A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Spring Cleaning for Our Hearts

Posted on: March 31, 2014

pets enjoying sunshine

Pixie and Molly enjoying the spring sunshine

At our house, two cats, a bulldog, two zebra finches and a corn snake—our own little zoo—enjoy the extra daylight hours by lounging in the sun.

It’s a far cry from what I was doing this morning: making a long list of chores to carry out before my in-laws arrive for a visit later this week.

I’m worried about cleaning glass doors and kitchen cupboard fronts, dusting, and polishing the stainless-steel appliance fronts. The spring cleaning needs to be done, I tell myself. But my real concern is making a good impression. Never mind that my husband’s parents are coming for my son’s confirmation next weekend and not for a home inspection.

Sometimes we put too much stock in how things look to other people: whether our lawn looks as good as the neighbours’, whether we’re as thin as our friends, or even whether other parishioners notice how involved we are in the life of the parish.

We can lose sight of what really matters: the true state of things on the inside. Are we busy with family activities, and so the lawn isn’t high on our priority list? Are we working on becoming healthier so we can be active with our children and have more energy for work and community activities? Are we using our time and talents as God calls us to, even if our work is less visible to others in the parish?

Even more important, what is the state of our hearts? Do we strive to follow Jesus’ teachings and become more like him? Do we regularly receive Communion for strength in our faith and the sacrament of reconciliation for forgiveness of our sins? Or do we give lip service to our faith while our hearts are far from God (see Matthew 15:1-20*)?

Rather than focus on looking as though we have everything under control—an illusion at best—I pray that we would focus on strengthening our relationships with others and with God.

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

~John 4:23-24

(*Scripture reference and quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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