Hearts on Fire

During this Easter season that began with Jesus' resurrection, I am struck by the readings from the Acts of the Apostles. It is wonderful to listen to how the newly founded Christian community began its continuously evolving journey. The story I am drawn to is the Emmaus story, a journey of awakening. The despairing disciples encounter a hidden Christ who wakes them up to recognize him.  After reflecting on their experience, the disciples realize "Were not our hearts burning within us, while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" They cannot even wait until the next morning, they must rush back to Jerusalem to share the good news with the other disciples.

As a sister of Charity who claims Saint Vincent de Paul as one of my founders, "Were not our hearts burning within us" resonates within me. As an apostolic who is in the midst of many projects in my ministry, I must take time to pray and reflect on how much God loves me personally. This is the source of my energy which urges me to move out and love others.  Five mornings a week my local house community gathers to have twenty minutes of quiet contemplative prayer using the following opening prayer:

Let Your God Love You 
by Edwina Gateley

Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty before your God. Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent. Be still. Let your God look upon you. That is all. God knows. God understands. God loves you with an enormous love, and only wants to look upon you with that love. Quiet. Still. Be. Let your God-Love you.  

From this quiet time of sitting in the presence of God's love, I find myself energized to bring God's love to others during my day. As St Vincent de Paul so eloquently said:

So, our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but all over the world; and do what? To set people's hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with His love.

Once your heart is caught on fire by God's love you cannot contain it, it must be shared. That is exactly what Jesus did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and continues to do with each and every one of us today.