Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Open Heart and Soul: Reflections on the Depth of Vocation

Open Heart and Soul: Reflections on the Depth of Vocation

 

 

Open Heart and Soul

I open my heart

                                to love

                                to holiness

                                to life

these trinitarian gifts entwine

through my heart and soul…

beat – beat

heartbeat

each beat.

 

I open my heart

                                to the oxygen of love

                                to the oxygen of holiness

                                to the oxygen of life

giving breath to the very core of my heart,

to the very depth of my soul…

beat – beat

heartbeat

each beat.

 

I open my heart

                                to the sacredness of love

                                to the discovery of holiness

                                to the awareness of life

these nutrients strengthen my heart

for daily living and for the work of my soul…

beat – beat

heartbeat

each beat.

 

I open my heart

                                to God’s love

                                to Christ’s holiness

                                to the Spirit’s life

with each beat Trinitarian goodness and hope

engulfs me, filling my heart and soul…

beat – beat

heartbeat

each beat.

 

I open my heart,

I open my soul,

I open my all

to and for you my God.

                                                I am open.

The past couple of weeks have been full. Full not in the usual sense of how we use that word – as in there is way too much on the plate. Our lives will always be that type of full and yes, my days past have indeed been full in that sense, however I speaking of the fullness which moves beyond the surface to our very core. The depth of our heart and soul requires a different fullness, rather they move us to a different fullness. This is the fullness that has filled my last weeks.

It has been in lingering conversations, in quiet moments in the garden, in periods of prayerful stillness, in reading and in creating that this fullness has surfaced. This fullness which is speaking to me and my vocation. The vocation that we each live out is about fullness. This fullness is that which our God desires to lavish us with and the fullness which is part of our inherent goodness. We are given a glimpse of this fullness and the beautiful effects through the gift of the sacraments. How we are claimed as beloved in baptism is just the beginning of the richness of these gifts.

The gift of my baptism is never far removed from my vocation as a Religious Brother. It was in my baptism and confirmation that my heart and soul was open to be a vessel for the indwelling of God and divine love. My baptism is probably one of the greatest gifts I ever received, anointed as child of God my heart and soul have continually been opened since that day. It is in the Ephphetha (Aramaic: be open) blessing where the priest touches the ears and the mouth of the child that this opening is made evident. The blessing prays: The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.  Yes! How beautiful is that? What a beautiful gift to be anointed to have an open heart and soul because of an opened ears and mouth. With an open heart and soul, I have been able to declare my faith and give glory to God. When I have doubted or stumbled along, I just have to come back to this blessing to be reminded that the lasting effects of my baptism infuse my life over and over again.

It is here that I turn to my life as a Religious Brother and my vows. My vows are an extension of my baptism and are how I am still receptive to the Ephphetha blessing. As my opening poem reflects, I open my heart time and again for God to work not only in my heart but through my heart. To be an open vessel for God to dwell. My vows of nothing of my own (poverty), chastity and obedience speak to the receptivity I must have to live my vows well. My vows are indeed about openness and if I live into them well the fullness I experience is not only full but also life-changing. Each day I must listen for the voice of Christ Jesus for often my ears are deaf and my mouth is trapped. Each day Christ Jesus touches my ears and my mouth so my words and actions, my heart and soul are filled with praise and in turn fullness; true fullness. This is the depth of my vocation as a Religious Brother and speaks to its fullness and beauty. I hope that no matter what your vocation, you too may see the true fullness of your life and continue to open your heart and soul.

 

May the summer week ahead

offer you space to be

in the fullness of God’s love

and for your ears, eyes,

mouth and heart to be opened.