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What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. Matthew 15:18

Just as a nutritional diet low in saturated fats and exercise is important to the physical health of your heart, so is a regular regiment of prayer, Scripture reading, and reception of the Sacraments important for the spiritual health of your heart. A steady diet high in sodium and saturated fats leads to plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart, leading to heart disease.

The same is true of your spiritual heart. Like plaque, unresolved anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness can severely weaken your spiritual heart, blocking the flow of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness to your spouse and family. This heart disease is at the root of marital strife and can result in the death of a marriage.

Every few years, I (Dennis) undergo a stress test and/or an echocardiogram to determine the condition of my heart. These checkups are required as the result of two heart attacks, in 1996 and 2017. The tests show if there is any blockage or deterioration in the heart muscle over time and if any intervention is required to ensure the health of my heart.

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45

How convicting are these words of Jesus! What comes out of our mouths indicates the condition of our hearts. Are your words edifying or are they hurtful to your spouse and children? Do you often get angry for no apparent reason, leaving you and your family members wondering “where did that come from?” There is an adage that says “hurting people hurt people.” Harsh words indicate that there are some unresolved hurts in your past that are in need of healing.

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious…He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:1, 3

Many of us are wounded and these wounds affect our relationships. Unresolved hurts from childhood or later in life will undoubtedly bubble to the surface in our marriages. Anger, bitterness, negativity, criticism and complaining are signs that our hearts need healing. Thankfully, all is not lost! You can receive healing from these past wounds. God wants to heal you. You do not have to be a slave to past hurts. Do you want to receive healing? Do you desire to have better control of your tongue? There is hope for healing.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them… Jeremiah 33:6

So, what are the results of your “stress” test? Has plaque built up in your arteries? Does your heart have blockages? Is it in need of intervention to ensure its health and well-being? Expose your wounds to the grace of God. Give your wounds to Jesus. Feed on the Word of God, share your cares and concerns with Him in prayer and listen in the quietness of your heart for His answer. It is far too easy to sit in front of the television, smartphone, or computer for mindless entertainment when one is emotionally distraught. Fight this urge by spending this time in Scripture reading and intimate conversation with God.

“I am the Lord, your healer.” Exodus 15:26

Praise, prayer, and thanksgiving are part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. When you praise and worship God, giving thanks for His bountiful blessings, your prayers are a fragrant offering to God. You will receive the peace of God which transcends all understanding, guarding your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Intimate conversations with God will cover your heart with a protective shield, keeping out the lure of the world and its destructive lies.

My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to thee; my soul also, which thou hast rescued. Psalm 71:23

Let Jesus come into your heart. He is the cure to your aching heart. He is the Divine Healer, the Doctor of the human heart. He wants to heal your pain and draw the poison out of your heart. Partake in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist; these are medicine for your hurting heart. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Heal all hurting hearts and fill them with your grace and peace.

We recommend resources for healing from past wounds. The first is the Healing the Whole Person conference put on by the John Paul II Healing Center, founded by Dr. Bob Schuchts. The second is UNBOUND Ministry® developed by Neal Lozano. Both offer deliverance and healing prayer ministry. We have attended events hosted by both organizations and have received deep healing of childhood wounds. The key to healing is most often found in forgiving the person who has hurt us.

Now – and this is daunting – this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2840

May the love of God protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23