[Lenten Booklet] Closer to the Heart of Christ! Week 3

THE INTELLIGENT HEART

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 3rd week (7th to 13th of March 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. 

The great technical, medical or scientific discoveries gradually enable us to get to know the material and physical world. Man’s genius strives, with the help of his reason, to analyse the functioning of phenomena and events. And this is a good thing!

However, “the heart has its reasons that reason ignores” wrote Pascal. This means that true wisdom goes beyond technical or rational intelligence. This “intelligence of the heart” that we are going to discover this week is what allows us to see further and deeper than what we can perceive at first sight! To reach true wisdom, our conceptual intelligence must then let itself be inhabited by what it is trying to escape from, what we can call intuition. As intuition alone, in the end, guesses the meaning of life.

The intelligence of the heart is capable of reaching “with authentic certainty” and “in spite of the darkness left in it by sin”, the intelligible reality, that is, the invisible world, the hidden meaning of events, the mysteries of the divine will in our own existence.

This week, sure that God chooses what is crazy in the eyes of mankind, let us set out to reconquer the wisdom of the heart, the only one capable of opening us to our life as Jesus himself sees it and desires it!

Monday: Marvel

Let us rejoice, because the intelligence of the heart is partly already given to us: it is “common sense”! Today, let us rediscover this common sense which makes us know a multitude of truths, and which makes us discern good and evil. The training we have received, the reflections, the know-how and all the experience that the elders have passed on to us also enrich our hearts and our way of seeing the world. Our common sense itself is capable of awakening our reason when we seek the truth: when we ask ourselves concretely What is a woman? What is a man? Common sense itself instructs us! I carry within me fundamental truths that are independent of everything the world or others want me to believe.

Action:I have acted with a pure heart and with innocent hands” (Gen 20:5). Today I trust my common sense, being attentive to what is, before judging a situation or expressing myself. I can reflect on the question of abortion, and, beyond all contradictory opinions, ask myself this question: what is an embryo in the womb?

 

Tuesday: Welcome

Events occur in our lives that we do not understand. Our first reaction may be revolt or disappointment. Our reasoning is sometimes incapable of explaining what happens, but the intelligence of our heart is capable of welcoming them! And it is only from this reconciliation with the flesh of our own history that we can glimpse a deeper meaning.

If we accept happiness as coming from God, how can we not accept misfortune in the same way” (Jb 2:10).

Action: today, like Job who is a courageously committed man, I decide to welcome my life as it is, with its contradictory, unexpected and even disappointing dimensions, and I decide to trust: the most beautiful fruits grow among the brambles!

Wednesday: Discern

Even when our heart accuses us, God is “greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). Beyond my awareness of the world and of my life, reality, mysterious and irreducible, carries a hidden meaning to which only the intelligence of the heart can introduce us.

The intelligence of the heart is inclined to see things as God wants them. Do I accept to broaden my consciousness to perceive what God wants to tell me through events? Am I ready to enter into the thoughts of God’s heart about my own life and consent to it?

Action:To this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand, eyes to see, ears to hear” (Deut 29:4) “The Lord brought man from the earth…He formed a tongue for them, eyes and ears, and gave them a heart to think. He filled them with knowledge and understanding and made them know good and evil” (Sirach 17:1.6-7). I test my degree of wisdom: do I see in my child’s fragility, physical or psychological, more than a deficiency?

Thursday: Consent

“Give me a heart full of judgment to govern your people, to discern between good and evil” (1Ki 3:9), Solomon asks God. 

The wisdom of the heart that Solomon asks for is not a simplistic management tool that would allow for quick solutions or convenient shortcuts to complicated technical or human situations. On the contrary, the intelligence of the heart seeks to confront, with the eyes of the heart fully open, what is happening to us and to take note of what is. 

Just as St. Joseph took Mary as his wife beyond all reasoning, with a heart open to a meaning that surpasses it, so do we today dare to believe that the slightest of our gestures has effects and resonance beyond what we can perceive here below.

Action: Today I enter into this understanding of almsgiving, to which the Church invites us especially during Lent, through a donation to a work. Giving deploys the riches of my heart, opens me to the existence of Providence and makes me see greater and broader than what my conscience perceives from my act.

Friday: Deploy

At the antipodes of objectifying reason, the beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus overturn all that is wise according to the spirit of the world. Jesus Himself lived each of them.

At his school, the “poor at heart”, materially or spiritually, practised relying only on God’s help: “I am poor and miserable, but the Lord thinks of me“. (Ps 40:18). This does not express blissful optimism, but true wealth.

The intelligence of the heart understands that each event always makes us a little more capable of welcoming the One from whom everything comes; the intelligence of the heart also perceives, beyond mere respect for the law, all the charity and all the intention that motivates it. The Beatitudes prescribe a morality out of love and not just a morality out of duty: the heart of the law is the law of the heart.

Action: Today, believer or not, I read the text of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12 – to be read at the end of this page), and I ask God by a short sentence or a longer prayer, that he may enlarge my heart, that he may give me his wisdom.

 

Saturday: Proofreading

“In peace I also lie down and sleep, for you have given me to dwell in the Lord alone in trust” (Ps 4).

Action: Today I rest in the wisdom that God gives me. I taste how doing God’s will and acting according to my conscience fundamentally calms me. The eyes of the heart help me to feel that I remain, whatever happens, in the hands of the Father who wants only my true good. I taste the rest that this gives me

 

BEATITUDES

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you if you are insulted, if you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

and if you are slandered in any way because of me.

Be in joy and gladness,

for your reward will be great in heaven.

Matthew  5, 3 – 12

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

Posts to read

Event: 7 Churches Pilgrimage

Come and join us this May 15th, for the Seven Churches Pilgrimage in Sydney. Following in the tradition of St Philip Neri of Rome, the Emmanuel Community invites you on a Seven Churches Pilgrimage in the “Little Australian Way”. This

Our monthly newsletter