In Mass today Father Ron’s homily was centered around the first sentence of the first reading from the prophet Joel “Even now says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart”.
The Psalm response was “create in me a clean heart oh God” as I enter Lent I want to let these two simple ideas to take hold of my heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
— Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, open and receptive, so that I may embrace the many ways you choose to visit my life.
Create in me a clean heart, cleared of the refuse of old battles with others and deadly opposition with myself.
Create in me a clean heart, purified through the daily disruptions and the life encounters that take me beyond my grasping control and ego-centeredness.
Create in me a clean heart, freed from the clutter of cultural enticements, so that I can enjoy the beauty of life’s simple things and relish the gifts I so easily take for granted.
Create in me a clean heart, bathed from harsh thoughts, shame, and perfectionist tendencies, warmly welcoming with others with the embrace of nonjudgment.
Create in me a clean heart, brushed free of frantic busyness, so that I will have time to dwell with you in the listening space of solitude and silence.
Create in me a clean heart, rinsed of the residue of false messages about my identity, enabling my inner goodness and light to shine through all I am and do.
Create in me a clean heart, cleansed of anxiety and lack of trust, restoring in me an enduring faith in your abiding presence and unconditional love.
Create in me a clean heart, scrubbed of racism and prejudice, drawing me toward all as my sisters and brothers.
Create in me a clean heart, washed with your mercy and strengthened by your love, helping me to move beyond whatever keeps me from union with you.
Create a clean heart in me, God. Dust off the unmindful activity that constantly collects there. De-clutter my heart from harsh judgments and negativity. Wash away my resistance to working through difficult relationships. Rinse off my unloving so the beauty of my generous and kind heart can shine forth. Remove whatever keeps me from following in your compassionate footsteps. Amen.
From Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems, and Reflections for Every Season by Joyce Rupp