November 25, 2018

Friends,

“Our hearts are like magnets. They attract everything. We must choose what to keep and what to let go.” These words were spoken by Pope Francis and I find them profound. Think about it: the heart is affected by everything we say or do and by all that others say and do in our presence. Our hearts are also touched by all that we read and stories that we watch. Music affects our hearts as well. It’s amazing to realize that this “muscle” that we call a heart is where our feelings develop and is responsible for how we express those feelings.

I am a firm believer that we create our own reality. I can decide what issues or experiences I allow to play a major role in my life and which ones I will ignore because of their negative impact. I realize that our background and childhood experiences play a major role in our ability to discern between what we hold onto and what we let go.

One of the most beautiful experiences of adolescence is the first time we unconsciously respond to another person by realizing that he or she has affected our heart in a way we never realized was possible. All of a sudden we want to be in this person’s presence and we don’t know why. We begin to become nervous or self-conscious when they are around. When he/she walks into the room, we begin to feel flushed. We can call it infatuation or coming of age but for many, it’s their first experience of love. From that moment we realize how vulnerable we are, and we begin to either enjoy opening our hearts to others or decide to harden our hearts because these newfeelings can be very painful. Everyone has pain in their lives, and sometimes emotional pain can be the most difficult to overcome. Obviously, for many that leads to therapy and medication because they are overwhelmed by life at times. Our hearts are so fragile and can really put us “over the moon” or wreak havoc in our lives. We have all had trauma or pain in our lives that has deeply affected our desire to look at the bright side of life. Some people’s pain is so severe, that they decide, consciously or subconsciously, that they will never allow themselves to be in that position again. I try to understand that choice, but feel badly that they have chosen to keep a negative experience as the main catalyst for their future decision making.

As I write this, I’m realizing the subject is pretty deep and can be depressing. I know people who are such an inspiration because they are able to begin their life over after tragedy and will not allow their hearts to shut down. As we begin the holiday season let us be on the lookout for those with “broken hearts,”

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Coyne

 

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