featured image

Longing to fill her heart with God’s love, Charlene Rack begins to seek small reminders of that love in the world around her.

I have recently felt a burning desire to love growing in my soul. (Most likely, it is flowing from the heart of Jesus into my weak and sometimes broken and selfish heart.) I look around and see so many people hungering for love, but not knowing where to go to find it. Many of them head in the exact opposite direction of love, turning to anger and hate and even destructive violence. The most fragile of the lost might even take their own lives, when the pain becomes unbearable. These desires and actions are not of God, but from the lies of Satan.  


Making room for sacred love

Our dear Jesus, if our hearts could hold the tiniest measure of Your love, we would be kinder, less critical of others, more eager to help our neighbor, even when we do not like the things they do.

If we could let go of our desire to control the actions of others who sometimes hurt and dishonor us, we could see our circumstances as your cleansing of our hearts, of our own desires. This must occur in order to make room for sacred love indwelling.

It’s not easy to have neighbors who let their pets roam the neighborhood, never cleaning up after them, or not being disciplined in the care of their house and property, making it an eyesore for the neighbors. It’s not enjoyable to breathe in marijuana smoke wafting out of the neighbors’ windows. It’s often made me want to “get even.”

But that desire is now bowing to a new desire: to love, forgive, and encourage. I am beginning to see their broken hearts through their actions, their crude language, and their constant verbal attacks on each other and often us. I don’t think they really want to hurt people. It’s more of a lack of love. If you haven’t been shown love and respect, you don’t learn to give it.  


Loving my neighbor as I should

When Jesus died on the cross, blood and water gushed forth from His pierced Heart. Until I can offer my heart, my soul to Jesus, to be pierced as His Heart was, I will not be loving my neighbor as I should. 

Beloved Jesus, take my heart, my meager offering, and cleanse it with your burning love, that I might be able to love more deeply those who have hurt me, and that I might be an instrument of their healing and eternal salvation.   


Surrounding my soul with the love of Christ

I must surround my soul with the love of Christ, but how do I do such a thing? It occurred to me that one good way would be to surround myself with true and legitimate beauty. I already have Catholic art and statues displayed in my home, but I’m so used to it, I hardly even look at it anymore. What good does it do me if I don’t meditate on my decor, and ponder or study the artwork? That’s something I can do, making myself more attentive to beautiful, faith-oriented decor in my home (which I think is easier for me to focus on during certain liturgical seasons). 




However, I recently bought myself a wind chime, and then I found a smaller one at a thrift store. I had no thoughts of religious inspiration coming from wind chimes. It was just something I’d always wanted. Now I’m noticing that those chimes attract my attention frequently throughout the day. The sounds they make are soothing to my soul, making me think of the bells used at Holy Mass. And when they chime, that tells me that the wind is blowing, which then makes me think of the Holy Spirit active in my soul. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more chimes at yard sales this summer, because of how they lift my soul to heavenly meditations.   

Another source of heavenly delights are flowers. My husband and I both love the outdoors, and flower. I’ve had my Mary Garden for years, and now hubby is adding wild plants from our country property to my garden. Last summer, he transplanted a lovely bergamot plant from the wild and also planted some seeds from a butterfly bush, which are coming up really well this year. I added creeping phlox last year, which I’ve always loved. We have lots of big rocks in our garden, and I’m looking forward to the phlox decorating the rocks with their pink and fuchsia flowers.  




I’m beginning to think that I find God’s beauty more in nature and music than in statues and artwork — and that’s okay. We’re all different, and God’s beauty in the world is so vast and varied and plentiful. Go where God leads you, find the beauty that feeds your soul and encourages your heart, and share that beauty with the broken of this world, small doses at a time, so that they might also see beyond the veil, and their souls will open to the amazing love and beauty of God.  


Share your thoughts with the Catholic Mom community! You'll find the comment box below the author's bio and list of recommended articles.

Copyright 2024 Charlene Rack
Images: copyright 2024 Charlene Rack