• Michael Haldas

Heart


“…I begin my day with prayer and some beneficial reading, opening my heart to the divine energies of the Holy Spirit. This is a sort of re-charging of my heart in the morning, which helps it stay on course.” (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“The heart, the seat of a person’s will and emotions, is the place where spiritual renewal begins. There God plants love and patience, traits that will produce a harvest of good works.” (Foundation Study Bible, 2 Thessalonians 3:5)

“Christ actually resides or makes His home in the believer’s heart…Rightness of heart is what a true noetic understanding and sobriety (nepsis) of spirit are about.” (Foundation Study Bible, Ephesians 3:17, Father Stephen Freeman)

“If man gives God his heart, God will grant him his heart’s desires—as long as they will not be harmful to him. Only a heart given to Christ is not wasted, and only in Christ does one find—in abundance—the gift of divine love in this life, and heavenly exaltation in the next life." (Elder Paisios the Athonite)

“The purer the heart becomes, the larger it becomes…purity of heart is the goal of every Christian….It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to." (Saint John of Kronstadt, OCPM 12/10/2015, C. S. Lewis)

“Christ said, ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks’ (Luke 6:45). He also said ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be’ (Luke 12:34). Honestly assessing what we treasure is a good exercise. What we treasure most speaks to the state of our hearts. It also dictates our thoughts and actions” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“God created us with a need to be fed and filled, yet our desires seemingly go unmet. In striving to find fulfillment, our longings may swing wildly out of balance into realms of addiction. Left unchecked, our misplaced contentment crashes into our empty lives as we attempt to fill up on “treasures” that devastate not only our pocketbooks but also our souls." (Marsha Crockett)

“What people consider valuable is where their energy will be spent. Knowing God and investing in His purposes should be the treasure we seek…In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure!” (Foundation Study Bible, Luke 12:34, Brother Lawrence)

“Nor does it matter how much wealth, status, or influence we garner, if our own heart is not set on God. These earthly treasures will not provide us with satisfaction (Proverbs 10:2). The righteous man, by laboring to keep his relationship with God central, delivers his soul from spiritual death and joyfully accepts whatever God allows to come into his life.” (Dynamis

3/12/2015)

“God’s ultimate treasure – the life in Christ – is available to people from all walks of life...” (Dynamis 7/18/2014)

“There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I like to think of God as being that teacher, but using books, tapes, speakers, or other incidents to be his messengers. Mentoring often comes in the form of truth being shared at just the right time. If we discipline ourselves to have “eyes that see and ears that hear” and to look up with expectant eyes, we will find God at work in many different ways throughout our lives." (Betty Southard)

“If they [God’s commandments] are spoken from our hearts, then they will most certainly communicate to children in a manner that will make a difference, heart to heart. This is the only way God’s commands can be conveyed with pure and lasting result. Only words from the heart ever enter a heart to become established. If not from the heart, then our talk of God’s commandments when sitting in our homes or when we “walk by the way” will be head talk and our children will likely not embrace the words of life.” (Dynamis 6/20/13)

“Our eyes will only see what our hearts will allow.” (Fr Stephen Freeman)

“Some people are so busy expressing their own opinion that God’s voice can’t be heard over their own." (Steve Campbell)

“Are you listening for God? Step back from the noise and activity of your busy life and listen humbly and quietly for His guidance. It may come when you least expect it.” (Life Application Study Bible – 1 Kings 19:11-13)

“God—Our Creator knows His human creatures intimately, and He is able to discern our thoughts and purposes before we ourselves are aware of them. He always looks beyond appearance and stature to the heart.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Samuel 16:7)

“God, after all, discerns what is in our hearts, even if we fool some people with our outward behavior (Heb 4:12). Genuine Christianity is a matter of the heart – having a heartfelt desire to please God – even if we do not always do a great job of walking “according to the new creation” (Gal 6:15) so that “peace and mercy [is] upon [us]” (vs. 16).” (OCPM 11/1/2015)

