Create in me a clean heart, O God,,,, (Psalm 51:10 NASB).
As many of my readers know, I live with autism. My autism challenges every aspect of my life. Social interactions. Self regulation. Communicating with others verbally and non-verbally. My autism includes a physical disability called dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is a mental to physical motor response condition. It means that there is a time delay from the moment my brain tells my body when to stand up to when I actually stand up. I have what is called executive dysfunction that makes doing daily tasks such as home cleaning and organization difficult unless I have assistance from a homemaker or personal support service.
Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent is a time to reflect on what is going on in our hearts. Remember that when we speak of the heart in Contemplative spirituality, we are talking about the whole of ourselves. Who we really are within ourselves and where God is in that relationship is an important part of what the contemplative does during Lent.
In St. Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, he tells us to “keep [our] hearts most pure and at the same time wash away during these days the negligences of other times” (p.71).
When it comes to the spiritual life, all of us have an executive dysfunction as to what keeping our hearts clean means. Most of the time, we become negligent in asking for help to do the cleaning. Lent for the contemplative, is about allowing God to become our homemaker. God will create and recreate a clean heart within us, if we will let go of our false-sense of self so that God can do the cleaning.
It is during these days of Lent that God will create a clean heart within us in this moment. God is always here to help us clean.
What does God creating a clean heart mean for you this Lent?
Peace be with all who enter here.
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB
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