On Purity of Heart and Solidarity
Being wholly God's is expressed in monastic language as "purity of heart." There may be areas of purity right from the beginning - indeed there must be, for the call to be heard and answered - but true Christ-centeredness of life doesn't come easily. All the diverse elements of one's personality realign, under the influence of prayer and through the work of grace, only little by little. But the time comes when there cease to be dichotomies even in the matter of work and prayer, silence and necessary speech, Divine Office and simple contemplation, because the primary dichotomy in the personality has been dissolved in Christ. In the end, one's will is totally absorbed in His yes to the Father.
Paradoxically enough, it is on this personal level that a contemplative experiences most vitally her unity with all mankind. Perhaps that's why the most vivid awareness of solidarity may occur in solitude - in the hermitage perhaps, or in the woods, or...in the shoe shop. I am not alone here. I am the Church; I am the human race with all its weaknesses and sins, with all its highest aspirations. The villain of the piece is here: that self that seeks its own in everything. But the real hero, Jesus, is even closer. His love working in me wants to reach out to others, to give back to the Father unreservedly, in the simultaneous two-way current that is the Spirit. I must be clean of heart, well-oiled of will, so that God can move me as He wills.
Light in the Shoe Shop: A Cobbler's Contemplations, 24-5