Tag Archives: CCC

What Is A Conversion Of Heart?

Found a link to the answer to this question, and others that arise during the journey back home…

The Conversion of the Heart to God

Q. What is repentance?
A. Repentance, which is also called penance, is the sincere conversion of the heart from sin to God. To understand this, we must observe, that in sin there are two great evils, which Almighty God himself describes with astonishment in these words, “Be astonished, O ye heavens! at this – for my people have done two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” Jerem. ii. 12. In every mortal sin, there are two enormous evils, to wit, the turning away from God, infinitely good, and the very fountain of goodness and life, and the embracing, in his stead, the monster sin, by the allurement of some deceitful appearance of an imaginary happiness, justly compared to a broken cistern that can hold no water, but only filth. Wherefore repentance, which is the opposite of sin, and the destroyer of sin, must have these two opposite conditions, the turning away from sin with horror, detestation, and sorrow, for having offended so great a God, and the returning back to God, to embrace him by love, and faithfully to obey his holy law.

EDIT TO ADD 2/25/15
The link above is to Catholic Doors and I just found this about them: Website Review: Catholic Doors Ministry

For the answer to the question:
Five Ways to Practice Conversion
FR. ED BROOM, OMV
Be converted, the kingdom of God is at hand.

These are the first world we hear from the lips of Our Blessed Savior as He initiates His Public ministry. Conversion in Greek is Metanoia, meaning change of heart. The core of the teaching of the Precursor of Jesus, St. John the Baptist, was the same, “Be converted because the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Furthermore, St. Peter and the Apostles also preached the call to conversion. Therefore, if the greatest of all prophets, the first Pope, and Jesus Himself preached the urgency of conversion then indeed it must be important!

The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, reiterates this message in various forms and seasons. At the start of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, after greeting the people, the priest invites himself and the whole congregation to pause briefly for an examination of conscience. On what? Our communal and personal recognition of sin and humble invocation that God would have mercy on us and help us to undergo metanoia—conversion of life.

Ways that we can undergo a true conversion of life
The following are ways that we can delve deep into our souls and strive for a sincere and deep conversion of life! However, we must always remember that true conversion of life is more God’s work in our souls than our doing! We must collaborate with the grace of the Lord!

1. Memory. Our memory is in need of constant purification. St. Paul exhorts us to put on the mind of Christ; then he says that you have the mind of Christ. Past wounds in our early years, addictions that enslaved, abuses either physical, emotional, social or moral—all of these must be brought to the Lord for a deep healing and conversion. One short but powerful suggestion: THE WORD OF GOD! The Word of God is powerful like a two-edged sword that separates bone from marrow. The daily reading of the Word of God in prayerful meditation can result in the conversion of the mind. One more step: memorize Sacred Scripture! If you like this analogy: what chlorine is and does to a swimming pool (cleansing and purifying) the Word of God can do to the human mind. Lord, may your Word be a light for my path and a torch for my steps!

2. Eyes. Our eyes need constant vigilance and control. Unfortunately, the most powerful addiction in the United States is that of pornography. Children are exposed to this ravenous and merciless wolf at a very tender age. Studies show that pornography can be more powerful than the addiction to drugs. A recovering gang member, drug-addict and alcoholic rejoiced that he was able to conquer all the above vices. However, he could not detach himself from the addiction to pornography. Three suggestions to attain this metanoia/conversion.

At the crack of dawn upon waking, to consecrate one’s whole being— especially the eyes—to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Second, when tempted invoke the Precious Blood of Jesus as a shield against the fiery darts of the devil.
Lastly, visit the Blessed Sacrament exposed and contemplate the Eucharistic heart of Jesus. In the words of the Psalmist: “Look to the Lord and be radiant with joy.”
3. Tongue. Our tongue has to be controlled constantly! Saint James reminds us poignantly that we should be slow to speak and quick to listen. Jesus reminds us that every word that issues from our mouth will be subject to judgment. Also the Lord tells us that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Three concrete suggestions to attain conversion of our mouth, a transformation of our speech. First, we should get in the habit of speaking more to God and less to people. Second, we should learn to hold back our impulses and think before we speak. Finally, apply the Golden Rule of Jesus to speech. Do to others what you would have them do to you; say to others what you would like them say to you! Following this advice we are on the highway to converting our tongue!

