If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All About the Heart

(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them . . When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you . . . When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them . . . When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites (Matthew 6:1-18).

It’s all about the heart. Always has been. God is far less concerned about our outward religion than He is about our interior faith. That’s one reason He castigated the Israelites, “What care I for the number of your sacrifices? . . . Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil” (Isaiah 1:11-16).

Centuries later, the Lord faced the same attitude in some Pharisees who enjoyed the homage of those in the  synagogue, the deference of the average citizen, and to be honored guests at special dinners, but their hearts were full of robbery, deceit and uncleanness (Matthew 23:7,27).

And so, as I read that passage in Matthew 23, I wondered how often the Lord Jesus encounters similar attitudes among some of His children today. Whether praying, worshiping, and especially receiving the Eucharist, I suspect God is as unhappy with modern-day worship without a commensurate change of heart as He was in Isaiah’s day.

God hasn’t changed. He still looks for people with an interior faith, who perform religious acts for no other motive other than they love God and want to please Him by their obedience. 

It’s all about the heart. Always has been. Always will be. 

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