I Corinthians 2.10-16; Ps 144; Luke 4.31-37
St John Henry Newman chose as his motto, when he was made a Cardinal in 1879, a phrase from the writings of St Francis de Sales: Cor ad cor loquitor—“Heart speaks to heart.” The words remind us of Psalm 41.7: “One deep calls to another.” And they are redolent of St Paul’s meditation in today’s reading.
“The Spirit reaches the depths of everything.” We may think of the God ‘unto whom all hearts are open and from whom no secrets are hid.’[cf Hebrews 4.12-13] But the Spirit that searches our hearts does so not simply to ‘find us out’ or excoriate us. The Spirit that pierces to the depths of us does so in order to mine what is truest, worthiest in us.
Prayer is not a superficial conversation about trivialities; the surface irritations that annoy and vex us aren’t at the heart of what troubles us. In prayer the deepest and truest parts of us stand naked and unashamed before the Heart of the Eternal, the Heart that is the mercy seat [Exodus 25.22] where the overflowing Love of God at once overwhelms us and buoys us. God drives far from us all that seeks to destroy us and fills the emptied space with Himself. The Heart of God speaks to our hearts, implants in us his gifts, leading us to contemplation of the joys of the life that is Life indeed. [John 10.10]