Preparing Our Hearts for a New Springtime

by

Kathy Gautcher

Kathy Gautcher

Pope John Paul II, says a new springtime will be revealed in the third millennium, “If Christians are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit”. That means we won’t experience this “new springtime” unless we are open and obedient to the action and movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church, in our parishes, in our families, and foremost in our hearts.

So we have to ask ourselves a question. Are our hearts ready to be open to all the Holy Spirit want’s to do in our lives? If not, how do we prepare our hearts? Look at our hearts as soil that has to be prepared much like the soil in a garden has to be prepared before it is planted. If the soil is not prepared properly, the seed planted will not bear fruit. So it is with our hearts.

To plant a garden we are going to have get everything out of the way that would hinder the growth of the plants. So it is with our hearts. We have to remove everything in our heart that would block the growth, the maturing of the Spirit.

The first thing we will have to do is decide where we want the garden. We will look for a spot that will get good sun, and is not on a well traveled path. The garden will need the sun to help the plants grow.

And so it is with our heart. We are going to have to find a spot, a place for our heart. We need a quiet spot where we can spend time alone with God. We will need to find a place where we can Son bathe. Just like the garden needs sunshine for growth, to be able to produce fruit, so we too, need Son shine to become docile to the Holy Spirit.

Now that we have found our garden spot we have to start to prepare the soil. We will have to remove all previous growth. This will take a lot of hard work. All the sod has to be taken up and removed. This can be painful to us, maybe a sore back, or sore muscles that we did not even know we had. We know the pain is okay because we have a vision of eating fresh vegetables and fruits.

We have found a spot for our heart so now we have work to do. Just like the gardener, we will have to get rid of that stuff that has been growing wild and sometimes unnoticed. We are going to have to really look at our heart and we may not like what we see. We will be using spiritual muscles that we may not have known we had. But once again we do have a vision so we keep on working, because we want to be become docile to the Spirit. Some of the things we are going to want to remove right away are habits that are taking us away from God. As we Son bathe He will show us areas of sin that He wants us to remove.

After we have gotten all the sod and old growth out of the area for our garden we start to dig the garden bed up. Often we will be surprised by what we run across. All the rocks big and little have to removed or they will hinder the growth of our plants.

In our hearts there are rocks or hard places that have to be taken care of. Some of these rocks are unforgiveness, bitterness, and, or resentments. Unforgiveness can leave us very crippled. It has been said that hanging on to a hurt and not forgiving the other person, is like drinking poison hoping that person will die. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and walk with you through these painful times and to let His healing touch bring life to you.

What better way is there to experience the healing and cleansing touch of Jesus than going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Reconciliation at least once a month is a good starting, but more often would be better.

Now that we have all the old growth and rocks removed from our garden, we need to build up the soil. A lot of work goes on underneath the soil, so we want to have a healthy environment for our plants. We may have to bring in top-soil that is rich in nutrients, so that it can feed the roots. We are going to have to feed the soil and keep it healthy.

God has created us to be with other people, He did not create us to be loners. Our brothers and sisters can help us prepare the soil in our heart. Everyone needs a mentor, or prayer partner, or spiritual director, we all need someone to walk the journey with. If you do not have someone to walk with you, pray and ask God to send someone into your life. We also in turn have to be available for others, to be there to walk through their hurt, to hold them when they cry, to encourage them, to be Christ to them. We need each other.

We need to feed our hearts. We need to fill the void that has been made. We need to learn new habits to replace old ones. God wants us to be as close to Him as a branch is to the vine. “The vine dresser goes out to the vineyard and cuts every wild branch and the healthy ones he ties or binds to the vine, so that they can increase their yield.” (John 15: 1-8) The vine gives the branch life.

In Pope John Paul’s Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineute , he is calling us to go out into the deep. That deepness that he is calling for is a call to Holiness” (Par.30). He quotes “The rediscovery of the Church as mystery, or as a people gathered together by the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Lumen Gentium 4) “was bound to bring with it a rediscovery of the Church’s holiness, understood in the basic sense of belonging to him who is in essence the Holy One, the thrice Holy. To profess the Church as holy means to point to her as the Bride of Christ, for whom He gave Himself precisely in order to make her holy.”

The Holy Father goes on to say “this training in holiness for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer.” Holiness is the program, prayer is the vessel. To become holy we need to become people of prayer. Prayer is nothing more than communication with God. We speak and then we listen to Him.

Every one of us needs to have a daily private prayer time. It should be the time of day that we are the most alert. Start out with maybe 15 minutes a day. Then as you grow in the art of prayer allow God to increase your time with Him.

To grow in holiness we need to be at Mass as often as possible. We are a Eucharistic people, the Eucharist is the center of our faith. The Eucharist is the very Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” (John 6?:54.)

Not only are we to receive the Eucharist as often as possible we are to worship and adore the Eucharist. Try to spend at least an hour a week before the Blessed Sacrament. If you can not get to adoration you can just sit before the Tabernacle, Jesus is still present. This is the best way to Son bathe. Also remember we become what we eat, and we imitate what we watch, and who we spend our time with. Be holy as I am holy the Lord says to us and what better way than to be in His presence.

Do not forget that you need to be at your weekly prayer meeting. The people at that prayer meeting are the very people that the Lord has chosen for you. These are the people He wants you to journey with. . At the prayer meeting you will learn how to grow in the Spirit, how to yield to the Spirit, how to become holy as He is holy. This is where you will learn to use the gifts of the spirit and how to grow in the gifts. The prayer meeting is your boot camp. Take part of the prayer group. Don’t just go and let everyone else do the ministering. See if you can teach, or lead, or pray with others.

As we become docile to the movement of the holy Spirit we will experience the love, joy, and the peace of God. We will see His power and might working in our every day lives. We will not only see a change in our lives and the live of those around us, but we will see Him working in every area of our lives. We will become the burning fire that He has called us to be. We will not only see our prayer group, our church, set on fire for God , but there is a good chance we will see the U. P. On fire. That fire will spread through out the state of Michigan, and across our whole country to the ends of the earth. We will experience a new springtime if we are docile to the Holy Spirit. We will respond to Song of Songs 2:10-12.

My lover speaks, he says to me.
“Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard
in our land”

Do you hear the song of the dove? Can we sing the song of the dove?

From the Diocese of Marquette Michigan, U.P. Catholic Charismatic Newsletter (Spring, 2004)

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