Bernard Shaw once remembered, “Few people think more than two or three times a year”. “I” he pointed out humorously. “have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week”.
Someone asked Newton. “How did you
discover the law of gravitation? “By thinking about it” Was the scientist’s
We are and become what we think. Our
thoughts tend to externalize themselves in our daily actions successes or
James Allen puts it so aptly
By thought we rise
By thought we fall
By thought we stand or go – all destiny is wrought by its swift potency
And he who stands master of thought
And his desires commands.
Willing and weaving thoughts of love
Shapes his high end in truth’s unerring
More often than not failure is only
the red signal pointing to the culprit, negative thinking. It is a
psychological face, says John D Murphy, “that we tend to travel in the
direction we are looking whether you are a success or failure in life depends
to a great extent upon which way the eyes of your mind are focused if you keep
them continually focused upon failure, and upon obstacles and negatives you
have the tendency to travel in that direction.
One cannot think fear and act
courageously, be bent on failure and achieve success. A lot of trouble and
suffering for ourselves and others could be avoided if our thoughts were a bit
more on the positive side. Petty grievances, pessimism, hatred and such
feelings are good only as far as one’s destruction is concerned.
At the Lions Club M. Jones looked
intently at the newcomer. ”Haven’t I
seen your face somewhere else?” he asked . “I don’t think so” said the
newcomer. “It is always been right on my shoulder“212”.
In the modern world a new type of man
is emerging, the mass – man: thinking with the crowd, recognized with the crowd
and submerged in the collectivity or
crowd. This new man does not think. He jumps from a return. He simply invites the person to change
his life, to go in peace to be filled with faith.
So often, that is not the
way we love. As I stand before many
people in my life. I love them something like this: I might say, “If you love
me, you would…” and I can recount to them a whole series of conditions, of
strings. Somehow these people have to earn my love; they have to deserve my
friendship; they might have to buy me to be a part of my life. How often in our
lives is the dimension, the quality, the power of love conditioned by the word
“if”. When Jesus gives his love, he never says, “… if I love you”, he simply
says, “I love you”.
A second aspect of the Heart of our
Christ is that the Heart of our Jesus is a faithful heart. From the very
beginning pages of the life of Christ, he is faithful to his mission in his
way. Again, what is his mission? To set us free from our sins, to heal our
hearts, to call us to life, to remind us that you and I are sons and daughters
of a Father, a loving Father in heaven.
Recall the temptation in the desert.
Jesus is there for those forty days of prayer and fasting, and at the end of
that time he is tempted by the evil one. Time after time our Christ repels
those temptations, for the evil one is tempting him to stray away from, to
divert his attention from his mission, to be popular, to be powerful, to
manipulate people, to be what he is not. Jesus cuts through those temptations
like a branding iron through a pat of butter.
And then, a little later on, just
before those events of Holy Week, Jesus has another episode that demonstrates
so powerfully his fidelitly to his mission. Recall the scene, my friends. Jesus
is with his Apostles, and all of sudden he stops. He stares in the direction of
the holy city, his eyes have a strange expression for just a few moments, and then
he turns to them and speaks. He tells them that
now he must go up to Jerusalem, and there he will be betrayed, will be condemned, will suffer, die
and rise on the third day. But notice,
my friends, who gets in the way. Your friend and mine St. Peter stands before him and literally blocks his way.
Peter won’t let him go. Peter stands
between Christ and his mission. True, out of friendship, out of concern for
what will happen. But, Jesus turns to him and he says, “Get out of my way. Stop
getting in the way. Don’t be a road – block to what I must do”. No one and
nothing gets in the way of Jesus being faithful to his mission.
What about fidelity in our lives? Are
we faithful to what we are called to? As priests, religious, husband, wife,
children, are we faithful to the vocations to which we are called? Or how often
do we allow things to interfere with
what we are supposed to be doing? – our own concerns, perhaps our own self –
pity, or may be ambition that are obstacles to our mission, to our vocations
which are sacred and which are given to us by our God.
A third aspect, we might say, of the
Heart of Christ is that the Heart of Jesus is a compassionate heart. Page after
page after page, incident after incident show us that Jesus is always concerned
about the well being of others. Jesus never does anything for himself. His
love, his mercy, gentleness, sensitivity are always given to those he meets who
are in need. We’ve heard these remarks before. We have seen so readily that the
Heart of Christ is love filled, is faithful, is compassionate, and we can make
a single statement about the Heart of Jesus; his Heart is a giving heart. The
Heart of Christ impels him to give: to give himself, to give peace, to give
comfort and rest, forgiveness and healing, new life and new beginnings to
everyone he meets. And even in his Passion, in those three hours in pain and
suffering on Calvary. Jesus continues to
give. For as soon as that Cross is planted
in the rocky ground of Calvary. Jesus asks the Father and gives us
forgiveness. To the thief hanging in crucifixion, he gives eternal life. He
gives St. John the Apostle and us his mother to be our mother.
And even when he’s dead, even when
every law of philosophy and logic say one cannot give any more. Jesus Christ
continues to give. For when that cold steel stabs the Heart of Christ, out gush
a fountain of blood and water to bathe you and me as followers of Jesus in the reality and in the gifts of Eucharist
of Baptism , of the Spirit of the Church. From that broken Heart – remember, a
heart that is dead – Jesus gives you and me absolutely everything we need to
live our lives as his followers.