Like an old ’57 Chevy, one of my valves was shot.
Some years ago, I had heart surgery. For a year or so, I tired more than a person should. It took a while for my doctor to get me to the right specialist who diagnosed the problem. In addition to the valve, I also had some clogged arteries, which he fixed at the same time.
Since this surgery, I now find the phrase “harden not your hearts” a moving meditation phrase. The concept of not hardening our hearts shows up as many as fifteen times in Scripture. A heart is a soft vibrating organ. But if it hardens, it cannot function.
We can harden our hearts in many ways. During my lifetime, I have found at times a hardening of my heart toward meditative prayer. I found myself making it through the day on a couple of recitations of the Lord’s Prayer and one or two other prayers. I didn’t want to turn my heart toward God. I needed to exercise my spiritual heart to get it vibrating and back in the spirit of meditation.
We can also spend less time in spiritual relationships. Perhaps we have hastened the hardening process by negative thoughts about a person. Before we are aware of it, we are not spending time on our relationship with God. Our heart has petrified in this area.
Fortunately, God gives us the ability to reverse this process. I believe we can feel that hardening of the heart when it takes place. We realize we are not the loving person we should be. We have become blah, selfish, or lazy.
Hardening is a gradual process, but one day, we find we have hardened our hearts—and it is our fault.
God made your heart to love. Exercise it so your prayer arteries won’t clog.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Kenan Bresnan has had material published online and in print. He spent ten years working in parish outreach for Catholic Charities of Des Moines. Kenan is now retired. He is an active school board member and former mayor. He is married and has four adult children.