“God's judgment will not be merely of outward appearances, but will penetrate much deeper into the heart of man: He sees the heart and mind of every person, and He will judge not only our deeds, but even our words and thoughts.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Kingdoms 16:7) “God judges by faith and character, not appearances. And because only God can see on the inside, only He can accurately judge people.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Samuel 16:7)

"God is interested in hearts because that’s where real and lasting change takes place."'(Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller)

“If there is a true normal, it is deeply spiritual. It moves between transcendent good and a frightful evil. And the movement is not between people or classes or political persuasions, but within each human heart. We should not ignore what is going on around us. However, when we ignore the inner life of the heart, we remain unhealed and in the darkness.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Christ address[es] our lack of faith, mindfulness, and good spiritual practice. He corrects us by setting aside our obsession with material concerns and speaking to our deep, underlying problem: our lack of trust in Him...He recalls us to our right minds as members and partakers of Him...He provides Himself as the Truth we must embrace if the Holy Spirit is to illumine our hearts…” (Dynamis 7/29/2014)

“Our greatest problems have spiritual roots: we disdain to lift our hands to God, worshipping and opening our hearts to His grace, which alone makes our works wholesome and worthy. Human methods alone will never solve our problems apart from a meek spirit and a pure heart (Mt 5: 5, 8).” (OCPM 7/25/2016)

“Hearts can become so hard that even the most convincing facts and demonstrations will not change them.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 8:11)

“Today hard hearts believe” (1) poverty is always caused by laziness; helping the poor only enables them; (2) that worship is best conducted in one way – our way…(3) that evangelism doesn’t apply; people will never change anyway, so we don’t need to do it…Don’t be a hard heart. Be open to Christ’s truth. Let Him soften you heart. (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 8:17,18)

“A hardened heart is useless as a hardened lump of clay or a hardened loaf of bread….When people become so stubbornly set in their ways, they find it impossible to turn to God. This does not happen all at once; it is the result of a series of choices…We are warned not to harden our hearts, but to reject the glamor of sin or anything else that would lead us away from God. (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 95:8,11)

“Christ said that the kingdom of heaven is within us, indicating that the Divinity dwells in our hearts. When God dwells in our hearts, He teaches and writes His doctrines and His law in our hearts and minds; for supremely, the heart is the site where God’s commandments are written.” (Metropolitan Hierotheos)

“Do whatever you soul desires according to God, and guard your heart.” (Monk Lev Gillet)

“It may be possible to appear to have the grace of Christ in one’s spirit while only making"a good showing”; but God instantly discerns what is behind our appearances…The truth is that it comes down to where we invest our hearts, to what we make top priority day-in-and-day-out, to what really counts for us in our hearts.” (Dynamis 11/5/2012)

“God, after all, discerns what is in our hearts, even if we"fake it” with some people by our outward behavior…Genuine Christianity is a matter of the heart, at least of having a heartfelt desire to please God, even if we do not do a great job of [it]” (Dynamis 11/5/2012)

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 8:21)

“It is easy to place more emphasis on human effort than on internal faith, but God values the attitude of our heart above all else. Don’t judge people’s spirituality by their fulfillment of duties or their level of human activity.” (Life Application Study Philippians 3:2, 3)

“The heart is where God speaks to us and it can either be fertile soil through prayer and daily devotion to God where He can plant seeds of spiritual growth that grow and blossom or we can, through our thoughts and actions, allow it to become like rocky or dry hard soil where nothing can be planted.” (Sacramental Living)

“God may use unexpected sources when communicating with us too, whether people, thoughts or experiences. Be willing to investigate, and be open to God’s surprises.” (Life Application Study Bible, Exodus 3:2)

“But what does it really mean to have a heart for God? What is the reason the Bible speaks so much about the heart? The authors of the New Testament didn’t know the heart was an organ in the chest that pumped blood. Further, the idea of the heart as the place of emotions didn’t evolve until hundreds of years later... In the Biblical context, heart is the core of our being, our essence as a person.” (Sacramental Living)

“…only God knows a persons’ heart [who we truly are], and He is the only one with the right to judge.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5)

