Manifestation of the Heart
The inevitable call to love resounds in the heart of every human person who is capable of loving. This excludes no one. It is the desire to come out of oneself in order to give of oneself. It is the desire to be filled to the brim with perfect joy. This requires a personal response to a personal prompting of the heart. And of course, this prompting is rooted first and foremost in God the Father (John 15:16).
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
We often begin by looking at what draws our heart. What is it that captures us? By exploring the inner recesses of the heart we will inevitably arrive at a more basic question: “Who am I?”
I have observed this question periodically throughout my life, usually during a milestone. But it is not so much a question of remembrance of identity, it is more a question of reevaluation of growth. We are constantly changing and becoming, and Jesus is constantly preparing our heart to respond to our growth in being.
He initially officiates the invitation of Love in a very special way at Baptism. With it comes the universal call to follow Him (John 21:9). Too, there is a personal call, “Do you love me?” (John 212:7). Then there is a call to love like he loves (John 13:34). But there remains a more practical call, one that sometimes falls by the way side. That call is to live “fully alive” (John 10:10).
And while I am most certain I “will” to follow Jesus, and unmistakably “will” to love like he does, and undeniably know that I love him. There still remains this question: am I living fully alive?
“LORD, you have probed me, you know me. . .you understand my thoughts from afar. . .with all my ways you are familiar. . .Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my thoughts.” Psalm 139
Because the prompting to give a response can become ever present in our mind and in our heart, we begin to naturally want to respond. So, in my case, I asked myself, “what is it that makes me most fully alive?” “More fully myself?” “where is my joy fulfilled?” 1-Adoration, 2-Family, 3-Friendship, 4-Music. . . etc. I began to make a list of those pillars of life for me.
Following Jesus, loving Jesus, loving like Jesus are all universal calls but our response to each of them is uniquely animated in our person, in our unrepeatable witness of love fully alive.
As our heart continues to undergo a transformation, so too our desires become more and more rooted in specific essential longings. Longings that eventually become our personal call from God which will require a personal response.
Vocation is one among many beautiful manifestations of this call and response relationship. It is a desire given to us at Baptism and it is one that Jesus himself lovingly nurtures with time. He allows for this desire to manifest itself through communion with him and through life experience so that the more we see his call revealed, the more we come to see ourselves revealed.
And the more we observe our deepest desires, in the context of our relationship with Jesus, the more we beginning to draw toward a more perfect union of Love. I am personally understanding more and more where I am most fully alive and my life choices are influenced by this call to love. My response is constantly taking shape, and the more I understand who I am, the more confident I am in stepping forward in my yes to the desires that call me toward love fully alive.
“God does not force our will, He takes only what we give him. But he does not give himself entirely until he sees that we yield ourselves entirely to him.” -St. Teresa of Avila