"More tortuous than all else is the human heart." —Jeremiah 17:9
More tortuous, twisted, and deceitful than all else is the human heart. The human heart is so tortuous that it will repeatedly murder millions of babies in the wombs of their mothers. The human heart is so self-deceived that it will call apathy "innocence," as we let the worst holocaust in the history of the human race go on before our eyes. The human heart is so twisted that it can have less sensitivity for the poor than a dog has (see Lk 16:21). The human heart is such that even if someone were to rise from the dead, our heart would not prompt us to change our lifestyle (see Lk 16:31). Jesus bluntly stated: "Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart: acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit" (Mk 7:21-22).
The depths of the human heart are terrifying. Who can understand our hearts? Jesus answers: "I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart" (Jer 17:10). Jesus "needed no one to give Him testimony about human nature. He was well aware of what was in man's heart" (Jn 2:25).
On the next three Sundays of Lent, our catechumens are receiving the ancient prayers of the Church, called "the scrutinies." In these prayers, the Church asks the Lord to read (Acts 1:24), search (Ps 139:23), and purify (Ps 51:12) the hearts of the catechumens. We should all pray "the scrutinies" for the Lord to purify our hearts in unimaginable ways. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Prayer: Father, this Lent perform open heart surgery on me.
Promise: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord." —Jer 17:7
Praise: Mary and Peter pray with and for their children daily.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010
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