LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF CHRIST
For all the theologies and descriptions of the Scriptures, it can all be reduced to the simplicity of me, sitting in the back bench of the Church, eyes lowered (custos occuli), repeating over and over the prayer of penitence, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
- Meditation is when I think about Christ using a sentence from Scripture (Have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.) Contemplation is when Christ speaks to me, using no words but warming me up with the feeling of the Divine Presence.
- Lay Cistercian practices and charisms helped me to sit on that sofa in the upper room of myself (Matthew 6:5) and just listen for the heartbeat of Christ.
- Silness of heart and simplicity of just preferring nothing to the love of Christ is all I need.
- Eucharist is when Christ lifts me up to the Father and all others in a fitting homage because of my adoption as the son (daughter of the Father).
- If there is no resurrection, St.Paul says, we are scammed by the most significant fraud in history. If there is no real presence in the Eucharist, Christ is not real but symbolic in my heart. It is not worth my trouble and sacrifice to convert myself daily if Christ is not real.
- To listen to the heartbeat of Christ, I must live in the spiritual universe and listen to what seems like the nothingness of Christ. In fact, it is so faint that I will miss it, if I am not still, and listen the the “ear of the heart.”
- If I want the Love of Christ in my heart, I must put it there. Each day is a new creation, a new chance to prefer nothing to the Love of Christ, as St. Benedict states in Chapter 4 of the Rule.
- Christ has prepared a place just for me and all those faithful who confess that Jesus is Lord. There are many mansions there. It is a place that will be consistent with my life experiences on Earth. Everyone’s heaven will be different but linked with the Golden Thread of Christ, which comes from the Father.
- Each day, take out your Rule of St. Benedict and read at least part of Chapter 4.
“Any old woman can love God better than a doctor of theology can.” ~ Bonaventure
“One day when Thomas Aquinas was preaching to the local populace on the love of God, he saw an old woman listening attentively to his every word. And inspired by her eagerness to learn more about her God whom she loved so dearly, he said to the people: It is better to be this unlearned woman, loving God with all her heart, than the most learned theologian lacking love.” ~ Thomas Aquinas
Mrs. Murphy knows more than all the theologians because she wants to be one with the heart of Christ, not just talking about Him. –The late Father Aidan Kavanaugh. O.S.B.