus is the humble One, and that He does not enter a heart by force, or oblige a soul to receive Him.
Mary also knows that it is difficult for us to open our hearts to Jesus, and for this she comes to our aid. She also knows that Jesus seeks out all hearts, without distinction: the strong ones and weak ones, for He is Love. She also knows that Jesus has a preference for those hearts which are formed by her, prepared and adorned by her, because she knows His tastes; she knows how He likes hearts to be. He loves to see in man the beauty of the Mother, and be able to perceive her scent.
So let us accept Mary’s invitation to open the heart, and with her powerful help Jesus will come to dwell in us. If we do this, our work will bear fruit because it will be blessed by the Father who will see in our works the ways of His Son; He will see that our actions are a little similar to the ways of Jesus, and He will see in us a little of His own Son, and He will be pleased. We will thus be given wings to fly to the help of others and to contemplate heaven; we will be given a keen eye to see the needs of our brethren and to help them; and also to clearly discern good from evil.
Our “doing” will thus bear fruit, perhaps a hundred-fold, and we will do wondrous things because it will no longer be our own doing, but that of Jesus acting in us. And we will understand the words of the psalm: “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain the masons toil” (Ps 127). We can therefore say, along with the bride in Song of Songs: “I sleep, but my heart is awake” because the Groom, Jesus, never sleeps, but ever watches and works in us, even while we sleep.