Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Setting Our Hearts Free

I had a most incredible week as part of the Mexico Mission Team from Saint Mark. As I shared on Sunday after my return, it was an amazing journey of connecting with brothers and sisters in the faith in our sister church in Rio Bravo, addressing the overwhelmingly systemic problem of poverty one casita (small house) at a time, and putting our hands and feet to work in service to our Lord. I came back tired but very full!

On the first day of our trip, as we gathered there for worship, shared testimonies, and met the families that were to receive the casitas we worked on, Pastor Marco did a sermon on discovering the truth of who we really are, the question of our existence that runs deep and that we can not avoid. It resonated with the people, and with me. It is a message that transcends all cultures and languages.

I took with me on the week's journey a devotional book that I went to during devotional time each morning and each night. It is selections from the writings of Francis de Sales, who was Bishop of Geneva in the early 1600's. He was noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is also known for his writings on topics related to spiritual direction and spiritual formation. One of the entries really struck me, and I feel led to share it with you today in hopes that it helps continue your wilderness journey of Lent, longing for the heart of God and rediscovering who we truly are.

A heart that is free is the close companion of a peaceful soul.
A free heart is one that is not attached to its own way of doing things, that does not become impatient when things don’t go its way.
A free heart will surely enjoy spiritual consolations, but is not dependent on them and will, to the best of its ability, accept troubles in their stead.
A free heart is not so tied to a schedule or a way of praying that any change is upsetting and a source of anxiety.
A free heart is not attached to what is beyond its control.
A free heart prays to God that his name be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
For if the name of God is hallowed, if his kingdom is in us, if his will is being done, a free spirit need not concern itself with anything else.

Lord, set our hearts free. Help us be who we truly are created to be.