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February 2023

O God, what will you do to conquer the fearful hardness of our hearts? Lord, you must give us new hearts, tender hearts, sensitive hearts, to replace hearts that are made of marble and of bronze. You must give us your own Heart, Jesus. Come, lovable Heart of Jesus. Place your Heart deep in the center of our hearts and enkindle in each heart a flame of love as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons that I have for loving you, my God. O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart, so that I may live only in you and only for you, so that, in the end, I may live with you eternally in heaven. Amen.

Center of Our Hearts by St. Claude La Colombiere, S.J. from page 95 of “Hearts on Fire: Praying With The Jesuits” (edited by Michael Harter, SJ, Loyola Press, Chicago, IL, 2004)

During this season of lent, I invite you to pray each day in a simple way. Select a phrase from the St. Claude prayer (above). Adapt it to be in the first person. For example: The first line of the second stanza would be rephrased as - You must give me your own heart, Jesus. Every morning, as you open your eyes, use that phrase as a starting place for your own conversation with God. State the phrase in your mind, or aloud. Then pause for a few moments and listen to how God’s Spirit might meet you in silence or thought. Then, if it seems right, continue the prayer conversation, as you begin your morning routine. It’s possible that simply repeating the phrase a few times may be the best way to pray in the moment. Notice what happens each day. Notice how God begins to transform your heart throughout the Lenten season.

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