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Posts Tagged ‘alms of the heart’


Ezra 10The Fruitfulness of Suffering

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation of the Day by Elisabeth Leseur (205-206) entitled The Alms of the Heart:

We must never reject anyone who seeks to approach us spiritually; perhaps that person, consciously or unconsciously, is in quest of the “unknown God” (Acts 17:23) and has sensed in us something that reveals his presence; perhaps he or she thirsts for truth and feels that we live by this truth. 

Those who seem to be spiritually dead are not always those least accessible to the divine Word; when wood is dead, it needs only a spark to set it afire. 

Many people live on the surface of their lives without ever penetrating their profound and sorrowful depths.  If we knew how to center ourselves, how to look clearly into ourselves, and how to understand the meaning of fruitfulness of suffering, then the slightest gesture, the most imperceptible movement of the most unassuming of human beings, would reveal to us these abysses of sorrow or tenderness that remain open interiorly until the day when another pours light into them and causes life to burst forth.

I am certain that we know a number of people – we may even know many – who live on the surface of their lives, protecting themselves from plumbing the depths of their souls where they might encounter the true and living God.  These are people who say they are seekers but they hope to find truth while at the same steering clear of pain.  They say that they value integrity yet they hide in the shadowy portions of their own lives.

In Ezra 10 we meet people who have suffered so greatly and deeply for so long that they can bear no more . . . and so they capitulate to reality.  They acknowledge their guilt.  They own their actions.  They assemble to confess and to return to God.  They have allowed their grief to bear meaningful fruit.  They acknowledge their suffering . . . and they are ready to both approach and to be approached by those is pain.  They recognize and smile openly at like travelers.

The Leseur Meditation concludes in this way: Silence is sometimes an energetic act, and smiling is, too.

To defend oneself against the multiplicity of external things and the agitation they bring, make firm resolutions, and carry out faithfully the fruit of our meditation.

Look around oneself for proud sufferers in need, find them, and give them the alms of our heart, of our time, and of our tender respect.

Leseur urges us to be firm, steadfast, and resolute – it is a message we have heard several times this week.  She wants us to both welcome and be welcomed by those who understand the value of suffering well, to both receive and to give the kind of love Christ bears for us.  Leseur hopes to inspire us to live more in God’s world and less in our own.  She wants to open to us the understanding that . . . there is abundant fruitfulness in suffering . . . and that a gentle smile for fellow sufferers might be the perfect salutation to those who also bear witness to these alms of the heart. 

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 15.6 (2011): 205-206. Print.  

A Favorite from June 15, 2011.

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