Celebrating the Life of Lyn, Part I
As the anniversary of her passing on to eternal life came closer (9.20.2018), the idea came to my mind to honor Lyn. In my months being a LAMP Missionary, although I never met her, I have come to know Lyn through her writings, audio recordings, videos, and her influence on others. I hope to share what our Heavenly Father has given to us through the heart of His beloved daughter, Lyn (Evelyn) Falzon Scheuring.
At a meeting for Lay Ecclesial Movements in 1999, Lyn was asked what the “movement” of LAMP is. Though she wasn’t quite sure about the question, the response came out of her, “it’s the Beating Heart of Jesus.”
When I think of this phrase, “the Beating Heart of Jesus”, I’m reminded of John the Beloved, who rested his head on the heart of Christ (John 13:23) the same night Jesus spoke those intimate words to his disciples, “that all may be one.”
Unity, a fundamental truth of the Holy Trinity, is a common thread that runs through the fabric of the life of Lyn, woven in with her faith and daily life. Through the Sacrament of Matrimony, Christ gives grace to become a living sign of His own loving unity to man and wife. Because of the beauty of this Sacramental reality, I found it difficult to write about Lyn without spending some time on her unity with God through her marriage with Tom.
Two Hearts Together as One
When Lyn met Tom at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., her relationship with Christ was already maturing. In fact, both of them wanted to serve the Lord, each having an awareness of the goodness of God and His love for them which “pretty much influenced all of [their] decisions.” To be honest, I often believe the fallacy that, “if only I were in my vocation, then I would be able to really love and follow Christ better.” But from her early years, Lyn was putting Jesus first and letting him direct her steps rather than the world, the culture, or other persons. So by the time they met, it was a deepening rather than a beginning in her relationship with God as they were drawn together in the Sacrament of Marriage.
A Heart of Trust
In my own life I’ve been learning that painful moments can become lessons. In her life, God was continually calling Lyn to the way of trust and love as she wrote, “In pleading with the Lord to help me totally accept His will, I’m beginning to know a peace settling within me. The Lord is somehow conforming my desires to Him…” It seems to me that surrendering to the Lord is like a glacier: slow-moving and hurtful to its terrain, but a powerful force that allows for rivers of life to flow out of the canyons.
Like all parts of Lyn’s life, their marriage was included in this struggle to surrender. She reflected that “we certainly aren’t perfectly one, all our problems aren’t solved, and we still experience insecurities.” But Lyn’s object in their marriage was not “perfection”, unlike my own unrealistic ideals, but rather unity in love.
The more that she surrendered to God, the better she could love Tom, because Jesus’ own Heart of Love was beating with hers. Once at a marriage encounter retreat, she had begun to understand this idea, that “it is mainly through the love Tom and I have for each other that we will experience God…We really have been given the power to be one. It’s amazing to me to think that through our mutual love, other people will experience God’s love.” It’s amazing to me that through their marriage which I never witnessed, I can experience God’s love.
A Contemplative Heart
As her relationship with the Lord deepened as a married person, Lyn began to wonder about contemplation within the context of marriage. When I think of contemplation, oftentimes I think of monks and nuns. However, it was inspirational to read that Lyn was discovering that being closer to God would cause them “to fall more in love with Him and with each other.” She came to see contemplation in the everyday moments spent with their family and their community and not only quiet moments of solitude. The more aware she was of our God’s loving presence, the greater was her love for Tom.
As I come to the end of the first part of my reflection of Lyn, I see her as a woman who didn’t just proclaim the Beating Heart of Jesus, but truly sought to live out her life in union with His Heartbeat. Christ offered her his own Heart with which to love, as He loved, through the Sacramental grace he gave them in marriage. This was her path to the Father’s House, being led by Jesus along the way of trust, surrender, and love. I don’t know yet what my vocational path is, but regardless, I am inspired by Lyn’s life to live in loving unity, so that we may all be one.
-Marta Stangl, LAMP Missionary
Part II can be found here.