“God judges the sincerity of our hearts. No one else is truly in a position to fully judge others hearts. We should never condemn or judge others either outwardly or in our thought... It is not our place to do so because only God truly knows their heart.” (Sacramental Living)

“Christ judges by discerning the heart not by examining deeds.” (Orthodox Study Bible)

"The life in Christ is a relationship. We tend to think we know other people through physical association, but much we know of others is gained through our mind and heart. We know God primarily through the heart.” (Dynamis 1/30/2015)

“We often use the phrase"I know it by heart” to describe how well we know something. When we tell someone we know something by heart they usually accept that we know whatever it is we say we know. We know God by heart. Yet people (ourselves included) sometimes have trouble accepting this with the same level of conviction as they accept other things we say we know by heart.” (Sacramental Living II)

“God is especially present in the hearts of his people, by His Holy Spirit...For God reigns in the hearts of His servants: there is His kingdom...God dwells in our hearts by faith..." ( Jeremy Taylor)

“...for someone to receive the Holy Spirit an open heart is necessary, and it is made open by faith. Just as the reception of radio waves necessarily requires an antenna, similarly for the reception of divine grace a pure heart full of faith is needed." (St. Luke the Surgeon of Simferopol)

“The mind, heart, and will are usually divided and separated in the ordinary person. This is the most common source of our problems and afflictions. However, with those who have been enlightened by God, the mind, heart, and will are united, and the light they have been given is not only the visible, physical light that they radiate, but a much deeper and permanent inner light whose abode is the person’s heart." (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Real hardness of heart, in the Bible use of the phrase, means stubbornness of will… Once one's heart grows hard, one does not accept Christ even though one knows that one should repent, that this is one's last chance. Pride gets in the way.” (Charles Finney, Father Seraphim Rose)

"A hardened heart is as useless as a hardened lump of clay or a hardened loaf of bread. Nothing can restore it and make it useful...People with hardened hearts are so stubbornly set in their ways that they cannot turn to God. This does not happen suddenly or all at once; it is the result of a series of choices to disregard God’s will.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrew 3:7-15)

“An unrepentant or hard heart despises God’s goodness, treasuring up the wrath of God at the judgment. A repentant heart, on the other hand, is grateful for God’s patience and abides in Christ, practicing a lifetime of repentance, which produces confidence before Him at the judgment.” (Orthodox Study Bible,"The Basis of God's Judgment)

"Repentance is the first healing medicine. The heart has to repent and come to its natural condition. If a life of sin has led it to an unnatural state, a life of repentance will bring it back to its right state, will give it life.” (Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos)

“The grace of repentance is not so much to be sorry for our sins, which is the way we have often viewed repentance. Repentance is a much deeper and much wider grace. It is the turning of the heart and the mind. We turn away from something and we turn our whole heart and mind on to God. This is repentance." (Anthony De Mello)

“It’s incredibly important to do all we can – prayer, Bible reading, fasting, attending Church, giving – to keep our hearts pliable and open to God’s grace and nurturing…The heart is where God speaks to us and it can either be fertile soil through prayer and daily devotion to God where He can plant seeds of spiritual growth that grow and blossom or we can, through our thoughts and actions, allow it to become like rocky or dry hard soil where nothing can be planted.” (Sacramental Living)

"It is possible for Christians to live their lives with a high degree of phoniness, hollowness, and inauthenticity. The reason is because they have failed to move that truth into their hearts and therefore it has not actually changed who they are and how they live…. If doctrinal soundness is not accompanied by heart experience, it will lead eventually to nominal Christianity—that is, in name only—and eventually to non belief...Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all. We must not settle for an informed mind without an engaged heart.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"The benefits to be derived from spiritual reading do not merely consist in impressing on the memory the precepts set forth, but in opening the heart to them, that they may bear fruit." (Ven. Louis de Blois)

“One of the open secrets of our faith is that the best way to fix God’s words in our hearts is to act upon them. Amazingly, when we apply what we hear, we not only accept it, but also we see and hear it much more fully.” (Dynamis 9/8/2014)

