Four Hearts In The World
In every card deck there are four suits and these four suits have four hearts each indicating a different aspects of thelife of man. Our Lord speaks of the four hearts in the parable of the sower and the seed. There are four types of soilindicating the four movements in every man’s heart. Many have forgotten that this world is the place for God to test our hearts and see whether they are prepared for true, victimal love. If they are then they will produce a hundred fold.If not, then why not?
In the first movement of man selfishness hardens the heart at an early age if the young person is not trained in sacrificialsharing and caring then the hardness of the will cries out, “Give it to me! or It’s mine!” Hardened hearts always want it their way. They cannot rejoice in the good fortune of the other but rather become envious and spiteful. In the young the good parents know how to bend the will of the child to think of others first and self last. Sometimes it is a most difficult task to break the hardened heart of a head-strong child. If it is not corrected then all through their days on earth theybelieve everyone ought to bow to their wishes. Their hardness will cause them to be isolated from all even those who love them.
Turn to the second expression of the heart which offers us a meditation on the world and its allurements. Here the heart isactively seeking the pleasures that this world offers as a distraction from the eternal. The temporal tickle of delicious foods,the involving play of a variety of sports, the thrill of ski-diving, the growth in their bank accounts, all of this and more present us with the desire for heaven now. This is the heart which craves the world, its pleasures and its power. These are the heartsthat want to control others, use and abuse others. The thorns of power and pleasure in the end do not bring happiness but rather an empty soul. They have missed the meaning of life.
What about the heart that hides a rock and has a little desire for the truth and rejoicing upon hearing a good sermon.That heart has no depth; it is shallow in all it does. It is like the diver who fails to check out what is below the surface ofthe pond and discovers too late that rocks and not water hinder his desire for a fresh plunge. There must be depths in what we say and what we do. That depths comes from the knowledge we acquire by reading and reflecting upon the Word of God. But the hearts of rock do not wish to study and desire only the passing joy of a few good words which are gone the moment they leave the church.
None of these hearts produce any fruit because their soil is lacking moisture, detachment or depth. Finally the sower foundsome good soil, a humble heart. This humble heart hears the word (the seed) and rejoices that it has found Truth. The truth becomes this soul’s passion. These souls produce the fruit of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They will feed the hungry, cloth the naked, give drink to the thirsty, house the homeless, visit the sick and elderly and visit thosein prison. These souls will counsel the ignorant, pray for the dying, bury the dead and perform the other spiritual works of mercy. The fruit abounds around the perfect number of 10 and its perfection is 10 times 10 yielding 100 fold.
Now a soul can pass through all these phases of the heart just as we pass monthly through the four stages of the moon.We must never rest in any of these defective heart but continue our quest for the heart of flesh. This heart is the onewhich will achieve life’s goal: happiness with God. As we approach the 40 days of Lent it is crucial to take account of our heart and its movement. Are we hardened and seeking only our way; are we always in need of entertainment and pleasures; are we shallow in our approach to our daily life? Ultimately, have we come to sacrifice ourselves for the spiritual good of my neighbor? Answering these questions can provide us with a healthy plan for Lent 2018.
May our Lord and our Blessed Mother open your hearts and fill them with their love. In their love we becomelovable and loving.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt