The Chamber of the Heart
In the last reflection, I pointed out that, as soon as we have found that strong dynamic persons, leading us a false way, have a negative impact on us and that we cannot resist sufficiently, we should avoid dynamically superior persons. It should be pointed out once again that this is not a matter of cowardice, but of a wise insight into one’s own weakness. However, this must be distinguished well, because there is also a tendency in man to avoid all conflicts in order to protect oneself, to seek a false harmony. Here cowardice can then be the motive, which must be overcome in Christ, for it even dispatches to the denial of the Lord.
As you can see with a watchful mind, the possibility of manipulation in today’s world is almost omnipotent. There is no need to use particular conspiracy theories to make it clear that the ‘giants’ can use Internet in order to influence people and do so in part, as can governments.
If one looks from a Catholic point of view at which worldviews predominate among the “giants”, it becomes clear that they usually hold completely opposite views from a moral point of view than those of Catholics! So, in the sense of truth, we cannot expect them positively influence human beings. On the contrary!
It is one of the painful perceptions that even in the Catholic Church more and more self-evident moral convictions are being softened, and that the Church no longer acts as a moral authority like a rock in the surf.
In order to avoid the almost ubiquitous influence, a very conscious approach to the media is necessary, especially with the “smartphones”, which for many people are already so part of life that they are indispensable. We must realize that these devices are becoming an instrument of influence in a special way, as they can almost always and everywhere carry messages and, moreover, create dependencies which we hardly perceive.
But I am concerned about something else.
At a time of increasing anti-Christian influence by the media, politics, the general morality deviating from the commandments of God, often also in our immediate neighborhood or even in the family, it is necessary to create a kind of “inner monk’s cell” in us, into which we can always return.
By this I mean a “chamber of the heart” formed by prayer and the intimate relationship of God into which we retreat. There should therefore be a spiritual space in our souls, which is always open to us unaffected by all the external impressions, and in which we secretly cultivate the relationship with God. It is always necessary to enter this chamber of the heart when we realize that the influences or even manipulations become strong and attack us. It must be clear to us that we are not only dealing with people who encounter us with false convictions or relativistic views, but also demon-spirits who want to exert their influence on us.
We must be prepared for the fact that the “anti-Christian spirit” wants to take over more and more the dominance in the world and increasingly also in our Church. There must be in the interior of our soul precisely that space that serves both to retreat, as well as to strengthen and orient in order to provide the appropriate resistance. It is a space that the enemy does not know and cannot reach. Many prayers should have accumulated in this room, psalms, the Rosary, the words of Holy Scripture, the prayer of the heart, the inner adoration of God, the knowledge of the authentic teaching of the Church.
This space is particularly created by contemplation, by the silent presence before the Blessed Sacrament, by frequent and regular prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, as well as by receiving the Holy Sacraments.
Instead of using the term “chamber of our hearts”, we can also say that we are anchored in the heart of Jesus and in the heart of Our Lady, and that the way to the Lord and to the Mother of the Lord is always open to us.
It is, of course, wonderful – and so it should be – if we live in communities and parishes that share the faith with us and find safety and protection there.
But is this the case in our communities today?
How is this today with those devout Catholics who still cling to the fact that, for example, sexual intercourse belongs only in marriage and only those can receive communion, which are in the state of grace?
What about those who hold fast to the fact that the Gospel is to be carried to all peoples and that the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists are called to turn to the true religion and that religions are not equally positively desired by God?
What about those who still believe that the presence of idol figures in the Catholic church is a violation of the first commandment and is not a successful inculturation that contributes to the conversion of the Indians!
What about those who will certainly not be in obedience to the UN or the European institutions if they behave anti-Christian? Are these all hopeless rigorists?
Whoever today wants to hold on to the traditional faith – and we should do so for the sake of the truth – needs more than ever the “inner chamber of the heart” into which he can withdraw at any time. There is that space of freedom in Christ, which then again and again enables us to make our decisions in truth and then to carry them out in this freedom. In the intimate communion with the Holy Spirit, which is poured into our hearts, we will be strong enough in the grace of God to hold fast to our faith.
“Is God for us, who is against us? What can separate us from the love of Christ? Affliction or hardship or persecution, hunger or cold, danger or sword? For I am certain that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor powers, nor present, nor powers, nor heights, nor depth, nor any other creature, can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Rom 8,31.35.38)