After the storm last week I had the opportunity to go skiing with my brother at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. A foot of snow fell on the mountain the day and night before leaving fresh, soft snow. The clear sky meant awesome visibility, except when riding the chairlift through active snowmaking. It was a bit cold that day, 0ºF when we arrived at the base of the mountain, but warmed up to a high of 23ºF!
Our Blessed Lord teaches “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile” ( Mark 7: 20-23). To be defiled within is to be excluded from the Kingdom of God. For this reason Sacred Scripture tells each of us, “with the closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life” (Proverbs 4:23). In the Church’s Baptismal Rite, the priest or deacon gives a lighted candle to the parents and godparents of the newly-baptized baby with the words, “receive the light of Christ.” Then he adds, “this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.” By guarding one’s heart from the sins listed by Our Lord, we can be assured that our light will be burring brightly when we come to meet the Lord Jesus. Should it happen that a person fall and extinguish his flame, Our Lord is waiting to pick him back up and relight the flame of divine love in his heart in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.