This collection of 12 necklaces features a heart in a different setting. Although each heart has a recommended month, they can be worn at any time of the year.
Grow in FAITH
suggested month: September colors: green and silver
How can we grow in Faith? This is a great question to ask, especially in the month of September. With the coming of Fall, suddnely the grass looks emerald green and the respite from the summer heat gives trees and green things the chance rejuvenate for a couple of weeks before they go to sleep for the winter. It is a good metaphor for us, to see nature working in this way. During the extremes of summer, when everything is baking, brown and dry, it is so easy to feel an acompanying lack of faith and even some despair. But in September, there's this resurgence of new life and we realize it was there all along, just waiting until the time and condions were right to be seen. St. Hildegard of Bingen reminds us that this is how the grace of God works. She calls this hidden, yet everpresent greening and renewing of the God - the viriditas of the Holy Spirit. This heart design particularly exemplifies it, as the green and silver streaks are side-by-side, traveling together. The Holy Spirit, even though unseen, is not absent, just out of sight. What happens in natre can happen in us, too.
THe secular definitio of Faith is "complete trust or confidence in someone or something." St. Paul gives us this definiton: Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith (pi'stis) is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." This passage concerning the function of faith in relation to the covenant of God is often used as a definition of faith. And we recall the soldier who came to Jesus, asking him to heal his servant(?). Jesus only asks him one question "Do you have faith?" Do you really believe in me? And the centurion answers "Yes, I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!" THat's where we all are, if we are honest, and Jesus accepts that answer. THe centurion wnats to believe, but he is aware that he has some gaps in his belief. He's not sure he bleives everything and certainly not all the time. But he wants to, and it is his desire to grow in faith that i smost pleasing to GOd. If we want to grow in faith, the first thing we have to realize ist aht we don't have to do it all on our own. God accepts and understands that we are created, finite people who can't just make the jump into infinite, unwavering belief. We need help. In fact, GOd understands this so well that even after the apostles had witnessed his resurrection, Jesus tells them to stay put, to stay in hiding, in a place of confusion and fear, until the Holy Spirit comes. If Jesus says this to his closest friends, who had witnessed his brutal death and then increduble resurrection, how much more does he say it to us?
So, then, let's take an inventory: where do lack faith? Do I struggle with any aspects of the Creed? Do I struggle to believe God cares for me personally and individually?
Faith comes down to BELIEF, to a submission of the will even though we may not feel it emotionally, and certainly not rationally.
Suggested songs: Bridge Over Troubled Water Challenge for this month:
Grow in Wisdom
month: October colors: black and silver
Before we think about how we can grow in wisdom, we might ask ourselves "What IS wisdom?" We could guess that there's more to being wise than just knowing a bunch of stuff. Wisdom means being somewhat prophetic, in making a judgement about what taking a certain path would mean. But as this heart design illustrates, tru Wisdom, in the Scriptural sense, means the ability to reflect the ways of GOd.
Wisdom is often referred to as a woman. Traditionally, the moon is one of the symbols for Mary, whom we refer to as the "Seat of Wisdom." As we know, the moon has no light of it's own. Instead, the moon simply reflects the light of the sun. SO, the true wisom of Mary was in her ability to reflect the ways of GOd. SHe especially mirrored the wisom of GOd in her humilty. I like to look at the black heart in this design, as it reminds me of two arms, gently folded in an attitude of reverence an dhumility. Even though the heart is black, it is being borne up, carried by the white heart. This is not a statement of despair or being overwhlemed. Rather, this heart design reminds us of GOd's invitation to be lifted up, gently and tenderly and as peacefully as the stars shining in calm autumn night.
Ask ourselves: Who do you think of as a person who "mirrirs" GOd? WHat in their attitude or behaviors makes you think this? Are there places of your life where you feel you reflect the light of GOd? Where are teh black places that need the light?