Saturday, November 26, 2011

Superheroes (Part 3b) - You can't fix bad hearts.

What a lesson.  One of my kids really got "IT" this time around.  The call of "Teacher, Teacher!  Help me!  Is this right?" Is a typical sound in my classroom, especially when critical thinking time rolls around, so it didn't shock me to hear it come out of his mouth, but what did catch me off guard was the answer waiting for me.  His number one con to being a superhero: "You can't fix bad hearts."

How many times have I tried to do this?  Not even just with "bad" hearts, but I try to "fix" any heart that I think is on a path different from what I would choose for them.  Let me tell you this... my efforts to fix almost always end in destruction.  No matter what I'd like to have be the case in my life, the fact remains that I am a flawed human.  No matter how close I am to G-d at any given moment, I can bring salvation to no one.  It's in moments like this that I can't help wanting to reference all of St. Augustine's Confessions, but, since I can't (well... at least not on here directly, click the link to reach a full electronic copy of the book), I'm going to quote it a bit:
My own stiff neck took me further and further away from you.  I loved my own ways, not yours.  The liberty I loved was merely that of a runaway... The blindness of humanity is so great that people are actually proud of their blindness.
 Who will enable me to find rest in you?  Who will grant me that you come to my heart and intoxicate it, so that I forget my evils and embrace my one and only good, yourself?  What are you to me?  Have mercy so that I may find words.  What am I to you that you command me to love you, and that, if I fail to love you, you are angry with me and threaten me with vast miseries?  If I do not love you, is that but a little misery?  What a wretch I am!  In your mercies, [L-rd G-d], tell me what you are to me.  'Say to my soul, I am your salvation' (Ps. 34:3).  Speak to me so that I may hear.  See the ears of my heart are before you, [L-rd].  Open them and 'say to my soul, I am your salvation.'  After that utterance I will run and lay hold on you.  Do not hide your face form me (cf. Ps. 26:9).  Lest I die, let me die so that I may see it.
 It is only G-d who can bring people to Him.  He uses us and our loves to act as an example, but, in the end, it is He who opens hearts.  This is an important lesson that I must never forget.  I am called to love G-d.  Beyond that, there is nothing more important, nothing I can ever do better.  If I focus on that, everything else will fall into place.

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