Sunday, December 29, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

The scriptures today reveal a lot of "heart language" and "heart living."

It is not just about what to do, but how to do it. The how also has to do with many values and qualities like compassion, forgiveness, caring, listening, consideration, kindness, honoring, and patience.

The Gospel recalls the events following the birth of Jesus in Matthew: The magi had departed, and Herod was "on the prowl" to destroy Jesus. God carefully guides Joseph, through his dreams, to flee to Egypt and take multiple precautions for the safety of his family.

Does God guide us in the same way? Is there a way that we are led, prepared, or cautioned through life? In the realm of spirituality, a lot of value is placed on listening in the heart. It is in the heart that we talk of hearing God speak to us or recognize God leading and guiding us.

It is often said that if you want to know what God's will is for you, then you must discover what your own will is at the deepest center of your heart — not controlled by fear, frivolous needs, wants, anger or resentment. The deepest center of our heart will speak our truth where God and we are one. What we want and need at the center of the heart has to, by definition, be what God wants for us, because that is where God dwells and where we are one. There, we recognize just how awful and awesome God is — the God who dwells within!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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