4. Intentions. Being honest with ourselves we must humble admit that our intentions are often mixed. Even in the best of actions are hidden some self-seeking, self-love and vanity. Sincere examination of conscience will highlight this truth! In the Diary of Saint Faustina, time and time again Jesus manifests His desire that she always have purity of intention, that her actions be done to please Him and for the honor and glory of God. The Bible points out that man sees the appearance but God reads the heart. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus strictly warns us not to do our actions to be seen and praised by man. Remember! Do your actions such that your right hand does not even know what your left hand is doing. Your father who sees in secret will recompense you.

The motto of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Company of Jesus (the Jesuits) is four letters: A.M.D.G. —Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam—meaning, for the greater glory of God. That indeed should be the motivating principle that drives all of our actions in life! One concrete suggestion to obtain the conversion/metanoia of our intentions— Give all to Jesus through the hands of Mary. In the classic of St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis presents a scene in which a pauper desires to present the King with an apple. The apple is not of the best, nor is the pauper the most worthy of admiration. However there is a secret to access to the heart of the King—the love the King has for his Queen. If the pauper can reach the Queen and give her the apple, then her Highness will take the apple, polish it, place it on a golden platter next to a beautiful flower and present it to the King. Then the King will accept it. Why? Not because of the pauper but because of the powerful and irresistible persuasion of the Queen. If we place our intentions in the Immaculate Heart of Mary then she purifies, embellishes and corrects our distorted motives!

5. Heart. Last but not least we all must go through a daily conversion of the very center of our being— our heart. Jesus says that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The human heart can contain within it the most noble of intentions, but the human heart can also embrace the most despicable of desires! Constant conversion/metanoia of heart is necessary on a daily basis!

What might be the most efficacious means to undergo a true conversion of heart? Simple and to the point: FERVENT AND PASSIONATE DAILY HOLY COMMUNION! In Holy Communion we receive the totality of Jesus: His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Therefore, if we receive His Body, that means we also receive His Sacred Heart. In the most Sacred Heart of Jesus can be found all of the most sublime virtues and to the highest degree of holiness and perfection.

Faith, hope, charity, patience, purity, meekness, obedience, mortification, fortitude— just to mention a few, are some of the virtues present in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These virtues are present in every Consecrated Host that we can receive in Holy Communion on a daily basis. In a real sense, we can undergo a daily spiritual HEART-TRANSPLANT every time we receive Holy Communion with faith, devotion and love. Beyond a shadow of doubt, Holy Communion received with the proper dispositions is by far the most efficacious channel to arrive at a true conversion of heart. Our Lord’s loving Heart burns and consumes all that is ugly and ignoble in our hearts so that we can truly say with the Apostle Saint Paul: “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Reflections

Thy Kingdom Come

Not “My Kingdom”. My idea of heaven used to be, spending eternity at a Chicago Cubs game with my entire family, past, present and future, eating hot dogs, drinking and having a grand old time. Of course the Cubs would always win. Harry Carry would be singing take me out to the ball game at the 7th inning stretch, and the Cubs team would be made up of the greatest Chicago Cub players that have ever lived to play the game. I grew up playing baseball and loved the game. I would even sometimes envision myself playing for the Cubs. Funny how I never envisioned Jesus being at this eternal, never ending game of baseball. Nor the Saints, Angels, Holy Mother Mary, or even God the Father.

Taking into account a baseball game has an ending, now my whole idea of spending eternity there, is not so “Heavenly”. Burning in the hot sun, getting drunk eternally, a game that never ends. Who would they play against? If the Cubs did win, then what? Eternity would come to an end. That has the signals of a tied game. And tied games are not fun when no winner can be declared. To be honest, without “Our Father” there, it would be hell.

