18 September, Saturday – What is your heart made of?

Saturday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time

1 Tim 6:13-16
Lk 8:4-15

“…choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity.

I’m not sure where I read this, but it speaks to this parable: The devil knows he has multiple opportunities to interrupt God’s work from the time we received the word to the time we allow it to guide our behavior. A cynical heart or a distracted mind can prevent the word from ever taking root. 

Some seeds fell on the path and were eaten by birds
Some seeds fell on rocky ground and withered
Some seeds fell among thorns and were choked
Some seeds fell on good soil and produced fruit a hundredfold

In looking back, I see that my heart is the path, the rocky ground, the thorns and sometimes, praise be to God, the good soil.

As a teenager, I knew the right thing to do, and what I could get away with and not get caught. I would never sneak out of my own home at midnight to go joyriding with friends, but I would sneak out with my friends when I spent the night at their house. This is when my heart was like the path that allowed the birds to eat the seed – peer pressure that I succumbed to.

As a young single in my early twenties, when I was trying to figure out who I was as a ‘woman of the 80s’ (sadly I wasn’t thinking primarily of myself as a Catholic woman of the faith) I made choices that, though not illegal, were completely out of line with my Catholic faith. This is when my heart was like rocky ground, and I allowed my faith to wither away – wanting to be a woman in charge of my own life, instead of giving my life fully to Christ. 

As a woman dealing with the common ups and downs of career, parenting and marriage, it was easy to blame my husband for all forms of miscommunication. He traveled and was out of town four or five nights every week. I was in charge of everything 75% of the time, so it angered me when he was home ‘trying’ to be in charge or even expressing a different opinion. This is when my heart was filled with thorns, thinking that perhaps being married to a ‘better man’, or having my freedom, would be better, and solve all my problems. 

I have always had the free will to make my heart of good soil so that good fruit is produced hundredfold. By taking consistent time daily to simply be with God. To come to know Him better through His word, through the stories of our saints, though the words, lives, reflections, experiences, teaching and thoughts of others who love our Faith, Christ and God Almighty. The soil of my heart is made good through my purposeful time with Him, and throughout the days when I think of Him, look for Him, listen for Him, share Him. The soil of my heart is made good by my intentional study and conversation with my Spiritual Director. The soil of my heart is made good through my reflecting upon my day, where I was close to God, where I was acting and speaking like Christ would, and where I was not. The soil of my heart is made good by my confession. The soil of my heart is made good by my desire to know Him and love Him more today.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)

Prayer: Father God, we stand in awe at your ways. The soil of the earth was formed by Your word. The fruit of the vine is formed by Your word. Lord God, guide us to make good soil of our hearts, so that we will grow in You.

Thanksgiving: Father in Heaven, thank you for the free will you have given us. Thank you for the examples of Mary and all the saints. By their example, we know that we, too, can walk with you every minute of our life. Thank you for the soil of our lives never going bad – so that we can tend to it and be fruitful a hundred times over.

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