The Heart of Man Gerald


The Heart of Man

Gerald Vann was a Dominican writing in the first half of the twentieth Century. One of his books (probably retitled by Sophia Press) is called The Seven Sweet Blessings of Christ and in it is the following wonderful quotation.

from The Seven Sweet Blessings of Christ Gerald Vann O.P. "The Call to Love and Serve"

The heart of man is not a house that can be emptied of one set of furnishings that another may be installed: it is not the objects of our love that have to be changed, it is our love that has to be changed by being transformed into the love which is the heart of Christ.

As we look at the headlines and at the day, the truth of this comes home powerfully. When we are still wrapped up and tied to material things, our affections are distorted. Whatever the good we love, it is not the supreme good and when our chief love is not the supreme good, then those goods we love tend to become lesser and lesser goods, until our loves degenerate into obsessions and sin. Christ calls us to a change of heart. It is said that Catherine of Siena experienced a mystical exchange of hearts with Christ and thereafter prayed for what was "in thy heart." This mystical exchange requires that we root out all that is selfish and self-centered in our own loves and lives.

The only cure for the ills of the world is the Heart of Jesus beating in the breast of every single living human being. As long as we are bound to the things of the world, we will long for money and power and signs of our superiority, and symbols of the love others have for us. Power is simply the desire for love gone astray. We feel so unloved, unwanted, unneeded, uncared for, that we substitute all kinds of things for the one thing that matters. But we feel unloved because we stay in our own hearts, doors barred, windows shut and locked and dare anyone to get in.

Someone once pointed out that to open any area of access would be to become vulnerable to others. Well, Jesus was vulnerable to death for love of us--and as frightening as that is, it seems better to die of love than to die of want. Jesus did not die wanting--He died in the fullness of life, in the fullness of love, and in the apotheosis of humanity. He died to show us how to live--and living that way death is not death, but victory because our lives mirror His and our deaths call to others and inspire others to follow Him. As frightening as vulnerability is, it is far less frightening that remaining locked in the fortress of self. God save us from ourselves--the worst wardens, the worst dictators, the worst rulers the world has ever seen. The tyranny of self-love is the destruction of the world.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 11, 2002 7:55 AM.

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