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An Understanding Heart

In every group, there always seems to be one person who can always be counted on to say exactly the right thing or do exactly what’s needed. It’s usually someone who’s normally pretty quiet (which lets me out), who doesn’t clamor for attention, someone who listens to what’s going on behind what’s going on. And what that person says or does suddenly makes the whole group aware of a completely different way of seeing the situation.

We live in a culture that does not notice, much less value, hidden gems.

That’s someone who has an understanding heart. Some have one, some don’t; but all of us can strive for that kind of wisdom.

Sometimes you just look at a person and know he or she has an understanding heart—the Dalai Lama, for instance. Blessed John XXIII. Dom Hélder Câmara of Brazil. You could warm yourself at their radiant smiles as at a roaring fire. And the forces of evil have no power against them. Locked up, exiled, dismissed—none of that matters. It does not, and cannot, change them.

An understanding heart is the treasure buried in the field, the pearl of great price, the net thrown into the sea.

We live in a culture that does not notice, much less value, hidden gems. That’s one good thing about doing church music: we find more of them, and we value them more highly because we know how much we need them.

Lord, give us all an understanding heart—that your world may be healed.

MD Ridge
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Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go

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