Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

February 21st/22nd Bulletin Article

Dear Friends,

            I'm not much of a golfer. I haven't golfed at all for two years, and before that, I played maybe a round once a year. I'm not very good: I don't practice and don't play enough to get some reps; I've never received any formal lessons, so my form is atrocious; and I'm left-handed without my own clubs, so renting clubs from the course means I usually play with clubs older than Arnold Palmer or even Bobby Jones.

            Maybe my approach altogether has been wrong. I usually think about simply getting from the tee to the green. However, I recently heard that a golfer should start from the hole and work back to the tee, visualizing the shots needed to get to the green and the hole. This is how we should approach Lent: where do I want to be on Easter, who do I want to be on Easter and work back from there. What are the things I need to do to get there, to be that person? Hopefully on Easter, I have become more like Jesus Christ, and hopefully on Easter, I am living the life of Heaven more so than I was on Ash Wednesday. This should put in perspective our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

            To help us get to Easter, we hear these words from the prophet Joel: “Rend your hearts, not your garments.” In order to be more conformed to Jesus Christ and live the life of Heaven, we have to rend our hearts, have our hearts broken and made anew, like the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These words from C.S. Lewis, the great British author and Christian apologist, struck me, and I believe they expand upon rending our hearts instead of our garments:


“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”


            God made Himself vulnerable before us, particularly in sending His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was vulnerable before us, and His Sacred Heart has been bruised, pierced, and broken for us. This is the abundant love God has for us. This is who Jesus Christ is, and this is the life of Heaven. This is what we're striving for on Easter. Which practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will help us to be more like Christ come Easter?

            We are saints under construction, striving to be more like Christ and striving to live the life of Heaven even now. Have a great week!


In Christ,


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