Batter My Heart

This was the assigned reading for Sunday for my Lenten boot camp. One week in and I’m already falling behind. *sigh* But the point is continual progress. I’m going to fall a lot more, but if I can pick myself up and keep going, then I’m going to count it as a win. 🙂

Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to’another due, 5
Labour to’admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely’I love you,’and would be loved faine,
But am betroth’d unto your enemie: 10
Divorce mee,’untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you’enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee. — John Donne

I’m not the greatest at poetry. I can read it and find a meaning for myself, but I’m never quite sure if that’s the meaning that the author intended or not. What I take from this is that the narrator (and, by analogy, us) is caught in a passionate, interior struggle between his own corrupt desires, and his desire to enter into the Divine Life. He is begging God to do violence to his deformed heart, to wrest him away from the Evil One.

I love the intensity, the emotion, and the passion of this piece. And I resemble him who “proves weake or untrue” all too often.

Dear Lord, please batter my heart with Your love for me and abduct me away from the one who has me in chains. Break me down and overcome me with the persistence of the ocean waves, until I — your creature who is dust — submits and is formed into your image as the sand submits to the violence of the sea and the ugly disruption of the day’s is washed away, leaving a pristine beach at dawn.

Pristine Beach1

ABCs of Talking to God

Perhaps you will enjoy lots of little posts throughout the day, instead of one big post with a thousand different topics? 🙂 Anyways…

I am trying to be more intentional and more thoughtful about my prayer life and the various spiritual reading that I do. My tendency is to skim through things just to get them done, rather than to ponder them for the spiritual riches they may contain. Then, when I do find something worthwhile, I seldom take the time to write it down, and I eventually forget about it, so all that benefit? Gone.

I received this article, How to Talk to God, as a link in my e-mail yesterday. Her ABCs are to (A) Focus on God, (B) Listen Carefully, and (C) Respond Thoughtfully.

Distractions seem to be my way of life. And then I get distracted from my distraction and everything snowballs until it’s several hours later and I haven’t accomplished a single thing. Frustrating. Sometimes my prayer time is like that too. I know that it’s difficult for me to sit still. It’s physically painful, as well as out-of-the-norm for me. So, I bring things for me to do: rosary, Bible, spiritual reading, lists of people to pray for… But then, I end up going from thing to thing and don’t get solid time to be quiet before the Lord. Granted, it’s still good to spend time in the presence of the Lord, even if you are just — as Father puts it — balancing your checkbook. But so much better if you are actively working on growing in intimacy with Jesus.

Then the listening part. Truly, if you know of a really good way to learn how to listen… I’m… listening? Most of what I’ve heard is to Just. Do. It. Sit before the Lord and be quiet. And eventually good listening skills will come. I am still waiting. Fidgety. May the Blessed Mother help me.

God invites, God gives grace, and then we are to respond. Like, to actually *DO* what He says, not merely to agree that X is a good idea.

Where will *you* seek out God?
Adoration at Vigil
Adoration at Vigil, World Youth Day, Sydney, 2008

Halo

Since I’m trying new things this Lent, what better fruit to try than a Halo? 🙂

Halo

And doesn’t it look delicious? Don’t let my ultra-close-up photo fool you — it’s only the size of a stress ball or hacky sack. Which tempts me to use it as a stress ball or hacky sack… or to just toss it around like a baseball. Seriously, I am a danger to spherical food items. 🙂

I am unfamiliar with peeling oranges and the like, so I Googled how to to this. Here is my end result:

Peeled Halo

Not bad, eh? 🙂 They are pretty good! Sweet and juicy and not messy, even after peeling.

And since it’s Lent, and since we are called to help bring others to Christ, I shared my Halo with my co-workers. 🙂