“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” Our hearts are Holy Temples; places of deep and profound divine intimacy – places of loving union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In prayer, I contemplate my heart. I place myself in the sacred presence of the Lord and ask for the grace to unfold this beautiful image of the heart. As I sit in front of the altar, I consider its profound simplicity. There is no clutter; it is merely ready and waiting to receive a worthy offering; ready to be used so to speak. I think about my own heart as an altar for the Lord. It should be ready the same way. Stripped down, naked, eagerly waiting to receive the sacrifice of the Mass – ready to receive the Lord’s sacrificial love. But that is not always the case. At times, the altar of my heart requires much attention in order to be prepared to celebrate the sacred mysteries and receive the gift of the Father’s tender love, the holy sacrifice of the Son, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I imagine myself invoking the grace of the Holy Spirit prior to Mass. I ask the Lord to prepare the tiny altar of my heart; freeing it from the things that get in the way from offering myself like Jesus to the Father; freeing my heart from the things that prevent me from more fully receiving the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Surrendering our hearts to the Lord in the intimacy of prayer allows the Holy Spirit to penetrate the depths of our hearts; cleansing, purifying, preparing, giving, receiving. The more our hearts can be stripped of worldly attachments, the more they can be transformed and filled by the Holy Spirit. The more we can detach ourselves from noise and confusion, the more we can attach ourselves to interior silence and peace. Moved by the Lord’s sacred presence, I ask the Lord to prepare the poor altar of my heart in preparation and anticipation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then I pray in loving confidence, come Holy Spirit purify my heart, transform it to be a holy altar for the Lord, eager to receive his sacred gift. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my poor heart like your glorious one.
Fourth Sunday of Lent