The Saints: On the Heart

+ Definition of the Heart according to the Glossary in the five volume set of the Philokalia translated and edited by Palmer, Sherrard, and Ware:

“Not simply the physical organ but the spiritual center of man’s being, man as made in the image of God, his deepest and truest self, or the inner shrine, to be entered only through sacrifice and death, in which the mystery of the union between the divine and the human is consummated. ‘I called with my whole heart’, says the psalmist — that is, with body, soul and spirit’ (John klimakos). ‘Heart has thus an all-embracing significance: ‘prayer of the heart’ means prayer not just of the emotions and affections, but of the whole person, including the body.”

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“The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace—all things are there.”

+St. Macarius

 

“Within the heart is an unfathomable depth. There are reception rooms and bedchambers in it, doors and porches, and many offices and passages. In it is the workshop of righteousness and of wickedness. In it is death, in it is life…. The heart is Christ’s palace…There Christ the King comes to take His rest, with the angels and the spirits of the saints, and He dwells there, walking within it and placing His kingdom there.”

+ St. Macarius (Homilies 15:32-33)

 

“The soul is greater than the body: the body becomes sick, and with that it is finished. But a spiritual sickness extends into eternity. Deliver us, O lord, from such illness, and grant us healing.”

+ St. Macarius

 

“If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (cf. Eph. 3:17), and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in Him (cf. Col. 2:3), then all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor (Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 109)

 

“This is the treasure hidden in the field of your heart (cf. Matt. 13:44), which you have not yet found because of your laziness. Had you found it, you would have sold everything and bought that field. But now you have abandoned that field and give all your attention to the land nearby, where there is nothing but thorns and thistles.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor (Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 109)

 

“It is for this reasons that the Savior says, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8): for He is hidden the hearts of those who believe in Him. They shall see Him and the riches that are in Him when they have purified themselves through love and self-control; and the greater their purity, the more they will see.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor (Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 109)

 

“And that is why He says, ‘Sell what you possess and give alms’ (Luke 12:33), ‘and you will find that all things are clean for you’ (Luke 11:41). This applies to those who no longer spend their time on things to do with the body, but strive to cleanse the [nous] (which the Lord calls ‘heart’) from hatred and dissipation. For these defile the [nous] and do not allow it to see Christ, who dwells in it by the grace of holy baptism.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor (Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 109)

 

It is of more importance to the Lord that a man acknowledge and confess his sickness and cry for help in his heart than with this tongue, for the tongue is capable of deception, but the heart is not.

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich

 

The human mind is given the rational power of God – we have the mind of Christ (Cor. 2, 16), says the Holy apostle Paul. To the human heart, the heart of Christ is given. The perishable is made immortal. Those naked and wounded by sin and by passions are adorned in Divine glory. Those who hunger and thirst are sated and assuaged by the nourishing and soul-strengthening Word of God and by the most pure Body and Divine Blood of Christ. The inconsolable are consoled. Those ravaged by the devil have been – and continue to be – delivered.”

+ St. John of Kronstadt

 

“For everyone who does not carry out the divine will, even though he is a believer, has a heart which, being a workshop of evil thoughts, lacks understanding, and a body which, being always entangled in the defilements of the passions, is mortgaged to sin.”

+ St. Maximos the Confessor (Philokalia, Vol. 2, p. 181)

 

 

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