“Outward acts, done on principle, create inward habits. I repeat, the separate acts of obedience to the will of God, good works as they are called, are of service to us, as gradually severing us from this world of sense, and impressing our hearts with a heavenly character.” (John Henry Newman)

“Heart: 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.” (Philokalia)

“What is the heart? In biblical and patristic usage, the term"heart” does not correspond to the emotions. Rather, it is synonymous with the"spirit” of a person, and closely related to what the Fathers call the nous. These three terms – heart, spirit, and nous – may be defined as the essence of the soul, the place within each person where God reveals Himself (Mt 5:8).” (Dynamis 2/26/2015)

“The true Christian teacher necessarily speaks from the heart, from the inmost aspect of his being, which the Fathers call the nous.” (Dynamis 1/13/15)

“The words ‘intelligent,’ ‘intelligence,’ and ‘mind’ are easily confused in the English language…The Christian Patristic literature testifies to an understanding of the profound difference between mere human knowledge and what is called"noetic” knowledge…St. Paul's injunction in his letter to the Romans (12: 2),"...be transformed by the renewing of your mind...,” would be understood by an English reader to refer to the rational mind (reason). On the other hand, the Church Fathers would understand that St. Paul is referring to knowledge from the depth of one’s heart, which they would call the nous or noetic mind.” (Father George Morelli)

“God is revealed in the heart and it is there that man comes to know Him…we must know Him [Christ] in our heart. As we seek to know Him, the Lord Jesus shapes us from the inside out.” (Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Dynamis 2/10/2015)

“Within the heart is the antenna for the voice of God. We keep our heart open and pure as much as we can, to keep the antenna receptive…We are made in God’s image and likeness. His being, His heart becomes our heart to the extent that we are capable of opening ourselves to His divine life.” (Albert S. Rossi)

"The more his heart is trained to be sensitive to divine influences, the happier man is; the further he pushes his preparation, the higher he ascends in the scale of happiness.” (Meister Eckhart)

"There can be no conversion, no true Christianity, no vital commitment, no new life, and no blessing without a fundamental change of heart…Our Lord declares that when the heart is pure, we shall see God (Mt. 5:8).True Christian life begins and ends with the inner life which our hearts direct.” (Dynamis 7/23/2014, 4/20/2015)

“Let us consider for a moment what enables the heart to draw near to God…the grace of God takes root within the heart …We meet God within the heart, and yet of course He"is greater than our heart” (1 Jn 3:20) which controls our thoughts, emotions, and choices.” (Dynamis 7/23/2014)

"Keep your heart pliable and open to accepting the life-changing truths of Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 2:22)

“Clearly, the Church Fathers teach that intellect and reason are highly valued characteristics in man. It is important to note that intellect does not mean high intelligence. It refers to the spiritual perception of the principles of the Divine….The implications of man being made as body and soul-spirit were not lost on the Fathers of the Church. They recognized the differences in knowing or perception between these elements of the creature person. Significantly, the Fathers distinguish between sensation and reason, which come from the body, and spiritual knowledge or perception, which come from the soul and leads us to God.” (Fr. George Morelli)

“Until recently the heart was seen as a passive relay station. Research in the 1960s and 1970s discovered that the physical heart is an organ of great intelligence with its own nervous system, decision-making powers, and connections to the brain. The research found that the heart actually"talks” with the brain. The heart has its own logic." (Albert S. Rossi)

"In the 1990s, cardiologists introduced a new concept, the"heart brain.” Each beat of the heart sends complex signals to the brain and other organs. The heart not only has a language of its own but its own mind. The awareness of heart intelligence is sometimes called intuition. The heart is exquisitely sensitive to emotions and emits an energy field five thousand times stronger than the brain’s, one that can be measured more than ten feet away.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“To distinguish between our own feelings and thoughts and the guidance of the Spirit requires regular prayer, long practice in discernment, and the counsel of a spiritual advisor and wise pastor. The Scriptures help us to prepare our hearts to hear the Spirit. But we must remember that He cannot lead if we simply rush to the Bible, grasping for a verse, or thumb through the writings of the Fathers in search of a word we want to hear. Rather, we must develop a habit of reading and meditating on the great treasures of holy tradition so as to steep ourselves in the mind of Christ.” (Dynamis 7/4/2015)

"We endanger our souls if we educate ourselves without also developing our hearts, for the heart is life.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Christ asked the Disciples ‘Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?’ None of them were physically blind or deaf yet He asks them why they cannot see or hear. Their physical senses were intact but their spiritual sense, their hearts, were still a work in process.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

"The Bible warns repeatedly about the dangers of a hardened heart. Christ Himself emphasizes this danger. As the heart becomes hard, our sight becomes dim; not the sight of our physical eyes but rather our spiritual sight, or our insight. When our hearts our too hard we lose true perception and discernment.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Let us not grieve when we make a slip, but when we become hardened by it…It is a fearful thing to sin against God, but still more fearful to be hardened under it." (St. Isaac the Syrian) James Thomas Holloway)

“Hearts can become so hard that even the most convincing facts and demonstrations will not change them… Your heart can become rigid and prevent you from accepting the new life that Christ offers…We need to keep our heart pliable so we can accept Jesus’ life-changing message (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 8:11, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:39)

"...the heart is the center of our self-awareness. This self-awareness is the energy of the mind inside the heart..." (Abbot Tryphon)

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23)

“…for that upon which we set our heart shapes our thinking and actions.” (Dynamis 1/24/2014)

“In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us a stern warning: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also… What we really desire in life reflects the true disposition of our heart – the innermost core of our being.” (Clark Carlton)

"Is there something inherently wrong with wealth in and of itself? Not at all! The danger of riches lies in how the heart orients itself to them. For fickle-hearted mankind, riches repeatedly prove to be a stumbling block, the shoals upon which many have wrecked themselves in this life and for the age to come... The threat is that we will love riches inordinately and set our heart upon them.” (Dynamis 1/24/2014)

“As slaves serving two masters, people attempt to maintain an attachment to both earthly and heavenly things. But this is impossible, since both demand full allegiance.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:24)

“The story of Cain and Abel is a story of priesthood and stewardship. Abel offered that which was God’s, the firstborn of his flock, back to God first. He did it instinctively without thinking. It flowed from him naturally because his heart was with God. He was a shepherd and as such had an understanding that which he tended was not his own. He was a steward of what was God’s, not an owner, and this understanding kept his heart in a humble and worshipful state.” (Sacramental Living)

“Both Cain and Abel worshiped the Lord and brought sacrifices to Him. The Lord accepted Abel and his gifts, because Abel had a good and discerning heart.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 4:3,4)

“The Lord rejected Cain and his gifts. Why? The inward state of his heart was not right with God.” .Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 4:5)

“Cain was a farmer who worked the earth and selected what he determined should be offered to God. He didn’t do it maliciously nor is there evidence that he in fact did not offer God the best of his fruits or crops. However, the fact that he even thought about it means his heart was not with God as it should be. He acted as if he owned what he worked by the very fact that he selected what should be offered. Abel put God first whereas Cain put himself first which is the essence of sin.” (Sacramental Living)

“Cain's way was characterized by his sinful passions that dominated him. One of these was extreme sorrow, made manifest in his fallen countenance. His arrogant worship was rejected, and he fell into the opposite condition of extreme sorrow. Whereas godly sorrow leads one to humility and repentance, extreme sorrow nullifies both.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 4:6)"Heart- 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...” (Philokalia)

“...even the highest heavens cannot contain God. Isn’t it amazing that, though the heavens can’t contain God, He is willing to live in the hearts of those who love Him? The God of the universe takes up residence in His people.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Kings 8:27)

“There is a difference between external religiosity and internal heart love and devotion to God. That gap is to some degree in us all, and it is one of the reasons we don’t have the intimacy with God and the peace and joy in Him that we should.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“How do people try to bribe God? They may go to church, tithe, or volunteer, not because of their love and devotion to God, but because they hope God will bless them in return...God does not want our sacrifices of time, energy, and money alone; He wants our hearts—our complete love and devotion.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 21:27)

“He [God] made it very clear that He’s not after our external behaviors but instead after our hearts. He doesn’t want what you do. He just wants you.” (Jefferson Bethke)

“...we are warned not to harden our hearts…When someone’s heart becomes hardened, that person is so stubborn that he or she cannot turn to God. This does not happen all at once; it is the result of a series of choices to disregard God’s will.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Psalms 94:1, Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 95:8)

“Through the decisions that we make day by day that show the disposition of our heart, we are either moving closer to the Kingdom of God or further away from it. Thus, the innermost desires of our heart will either lead us to Heaven or to hell…If in our heart of hearts we love God and give of ourselves and earnestly seek peace and goodness, then we will be able to enjoy the blessedness of life with God. But, on the other hand, if we close off our hearts in selfishness and pride, we imprison ourselves in a hell of our own making.” (Clark Carlton)

"Because we live in a world in constant rebellion against God, Christ is urgently concerned with protecting our hearts and souls…we may become self-satisfied in our beliefs to the point that our heart closes against the truth in Christ.” (Dynamis 6/25/2014, 5/14/2014)

“...testing under pressure has a way of revealing what is in the heart.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Deuteronomy 8:2-5)

"Do whatever you see that your soul desires according to God, and guard your heart." (Abba Nitheros the Great)

“…the heart [in the Bible]… does not refer to the physical organ, but to our spiritual faculty – our openness to hearing what God has to say. Many of us, much of the time, are closed off. Our hearts are shut down, committed elsewhere, preoccupied – a state we must struggle against.” (Dynamis 9/8/2014)

"It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason...Faith is a sounder guide than reason. Reason can go only so far, but faith has no limits." (Blaise Pascal)

"As you grow in Christ, your heart and mind must grow together.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 1:9)

"When mind and heart are united in prayer and the soul is wholly concentrated in a single desire for God, then the heart grows warm and the light of Christ begins to shine and fills the inward man with peace and joy." (St. Seraphim of Sarov)

“Through a right faith in Christ we become known by Him…When we know the Lord Jesus and are known by Him, when we have a life-giving relationship with the Him, our heart acquires a new orientation from which good works and virtues naturally develop.” (Dynamis 6/18/2014)"…we should search our hearts and be sure we are at peace with God. His Spirit, like a great searchlight, will reveal those areas we need to deal with.” ” (Life Application Study Bible, Leviticus 26:18)

"…the heart is a temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). What does the Lord do in the ancient Temple? He lashes the money-changers with a whip, overturns the merchants’ tables of commerce, and drives them out to restore the sanctity of God’s house. Likewise, as we watch over the interior temple of our heart, we ask God in prayer to cleanse it.” (Dynamis 7/24/2014)

“our...inclination is to please ourselves rather than God...we must ask God to cleanse us from within...clearing our hearts and spirits for new thoughts and desires. Right conduct can come only from a clean heart and spirit.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 51:10)

“Concerning hardness of heart…At first the ground may be soft and relatively easy to plow. But as we continue digging, we reach a level full of pebbles. Further down we reach solid rock. It is like sowing on granite. Nothing can penetrate it. . . . because of three things: over preoccupation with worldly affairs, focus on physical pleasure, and obsession with wealth.” (Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos)

"As the Lord says, we must have abundance of good treasure in our heart (Luke 6:45). But how do we acquire a profusion of"good treasure”? …the Lord Jesus describes four specific actions, two negative and two positive (Luke 6:37-38). He then addresses the truly difficult struggle of changing the heart from evil to good so as to keep the commandments, which will bring forth good (Luke 6:39-44)…If we do not judge, we shall not be judged by God. If we do not condemn, God will not condemn us. If we forgive, our Father will forgive us. If we give generously, our Father will lavish goodness upon us.” (Dynamis 10/7/2014)

