The Wilderness of our Hearts

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness
a way for the Lord.’

Those words are a clarion-call to prepare a way for the Lord in the wilderness of our hearts. It is easy to get side-tracked by the duties of every day and all the busy-ness of preparing for Christmas. We can end up wondering whether we have any focus at all. We try, of course we do, but as often as not we are left with a vague unease that we are not attentive, not really present to the Lord. Advent seems to be passing us by. Would it encourage you to know that that is exactly what Advent is meant to do in our lives — show us how much we need saving? There is no such thing as D.I.Y. salvation.

So, today, we are back in the desert, not under the scorching sun but in the cold, bleak desert of night and darkness that constitutes so much of our interior life. Yet it is here, in this wilderness, that we must prepare a way for the Lord. We know about levelling the little molehills of pride and self-sufficiency that dot our interior landscape, but what about filling in those valleys of dissatisfaction and fearfulness that are also present? If that seems an impossibility, have we forgotten that we do not act alone?

He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Yes, the Lord himself is the way. He both invites us to make a way for him and creates the way within us.

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12 thoughts on “The Wilderness of our Hearts”

        • Hitting the spot here too. Was just feeling not present and not attentive and chiding myself .. helpful to read that this could be intentional . Good to dig deeper from the wilderness and absolutely encouraged to be reminded that we do not act alone .
          Thank You

      • I have been reassured and lifted from my weariness by your offering. You always manage to put into words the unspoken murmurings of my heart. Thank you from another unseen prayer companion

  1. Thank you – that cold, bleak desert of the night we all know so well , is , however unwittingly & uninspired you may think your posts are , for me & I am sure many others an enabling , opening channel for the Holy Spirit & I thank you for that. May God Bless & enrich your Advent too .

  2. “Molehills of pride and self-sufficiency [and selfishness] and valleys [chasms] of dissatisfaction and fear”…so true. Make straight the way of the Lord! Amen. Thank you for this teaching.

  3. Thank you for this, Sr Catherine. Crystal clear and consoling.

    All too easy to get swept up in other agendas at this time of year and to feel a failure for not meeting everyone’s hopes and expectations.

    If only there were widespread comprehension that ‘There is no such thing as D.I.Y. salvation’! Such enlightenment would change the world and dispense with politics as we know it.

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