“A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” Psalm 51:12
Yes, it’s been a long five weeks. But be hopeful. Very soon we will arrive at the moment in our spiritual journey sure to fill us with a lasting joy. Easter is almost here.
Everything we have done since Ash Wednesday—the prayer, the sacrifices, and acts of charity—have had a single goal: to invite God into our lives to create a clean heart. I think today’s wisdom from the psalmist is this: A heart focused on God—love and the sanctity of life—doesn’t get caught up in petty things or self-satisfying pursuits but lives for others instead. To me a clean heart is just another way of saying “the ability to love without holding back”!
Being human, we can easily forget our original intentions to stay focused and steadfast. After all, forty days of focus is a long time and distractions are going to test our will. But even when they do, we can work through them by calling on God’s grace. We do that through Mass and the sacraments especially the Eucharist. We also bring God into our hearts through scripture, personal prayer, and the Rosary. All the things we have been doing.
Friend, as you prepare for Holy Week, lay claim to the comfort of a clean heart—and recognize that God’s presence during Lent has guided you every step of the way. Lent is almost over, but the richness we are about to inherit will last forever.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for Fifth Sunday of Lent
Take from me, most merciful Lord,
my heart of stone and in its place
give me a human heart like Yours:
loving, forgiving, compassionate,
and caring, thus vulnerable and
open to being hurt and wounded.
You remain with us, Lord Jesus,
not only in the Blessed Sacrament
but also in hearts made pure again
by Your grace and good will.
You dwell within us, Lord Jesus,
just as You dwelt in the Temple of old
and in the ark of the new covenant:
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Your Holy Mother and ours.
With hearts and souls cleansed
and renewed by Your blood on the cross
and empowered by that same Holy Spirit
that changes bread and wine into
the Sacrament of Your presence,
empower me always to do Your Will
and share Your life and Good News
with everyone I meet this day.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso