[Lenten Booklet] Closer to the Heart of Christ! Week 1

OUR HEART OF FLESH…

Each day, the course includes a short word, a short text from the Bible and a small action for you to take.

The prayers for the 1st week (21st to 27th of February 2021) is  to be found in this article. Every week you will have a new article with the reflections of the week. 

You can also follow our Facebook page, where we will post the prayer of the day. 

Sunday

You formed my loins and wove me in my mother’s womb; I give you thanks for so many wonders: I am a marvel, and your works are a marvel. “Ps 138 (139):13-14.

Let us simply marvel at our body and its incredible complexity. Let us contemplate the amazing creature that we are! Let us take up again the dazzle of God, who, after creating man and woman, “saw that it was very good”. The Christian faith affirms the beauty and goodness of the body! It does not make it a tomb from which we would be freed after death, but a concrete means of entering into contact with others and at the same time a prodigy to contemplate, Temple of the Holy Spirit!

 Through this precious gift that is my body, I am, according to the expression of the philosopher Heidegger, in relationship with others.

And at the centre of this body beats a unique organ: the heart! The vital organ whose first beats can be observed as early as the 22nd day of embryonic life.

But then, this heart, which designates first of all the heart muscle, conceals unsuspected treasures to tell us about our whole person! A central, essential organ, but also a hidden, invisible organ, the heart can tell us a lot about ourselves.

Action: as Hosea invites us this Sunday, let us be led to the desert (let us look for a place of recollection, of silence: the countryside, a park, my room…), let ourselves be touched in the heart! The challenge for this week: resurrect our hearts of flesh!

Monday 

Today, the state of play! On a scale of 1 to 10, how would I rate my heart of flesh? Do I need CPR? Am I in Olympic shape? Is my heart rate fast or slow? Regular or irregular? I am becoming aware of this heart that is beating constantly and does not rest. If it didn’t work, everything in me would stop.

Action: “My heart rejoices, my soul rejoices, my flesh itself rests in confidence” (Ps 15:9). Remembering the years that have passed, I give thanks for this good, faithful and persevering servant!

Tuesday

I’m making a decision! On the electrical level, our heart has its own autonomy since it has special cells that are the source of electrical discharges, and others capable of conducting these impulses to all the myocardial cells so that they contract.

This autonomy of the heart reminds us that we are singular, unique beings, and that we remain responsible for ourselves and our choices.

Action: Today I let this word of Jesus resound in my heart: “What do you want me to do for you? “(Lk 18:35) I am implementing a decision that I have been putting off for a long time. I am going to play sports, walk for half an hour in the fresh air, stop eating between meals, start reading a book, or why not write one?

Wednesday

The anatomical position of the heart is central to the human body. When, while standing, we extend our arms horizontally, our heart is located at the intersection of these 2 axes. Its mission is to allow all the cells of the body to receive oxygenated blood as well as all the necessary food and information.

This Lent reconnects me to my own heart. This is good for my body in the first place, and also for the different bodies of which I am a part: the family body, the professional body, the ecclesial body.

Action: Today I am testing my reflexes. When I walk beside one of my relatives, do I walk in front of him? Next to him or systematically behind him? Do I accept to slow down to walk at the same pace as the other? Do I accept that someone precedes me because I am tired or because he is stronger than me?

I give time today to someone close to me whom I want to take care of (play a game with the children, visit a loved one).

Thursday

My heart is a true servant knight. It is completely hidden and yet still in service!

Action: today I do a good deed without trying to show off. I do a hidden service that is not asked of me, at home or at work.

Friday

In especially chronic, severe heart disease, the heart favors the irrigation of the noble organs that are the brain and the kidney. This can go as far as self-sacrifice. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13) says Jesus. These are the “deep feelings of our heart.

Action: Today, I look at all the areas (work, service, relationships) in which I am involved. Sometimes we get tired for noble causes. They are a good thing for me, for those around me. Without going to the point of killing myself, I choose to tire myself again and give all my energy for services that deserve it.

Saturday

Our heart works on two times:

– the diastole, which corresponds to a relaxation of the cavities, they fill up with blood,

– the systole, where the myocardial cells contract, eject the blood.

On this Saturday, the Sabbath among the Jews, the day of rest , how am I getting my strength back this weekend? Will I recharge my batteries or get more tired?

Action: Am I getting enough sleep? I give myself a concrete and effective way to recover. We suggest that you go to bed tonight, without a screen, at a reasonable hour.

© Sanctuaire du Sacré-Cœur, Paray-le-Monial

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