The heart of the matter

You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts, and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast; that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy, and renewed by your Word and Sacraments, they may come to the fullness of grace which you have prepared for those who love you.

Preface for Lent, Book of Common Prayer, p. 379

The heart of the matter…
What is the heart of your concern…
At the heart…

Bishop Gregg, in addressing Charlotte clergy this week, observed that our language reflects that we know that the heart is more than an organ that pumps blood. The word in Spanish “el corazón” means heart, but also means center. The Lenten hope, expressed in the aforementioned prayer prayed at Eucharist, is that there would be a cleansing, a clearing at the center, at the core of our being.

The center core, or essence, of who we are is that we have been created in the image and likeness of God. The purpose of Lenten discipline is both to remind us of this truth and to make space in our hearts, in the center of who we are, for God to be at work, remaking that which has been broken by sin.

Lent asks us to attend to what “gets in the way,” fills up our time, demands our attention and takes us away from this core, this essential truth: we are made in the image of God. So our hearts remain restless until we can rest in God.

Lord, make us mindful of what we give our hearts over to, so that we may find you at the center our lives and, from that, go out in hope, peace and joy. Amen.

-The Rev. Nancy L. J. Cox, Rector