I received an email during the week on what to do if you get a heart attack and are alone. Not the most cheerful thing.
For what it’s worth it says one should inhale and cough until help comes. It may be worthless advise. Then again!
We are often told to exercise and keep fit and have good diets to have a healthy heart. But still the Blood pressure and the cholesterol show up for visits!
I’m not a medic as you can tell. Neither were most of those who he words are found in the bible but they contain good guidance for healthy lifestyles. Words that cut to the heart!
The psalm sums it up when it says:
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
A hard hearted person is not a pretty person.
The dictionary defines hardened
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll have to agree that there are certain areas of your life where you have a hard heart toward God.
We’ve heard the phrase: hard as nails
We are all capable of great evil. Killing, stealing, adultery, jealousy, envy….always thinking of themselves. Always No 1. Someone who knows it all. Have nothing to learn from anyone. Never hear the voice of God or conscience or neighbour.
Do we have anything we can do in such a situation. The gospel says we should point out to a person where they are going wrong, the hurt they are causing not just to others but to themselves as well.
This is not easy. I read somewhere that nagging a person with an addiction to give up can be counter productive as the addiction can have deep and complicated roots.
There’s a danger too for us in how we advise others as we all have our own demons to deal with.
Maybe the heart we should begin with is our own.
Do I listen to God? Or how well do I listen?
The advise I get?
None of us listen as we should,
None of us has the perfect heart….
Is there any way of reversing the condition…..Prayer, reflection, reading, confession, seeking reconciliation and renewing friendships. Just as walking is good for our physical heart condition, walking in a new direction towards God and away from evil is good for our hardened hearts.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, thinks busyness can precipitate a hardness of heart.
It is necessary to pay attention to the dangers of excessive activity, regardless of one's condition and occupation, observes the saint, because -- as he said to the Pope of that time, and to all Popes and to all of us -- numerous occupations often lead to "hardness of heart," "they are no more than suffering for the spirit, loss of intelligence and dispersion of grace" (De Consideratione, II, 3).
So we pray that Jesus teach us the art of bringing those who err (including ourselves) back …….. without embittering or humiliating; without any feeling of superiority,
but simply because they are our brothers and sisters. All in need of renewed and softer listening hearts.