Our Shabby Hearts

At this mid-point in Advent, an honest examination of our lives may reveal that the way of the Lord has not yet been sufficiently prepared – the paths of our hearts are still far from straight! 

It can be tempting to give up entirely, to say, “Lord, my life will never be good enough for You. My heart is not ready for You. Please stay away. I am ashamed to let You enter in and see me as I am.” 

It is in that moment that we must think about Bethlehem and take comfort. For Christ chose to come to earth at Bethlehem, where there was no room for Him in inns too preoccupied with other clients, rather than at Nazareth, where in Joseph’s house all had been made ready for His coming, all was clean and empty. 

Christ chose the loneliness and inconvenience of a friendless place to the warmth of a family home. 

He chose the bare, ugly, uncomfortable furnishings of a stable-cave to those lovingly crafted items back at Joseph’s house. And He did this to show His affinity for cramped, poor, uncomfortable places. 

So if our hearts are, despite our best efforts, often rather full of things and people other than Christ, if they seem shabby and inconvenient residences to offer the King of kings, we can take comfort and think that, perhaps, they remind Him of Bethlehem and the first glances his infant eyes stole of the world He had created. And we can ask his Mother and ours to rearrange our hearts, to make them cozier and more suitable for Christ’s coming, as she surely did that cave in Bethlehem.

-Sr. Agnes Therese Davis, T.O.R.

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