“What does it mean to speak of spiritual experience in the inner being? What is the"inner being”? It is the same thing as the heart, the center of both our personal consciousness and our most fundamental faith commitments. This is where the truths we know about Jesus with our mind can fail to register. We may mentally assent to the idea of Jesus’ love for us, yet our hearts are committed to finding love through popular acclaim. In such a case the inner being has not been affected by what the mind believes. The Spirit must prepare it to be reshaped and formed by the truth.” (Peter O'Brien, Pastor Timothy Keller)

"For the Word of God is not received by faith as if it flits about in the top of the brain, but when it takes root in the depth of the heart.” (John Calvin)

"Your heart is not so narrow that the world can satisfy it entirely; nothing but God can fill it." (St. Ignatius)

“If we remain attentive to what drives our actions, we will notice the true aim of our hearts. Let us ask ourselves,"How is my heart leading me? Do my actions awaken my heart to Christ, and to compassion for others as well?” (Dynamis 11/5/2014)

“There are two ways to know that honey is sweet...You can know it with the rational mind, and you can also know it with the sensing tongue....there is a difference between having an opinion that God is holy and gracious, and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and graciousness on the heart.” (Jonathan Edwards)

“Evil acts begin with evil desires. It isn’t enough to ask God to keep you away from temptation, make you stronger, or change your circumstances. You must ask Him to change you on the inside—at the level of your desires.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 141:4)

“Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place in a person’s life. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:12-13)

"…there is a dimension of life we miss by living outside our hearts. This dimension contains the things of the Spirit, and most of us remain blind in that all-important realm.” (Dynamis 12/29/2014)

"Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing upright and holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed. Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing only the outside of a cup. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 23:25-28)

"Christ’s sacrifice transforms our lives and hearts and makes us clean on the inside...No barrier of sin or weakness on our part can stifle His forgiveness.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 9:14)

"Our attitudes color our whole personality. We cannot always choose what happens to us, but we can choose our attitude toward each situation. The secret to a happy heart is filling our minds with thoughts that are true, pure and lovely, with thoughts that dwell on the good things in life…Look at your attitudes and then examine what you allow to enter your mind and what you choose to dwell on.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 15:15)

“A cheerful heart makes a man healthy.” (Proverbs 17:24)

“What we feed our minds is just as important as what we feed our bodies. The kinds of books we read, the people we talk with, the music we listen to, and the films we watch are all part of our mental diet. Be discerning because what you feed your mind influences your total well-being.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 15:14)

“A right heart before God in prayer is even more important than right words, for God hears our"groanings which cannot be uttered." (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 29:13)

“For man does not see as God sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord sees into the heart.” (1 Kingdoms 16:7 or 1 Samuel 16:7)

“…both purity and defilement begin in the nous - the spiritual center of a person’s heart and the seat of the conscience."Nous” is the element of the heart which, when illumined by the Holy Spirit, faithfully guides one in right moral decisions. If the nous and the conscience are pure, then the person knows God, and his works affirm God. However, if the heart is defiled, it does not matter if one professes to know God. (Dynamis 12/14/2012)

“The pure in heart are completely devoted to the worship and service of God and accept no compromises. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, those who achieve purity practice all virtue, have no conscious evil in themselves, and live in temperance. This level of spirituality is attained by few, but all may strive for it. When the soul's only desire is God, and a person's will holds to this desire, then that person will indeed see God everywhere.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 5:8)"Strive in all things to live according to the Divine commandments, and remember that the Lord is present and sees the disposition of your heart." (St. Ambrose of Optina)

“If our hearts are right with God, then our relationships with other people can be made right, too.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 10:16-19)

“…the Lord requires heart-centered and continuous inward awareness of His commandments, for if love for God is truly established within heart and soul, it surely will result in obedience to God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Dynamis 6/20/2013)

"Gifts and sacrifices mean nothing to God when they come from someone with a corrupt heart. God wants us to love Him, trust Him and turn from our sin; after that He will be pleased with our “sacrifices” of time, money and service.” (Life Application Study Bible, Isaiah 1:13)

