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Sacrament of the Heart

Psalm 31. 24

Be strong and let your heart take courage, * all you who wait for the LORD.

"A sacrament is a Christian rite recognised as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. Many denominations, including the Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace that has been instituted by Jesus Christ. Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant."

As my family waits for the birth of Baby Lane who has been diagnosed with heart defects, I find myself thinking deeply about the workings of the heart. Many of my friends and I have been praying specifically for his little heart to heal and grow and be well. So when I read the term "sacrament of the heart" this morning, I had the following thoughts.

The outward and visible sign of the sacrament of the heart is a large red pulsing muscle that is command central for the body. It has many intricate parts, and they must all be working well for the body to have life. Thus the ritual of the heart is Life.

The inward and spiritual grace of the sacrament of the heart is Love. Without Love in our hearts, we cannot "live and move and have our being." We are not complete or of God or whole.

My Lenten discipline this year is to turn my heart, to repent so that my heart is of God, of Love, of Life. So many times I have let my heart be overcome by fear and anger and confusion ...and "there is no life in me!" I am taking on and giving up many things hoping for the end result to be the inexplicable birth of God in my heart, moment by moment and breath by breath.

My Lenten prayer is that baby Lane will be able to do the same.

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