Taking a look at HIS Kingdom:

In the Holy Bible the term heaven denotes, in the first place, the blue firmament, or the region of the clouds that pass along the sky. Genesis 1:20, speaks of the birds “under the firmament of heaven”. In other passages it denotes the region of the stars that shine in the sky. Furthermore heaven is spoken of as the dwelling of God; for, although God is omnipresent, He manifests Himself in a special manner in the light and grandeur of the firmament. Heaven also is the abode of the angels; for they are constantly with God and see His face. With God in heaven are likewise the souls of the just (2 Corinthians 5:1; Matthew 5:3, 12). In Ephesians 4:8 sq., we are told that Christ conducted to heaven the patriarchs who had been in limbo (limbus patrum). Thus the term heaven has come to designate both the happiness and the abode of just in the next life. The present article treats as heaven in this sense only.
In Holy Scripture it is called:

the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3),
the kingdom of God (Mark 9:46),
the kingdom of the Father (Matthew 13:43),
the kingdom of Christ (Luke 22:30),
the house of the Father (John 14:2),
city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12),
the holy place (Hebrews 9:12; D.V. holies),
paradise (2 Corinthians 12:4),
life (Matthew 7:14),
life everlasting (Matthew 19:16),
the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21),
crown of life (James 1:12),
crown of justice (2 Timothy 4:8),
crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4),
incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25),
great reward (Matthew 5:12),
inheritance of Christ (Ephesians 1:18),
eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15).

And from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

II. “THY KINGDOM COME”
2816 In the New Testament, the word basileia can be translated by “kingship” (abstract noun), “kingdom” (concrete noun) or “reign” (action noun). The Kingdom of God lies ahead of us. It is brought near in the Word incarnate, it is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel, and it has come in Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The kingdom will come in glory when Christ hands it over to his Father:

It may even be . . . that the Kingdom of God means Christ himself, whom we daily desire to come, and whose coming we wish to be manifested quickly to us. For as he is our resurrection, since in him we rise, so he can also be understood as the Kingdom of God, for in him we shall reign.86

2817 This petition is “Marana tha,” the cry of the Spirit and the Bride: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Even if it had not been prescribed to pray for the coming of the kingdom, we would willingly have brought forth this speech, eager to embrace our hope. In indignation the souls of the martyrs under the altar cry out to the Lord: “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” For their retribution is ordained for the end of the world. Indeed as soon as possible, Lord, may your kingdom come!87

2818 In the Lord’s Prayer, “thy kingdom come” refers primarily to the final coming of the reign of God through Christ’s return.88 But, far from distracting the Church from her mission in this present world, this desire commits her to it all the more strongly. Since Pentecost, the coming of that Reign is the work of the Spirit of the Lord who “complete[s] his work on earth and brings us the fullness of grace.”89
2819 “The kingdom of God [is] righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”90 The end-time in which we live is the age of the outpouring of the Spirit. Ever since Pentecost, a decisive battle has been joined between “the flesh” and the Spirit.91

2820 By a discernment according to the Spirit, Christians have to distinguish between the growth of the Reign of God and the progress of the culture and society in which they are involved. This distinction is not a separation. Man’s vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces, his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace.93
2821 This petition is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in keeping with the Beatitudes.94

I no longer envision “Heaven” as the eternal Cubs game. I never want to be separated from Him again. In going to confession regularly, attending mass, in many cases daily mass, and LIVING my Catholic Faith and truly SEEKING His kingdom, I can feel the peace although only at times, see His works in others until I can share in the fullness of it by leaving this world. My HOPE is that by becoming a “Free Agent”, placing myself, through my works, with the help of the Holy Spirit, prayers and love for Him, in his hands, I will one day be picked up by the “Angels”. Never to play for that other team again. Not to steel a line from one of my all time favorite movies but, If you “Build You Faith In HIM” He will come 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Reflections