Monday, June 14, 2010

Heart of a Servant

It's amazing how when we open ourselves up to what God may want to say to us, we start hearing Him.

My friend, blogger Lisa, sfo of Franciscan Focus shared a link to this post about the Sacred Heart. From this post I quote:

So what then IS the biblical notion of the heart? While not wholly excluding feelings, the “Heart” in the scriptures is the deepest part of us where we “live.” It is where we deliberate, where our memories and thoughts are. It is where we process feelings and events. It is where we ponder what to do and decide. It is where we reflect and consider the direction of our life and most deeply understand who we are and how we are related to God and others. It is the place of our decisions and where we set priorities. In short is it the place where “I am” in the deepest sense. Most moderns locate this in the brain (or mind, a word that the Scriptures often use for a similar understanding) but the ancients located all this in the heart.

As I have started to dip my toe into the shallow end of the deep pool of what it means to have a Servant's Heart, it never occurred to me that I might need to learn more about the heart itself. And for what it's worth, I highly recommend that you read the entire post from which the above quote is taken. I know it is providing me with much food for thought.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Cor 13:11 RSV)

I was watching The Neverending Story, a 1984 film based on the novel of the same name. It could easily be said to be my favorite movie of all time. I saw it for the first time when I was 5 years old, and it set the foundation of my heart's desire for many years to come. By this I mean that fantasy became my "genre", from The Neverending Story I moved on to The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other fantasy novels and movies. Unfortunately, these fantastical stories were often read to the exclusion of my schoolwork, and definitely to the exclusion of Scripture, which was the exact opposite of the dreamy escapism I experienced in fantasy. Even The Chronicles of Narnia, when read with the understanding of a child, can in the mind of that child lead to a focus on magic and talking animals, rather than the sacrifice of Aslan.

So today, as I was watching The Neverending Story, it occurred to me as it recently has before, that the fantasy novels of my youth, with the exception of The Chronicles of Narnia and books like it, no longer satisfy me. The young heroes and heroines dashing off bravely (and often foolishly) to save the day, the struggling hero or heroine learning to wield a magical "gift", the wrongfully accused hero who must set the record straight and save the kingdom - they no longer speak to me of adventure and fill my heart with hours of daydreamy glory. Rather, I find that after reading one of these stories I feel at best a sense of nostalgia for a time when the only responsibilities I had were schoolwork and keeping my room clean, but more often, I feel a sense of time lost, precious moments wasted that could have been better spent in some other way.

And this, believe it or not, leads us to the seed origin of the Servant's Heart. For it is in the deepest parts of us where desire is seeded, and must of necessity lie dormant until the conditions are right for the seed to break open and the first cautious, fragile roots to reach out. My sophomore year in university I had an experience which led to me "getting off the fence post" and choosing to be Catholic. It was during the next couple years that I began to read Scripture more than I previously had, and began to learn that being Christian was going to be far more than just going to Church on Sunday, reading my Bible, and saying some prayers - when I happened to think of it. And it was this warming of the heart, and watering of faith, that allowed that seed to put forth its first roots.

I couldn't have known at the time what those roots would grow into, and know that even today I am not fully grown. But I was, and am, a journalor (journaler?), and thankfully have my journals to go back to, to read my thoughts and "realizations" as the roots began to take hold in my heart. The only wrinkle in this journey of mine, back in time to when it began, is that journals don't have a table of contents... So, next post, how the roots first broke out of the seed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Blog Title

Wow. It's been 9 months since the last time I wrote a post. You could gestate a baby in that time, and who knows, maybe the new focus of the blog has been gestating in my heart (don't worry, I won't stretch that analogy too far.)

I'm on Plurk and a seminarian friend mentioned that he and some other seminarians had created a new chaplet, and that he planned to blog about it. That set me to thinking about my much neglected blog, and a chaplet that I developed over the course of two World Youth Days (and yes, that means it took over three years!) but haven't really developed the devotion, even if only for myself.

And then, Voila! The thought came to me, as copycat thoughts will, that I could blog about my chaplet, and in so doing perhaps discover for myself what it means to be a Servant of God, and a servant to His people.

I am setting for myself therefore the goal of blogging at least once a week on some portion of my chaplet. Next post, the origin of the Chaplet of a Servant's Heart.