“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal. But, store up treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” Matthew 6:19-21.
This week seems an especially good time to explore how to find our treasure, our hearts centered in God. We do this in our diverse vocations: single-hood, married, consecrated and ordained life. This week we have celebrated the lives of St. Mary Magdalene, a consecrated virgin for the Lord, St. Bridget, a wife and mother, St. James the Apostle, and now St. Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary. Venerable Concepcion, a wife and mother, shows us each how to store up treasure for Heaven and center ourselves in God through The Chain of Love. The Chain of Love shows us how to make our lives a sacred dance.
Venerable Concepcion teaches us through the morays of her life, The Chain of Love, what to consider as we practically plan our life towards holiness. We each share the fundamental human vocation to love, to love God totally, and unreservedly with every aspect of our lives. Each of us, in this light, is called to vow our lives to God, to -surrender every aspect of our lives. While for the consecrated and the ordained, this may be more obvious, each of us, no matter our state in life, is called to release to God our material goods and money, our affections and capacity to love, and our desires/will for God’s purposes. Her practice to make each moment, a link of love towards God, offers each of us: food for reflection.
She shows us that, even if you are married, you are called to poverty, chastity and obedience in some form. The Chain of Love are principles that teach us to pledge our lives in loving pursuit of God, to vow our lives to God. In the Chain of Love, the Lord shared: “They must love me without self-interest, just who I am, without interruption and abandoned themselves to my will. They must forget about themselves and have Me as the sole abject of all their aspirations, and have hearts that are empty of all earthly affections so that I may fill their hearts in their entirety.” The Lord wishes to loosen the joints of our hearts so we can be filled with his loving presence and moved by his Spirit, like reeds in the wind. He wants to send us a stream of his grace because this is the nature of pure love. Pure love needs to be received, responded to and shared. Many of us, particularly busy people with families, have become rigid and distracted. We fail to consider that God loves us intimately and desires to make us great saints right where we live. Our practical decisions play a big part in this.
Today,slow down just a little, observe yourself in action. What motivates your responses: a desire to be successful, to be loved, to be noted or to simply love God. In each moment of reflection in the moment, after you assess or critique your motivations, glance towards God. Share your reflections with him and pause momentarily to receive a sip of his merciful love. Each prayer in action is a way to offer your life, to release your life into his hands, and to be oriented to be obedient to the demands of the present moment. The step of this dance is to key into your reactions, step one, glance towards God, step two, pause to receive from God, step three. In this light nothing can separate us from the love of God, not rush hour traffic, whining kids, monotony or household chores, for everything can be made a prayer. In the three step dance, we center our hearts in God, step and moment by moment. Each snap of time observed, offered, and sanctified in God’s love becomes a link in the multitudinous moments of life. ~ Mary