UNBORN WORD of the day

August 2, 2008, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Sacred Heart, Thriving Not Just Surviving!


A series of reflections on living the Christian Life in a Time of Cultural Upheaval (a Culture of Life under attack by a culture of death which erodes traditional beliefs and values).


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Mt 11:28-29

Amidst the cultural upheaval of our time, there is a tangible palpable restlessness. It comes in two flavors: 1.) the restlessness of those who are restless precisely because they are foundationless, and 2.) the restlessness of those who are holding fast to their Christian faith and traditional Judaeo-Christian morality and are being assailed on every side, every day, by contrary arguments and messages.

Both variations of restlessness concern the soul, first and foremost. Another way to express it is to say that our human hearts are troubled. St. Augustine’s famous summation is to the point: “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.” We can take stock of our spiritual resting heart rate during times of calm reflection, with God’s help especially, as in prayer. Am I restless? In what ways am I restless? What causes me to be restless? When am I most spiritually rested?

These are not trick questions, because in fact, as long as we are humans here on earth we will all have our spiritual “rest” issues. But St. Augustine’s expression is 100% true. Which leads us to the above quote from Jesus. We might say that there is a cure for restlessness, the deep Divine “rest” which we discover within the Heart of Jesus Christ, a heart which He Himself describes as “gentle and lowly”. And the “cure” involves “learning”, as Jesus Himself explains: “…learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart…” and what? “and you will find rest for your souls”. Christ is recommending a heart-to-Heart spiritual therapy.

One example of a person who learned this lesson well is St John the Evangelist who, at the Last Supper, “was lying close to the breast of Jesus” (Jn 13:23), and who, at the death of Jesus, witnessed the soldier’s spear piercing the Lord’s heart (Jn 19:34-35). We find in John’s writings a profound mystical understanding of God’s Heart and God’s Love.

By observing the Lord’s Day, Sunday, the day of rest, and incorporating times of prayer rest and meditative rest into our daily routines we will also discover the rest that is in God. Just as exercise and oxygen effects the body’s physical resting heart rate, so exercising our faith along with docility to God’s Spirit effects the soul’s spiritual resting heart rate. With spiritual rest comes personal and moral stability – which is greatly needed during our present time of cultural upheaval.

God values your rested heart and peace of soul so much that He gave us a day devoted to spiritual rest and He gave us His own Heart to rest upon! Just what the Divine Physician ordered!

George A. Peate, August 2, 2008

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