Am I two-faced?
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
We say one thing – and then we do another. We say that we believe in something – and then we give all of our actions and attention to something other. If we who profess a creed, if we who weekly attend worship services and make charitable donations and pray every day, if we cannot then speak kindly of others, with compassion and love, then who can? If we who believe in the eternal value of virtue do not consciously practice patience, then who will? If we, who laud the mercy of God our maker and sing the praises of forgiveness, cannot, in the spirit and action of forgiveness, work toward reconciliation of conflicts… if not us, then who?
We see the great turmoils in the world and the faults and failings that result in sufferings and troubles – and we believe that someone should do something about it. Someone with integrity and courage should step up and do what needs to be done. Someone should seek always to do the right thing and speak the truth with the gentle assurance of truth. But… do we? Do we?
In the living of my every day, do I have integrity? Do my actions flow from my deeply held beliefs? I believe that in my heart, the core of my being, the Infinite/Eternal dwells with me – the core of my being, the heart of my existence, is union with the divine, with all that is holy, all that is good, true, and beautiful. To this I am wed… and the two hearts shall become as one.
To understand my words, you need to first understand who Christ is. Yes, Christ is Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary. And yes, Christ is Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God. Christ is the Word of God made flesh – who, “by the Holy Spirit, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became Man.” Christ Jesus is the divine Logos made Man. He is fully human and fully divine in the great Mystery of the Incarnation and hypostatic union. He is the incarnation of the Divine, God Incarnate. And, so, Christ is truth itself. Goodness itself. Love itself.
Because of His Paschal Mystery (through Christ’s Incarnation, life, Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension) Christ is Truth, Goodness, Love – Divinity – in union with sanctified and redeemed humanity. In union with me. For I have been sanctified and redeemed by Christ Jesus and, now, God the Holy Spirit dwells in me… with me. My human heart is beating ever more closely in rhythm with the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the power of God – our two hearts are being made as one.
But is this how I live?
Am I letting this come to pass?
There are ways of finding out.
Am I two-faced? Do I knowingly smile and flatter someone even as they are being unkind or spreading gossip? Yes. Do I overly criticize someone for being overly critical? Yes. Do I want to squirm out of difficult situations where there is conflict and the difficulty of dealing with the truth – and then later complain on paper how no one has the courage to stand up for the truth? Yes. I could have helped the person who was struggling with living up to the Christian standards. Instead of giving a half smile and backing away from the words of complaint, I could have come forward with gentle guidance, loving correction, and steadfast assurance in the blessings of the ways of God. But… sadly… I did not.
My human heart alone, my fallen heart, takes over and I march to its fickle and failing beat. I do not seek out and listen to the heartbeat of my Beloved. I do not lay my head upon the bosom of the Creator who loves me enough to become a Creature like me in order to save me and transform me into a divine being like Him. No. I return to the merely physical, the way of dust and ashes, not letting the Breath of God fully and truly animate me so that I may, in, with, and through Christ, be a redeemed and sanctified human being with God’s law written in my heart of divine love. I want to be that holy person! … Don’t I?
If I do, if I want the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be the beat and power and flow of my life, then I must seek out what I desire. If I believe that I am being transformed when in a state of grace, then I must seek to live in grace and speak and think and act and move in grace. It is not I who will be virtuously kind, it is not I who will change the world, but God through me. In Christ, my Lord.
No more speaking and acting from my fallen heart, the heart that was blind, deaf, and dumb – no, I have been saved, I am being saved, and I believe that I will be saved because God has transformed my heart like unto His Own. It is with His heart, the heart of love, the heart of goodness, the heart of truth, that I, body and soul, have life, true life, abundant life.
So may I live.
© 2014 Christina Chase