Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
“It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” – Luke 6.45
It is easy to complain, to judge, to criticize, or deride. Too often in our lives this becomes the first things that come out of our mouth – we feel slighted or see someone else rewarded and our words become words of hurt and we fester and let the heart stir in darkness and bitterness. This is not the way of the gospel, this is not the way to life, this is not the way of love.
When I read the above quote from the gospel of Luke my thoughts turned instantly to gratitude and praise and goodness. It is when we can see the abundance in our lives that true perspective is given and what we seem to want to complain about or criticize looses it grip. Instead our words are filled with gratitude giving thanks for our abundant blessings, praise for how God is at work in our lives and an awareness of good which is always stronger than any evil or hurt is made known.
What is the abundance of our hearts?
I’ve been thinking of this as Lent draw near and begins this week.
Can I enter Lent with an abundant heart? Can you?
What is in the abundance of my heart? In yours?
Can it shape my Lent? How?
As Lent begins my heart is full of an abundance of gratitude. Each day there are countless things for which to give thanks. Even when the day unravels or tragedy crosses our paths or loneliness tries to trap my heart seems to find an abundance of gratitude. When at the end of each day I think if an abundance of God’s good I know my heart is turning more and more to the gospel way, a life-giving way and is rooted in love. Sometimes it is the smallest of things from a comfortable bed or a hug to grand things such as extended time with family and friends or a revelation in prayer. God’s abundance is always a part of my life even when I don’t see it. During this upcoming Lenten time my simple goal is to proclaim with the psalmist, “Lord, it is good to give thanks to you” (Psalm 92).
It is with this abundance of the heart that my Lent will be guided. To give praise and thanks to God for the journey of Lent – a time for prayer, for fasting and for almsgiving. These simple practices can only lead to a heart of abundance open to God’s graces. The Lenten journey is always one of transformation and transformation always leads to gratitude.
So as Lent begins and I tune my heart to the abundance of God’s love and mercy which resides at my very core…
I ask myself and all those walking into Lent?
What will my prayer be this Lent? Can a prayer of abundant gratitude be a part of all my Lent days?
What will I fast from? Can I let go of my judgements, my wants and focus on the abundant heart of Christ?
What will my almsgiving be? Can I see what is mine in abundance and give generous so another can be know the abundance of gratitude?
As Ash Wednesday is marked this week this is the journey that Lent is calling me to.
Where are you be called this Lent?
Peace and much good for the journey.