“The 'faithful servant' must watch, for the enemy is always at the gates of his heart; he must pray, for only the Lord can keep him from 'entering into temptation;' he must begin again every day, for each day has its own task, its own difficulty, and its own grace; he must stand firm in the face of storms and harassments; repentant and hopeful, he must walk, and advance, in truth, in love, and in holy fear." (Jean Mouroux)

“Christ judges by his knowledge of hearts and not by interrogation of the deeds, to reward virtue and condemn impiety." (St. Ambrose of Milan)

“By hardening the heart against those in need, we forgo our submissiveness to God, who cares for those in distress and privation… Only when the heart is purified does the noetic eye begin to see through the Lord’s eyes, becoming filled with His generosity.” (Dynamis 7/23/2013)

“It is not so much that we are judged by God, but rather by our own consciences. The decisions we make in our daily lives determine our eternal reward or our eternal punishment. The judgment that we encounter at the end of our earthly lives is simply to be shown what we have chosen.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“In the Biblical context, heart is the core of our being, our essence as a person. However, our English word heart does a poor job of capturing what the authors of the New Testament meant when they wrote about it. The ancient Greek word they used was the nous (pronounced"noose). Nous is a Greek term that we really don’t have a word for in English. Heart (or mind) is as close as we come to what they meant when they used this term. In this context, heart means more than feelings; it means our intellect and reasonable will.” (Sacramental Living)

“The mind (Greek nous) is the spiritual eye of the soul; it illuminates the inner man and governs the will. Keeping the mind wholesome and pure is fundamental to the Christian life.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 6:22,23)

“.... (the nous) is the highest faculty of human nature, encompassing the mind and heart. With this faculty one sees and comprehends God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 12:2)

“…for the heart has spiritual eyes to see the things of God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 50:21)

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." (Helen Keller)

“...in the Bible, the"heart” is not identical to emotions. The heart is understood as the place of your deepest commitments, trusts, and hopes.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"The authors of the New Testament didn’t know the heart was an organ in the chest that pumped blood. Further, the idea of the heart as the place of emotions didn’t evolve until hundreds of years later…In the Biblical context, heart is the core of our being, our essence as a person. However, our English word heart does a poor job of capturing what the authors of the New Testament meant when they wrote about it. The ancient Greek word New Testament authors was the nous (pronounced"noose)…Sometimes the nous is referred to as the"eye of the soul.” (Sacramental Living)

"…when a man’s knowledge is raised above the concerns of the world, he sees noetically – that is, with his heart –"what is hidden from the eyes. . . .Then faith . . . itself swallows up knowledge, converts it, and begets it anew. . . . Then it can soar in the realms of the bodiless...Then the inner senses awaken for spiritual doing.” (Saint Isaac the Syrian)

“By lifting up and looking with one’s heart, one beholds what bodily vision cannot see.” (Dynamis 10/28/2013)

“The Holy Spirit can give you eyes to see what you've never seen before.” (Michael Minot)

#Heart #MetropolitanHierotheos #MonklLevGillet #SacramentalLiving #JeremyTaylor #StLuketheSurgeonofSimferopol #ElderThaddeusofVitovnica #CharlesFinneyFatherSeraphimRose #AnthonyDeMello #PastorTimothyKeller #VenLouisdeBlois #JohnHenryNewman #Philokalia #FatherGeorgeMorelli #AlbertSRossi #MeisterEckhart #StIsaactheSyrian #ClarkCarlton #JeffersonBethke #AbbaNitherostheGreat #BlaisePascal #StSeraphimofSarov #PeterOBrien #JohnCalvin #StIgnatius #JonathanEdwards #StAmbroseofOptina #JeanMouroux #StAmbroseofMilan #FrJosephIrvin #HelenKeller #SaintIsaactheSyrian #MichaelMinot #ScottTuransky #JoanneMiller #SteveCampbell #BettySouthard #MarshaCrockett #SacramentalLivingBlog #SrDrVassaLarin #FatherStephenFreeman #ElderPaisiostheAthonite #StJohnofKrondstadt #CSLewis

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