Saint Benedict, Abbot
A clean heart create for me, O God. (Psalm 51:12)
Hosea 14:2-10;Psalm 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-14, 17;Matthew 10:16-23
Do you remember learning about metamorphosis in school? First, a wormlike larvae encases itself in a shell. Out of sight, it undergoes radical changes until, finally, an elegant butterfly wriggles out of the shell and flies away.
Today’s psalm speaks of a kind of metamorphosis. But according to this psalm’s backstory, King David was probably feeling more like a worm than a butterfly—and rightly so. Nathan had confronted him with his sins of adultery and murder. David’s eyes were opened to see just how far he had fallen. But he also saw that he needed a radical transformation, not just a dollop of divine mercy. Pardon wasn’t enough. He needed to be changed. And so he asked God for a pure heart and a renewed spirit.
What about us? Many of us are in the habit of examining our consciences and repenting, whether in our daily prayer or during the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Can we hope for a radical change as well? Yes! The key is following King David’s example by staying in God’s presence. That’s because only God can transform sinners into saints. This is why David pleaded, “Cast me not out from your presence” (Psalm 51:11). In faith, he waited for the Lord to perform a creative work, or many works, within his heart.
Is there a part of your life that needs a metamorphosis? Don’t be afraid to bring it to the Lord. Come into his presence, and let mercy and forgiveness greet you. Take a few moments to pray through Psalm 51, making its ancient words your own. Wash me. Cleanse me. Teach me. Create me. Purify me. Renew me. Remember, God is the main agent in this work of transformation. Your most important job is to stay in his presence and to return to it day after day. This teaching, creating, purifying, and renewing process takes time! It’s a gradual process where your eyes are opened both to the state of your own heart and to the wonderful depths of God’s heart.
So be sure to spend time with the Lord. Ask him to answer your prayers and create a clean heart in you. Let him shape you into the saint you were born to be. It is a transformation well worth waiting for!
“Create in me a new heart, O God!”~WAU