grinch heart

Oh, so much in my head, in my heart right now.  The last few days have been full of input.  It was warm enough to exercise this weekend so I walked about 10-12 miles, listening to Father Robert Barron’s sermons.   I could literally listen to him 24×7.  I also got a bunch of new spiritual books that I have been in and out of.  And I dipped into the Psalms briefly.  I must admit, the way they are sung at my church doesn’t want to make me rush to read them, but I realized I hadn’t spent any time there.

Three themes have been real prominent.

We are not owners of anything, we are tenants of God.  Everything we have — our bodies, our life, our love, our happiness, our health are all being leased from God. They are not ours to own, but ours to tend.

A must listen:  Barron’s explanation of the Parable of the Vineyardhttp://www.wordonfire.org/WOF-Radio/Sermons/Sermon-Archive-for-2011/Sermon-560—Parable-of-the-Tenants—27th-Sunday-.aspx

Funny how different I treat things that are not my own. Sadly, even things like family. I (we) seem to relax the rules, the civility, the kindness — the grace —  with things that are close to us, but remain formal and respectful with things that are not ours. Huge lesson for me here.  One I need to spend a lot more time with.

Passion is Critical.  Holy desire. The longing to be with God. Be Like God. Be holy. Our priest this Sunday was discussing how important desire is. How, even misdirected, it drives us for more. An example — a writer that just must write, the artist that must paint. . . Perhaps, more negatively,  the alcoholic that must drink?  .  We should be guided by our heart, not our head. . “I want it all” as Therese of Lisieux cried.  And if that passion is there, it can direct itself toward God once it realizes the Truth.  In a book by Heather King about St. Therese — excerpt here, she also references this and the problem of the reduction of desire, and what can happen when rules, apathy, logic reigns over the heart.  There is way too much to get into here, but I want to write it down so I don’t forget.

Finally, the more you give, the more you get.   My heart has been feeling pretty tight lately. Like it is straining against a string or a strap wrapped around it. I likened it to my fear of letting go. So the pain in my heart was dread, was fear. But something else occurred to me.  Could it be, like the Grinch, that my heart has grown?

And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!”

Could it be that the pain in my heart is really love.  Love that is grown, Love that is desperate to get out.  I need to remind myself that there are more ways than one to release it.  Yes, I could cut the string and let it flood out in grand dramatic fashion,  or I could poke a hole and just let it seep out slowly to relieve the pressure. Either way, it needs to happen.  And when it does I think that may be my first step in surrendering.

Again, one of Father Barron’s sermon’s was right there for me with his Sermon “The Great Spiritual Law”.

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