Heart speaks to heart. That’s the translation of the Latin phrase above. It’s from John Henry Cardinal Newman’s coat of arms and it has a very specific, and a very deep meaning.
God’s heart speaks to ours. And just as crucial, God is waiting to hear us speak to Him from our hearts. It’s two way communication. Too many of us think of God as only being in “receiving mode” where we get to tell Him everything we want and He is then supposed to provide it. When God seems to ignore our requests (or maybe I should say our demands or expectations) we can become bitter and disappointed with God or maybe even start to think He’s not even there. That sort of prayer doesn’t come from our hearts.
But that’s because we probably never established a firm foundation for our relationship with God. It’s about prayer and worship. It’s about mutual love which is why it involves our hearts, God’s and ours. Prayer is talking to God, from the heart, about everything, and always. Not just when we want something or are in trouble. It’s about praising God for His glory and for being a Creator who is so loving and merciful and just that we do not see how we deserve to be His creatures. It’s about worship because God is the only One or thing worthy of our total devotion. Prayer can also be about asking, though. Asking for forgiveness as well as requesting blessings for ourselves and others.
But are those ‘blessings’ necessarily what is best for us? God knows what we need. Our limited vision and our often oversized egos have no idea. Prayer for things we think we need has to involve the humility to say, “Not my will but Yours be done” to the Father. Because until we align our will to His, we will constantly run into obstacles that keep us from where God wants us to be.
Are We Listening?
Heart speaking to heart means we also must listen attentively. We listen with our hearts. God is speaking to us all the time in the limitless love that He is. Tragically, the noise of the world and its many distractions obscure the Voice. We can’t hear the Word speaking to us. Withdraw from the noise, be still.
Bishop Barron recently presented a brief talk with 3 meditations on this theme based on the Psalms of the Old Testament. I highly recommend taking about 10 minutes to watch the video and then contemplate his words. I am a huge fan of the Psalms. They teach us the many ways we can pray to God and we learn that He can take it when we rail against the burdens of life, and lament our trials and sorrows. There seems to be a psalm for just about any human situation. I highly recommend withdrawing from the world for a bit and praying through them over time, thoughtfully, prayerfully. Listen to Bishop Barron, who suggests something similar! And God bless you!