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Heart (Good and Bad)

“Disasters have their spiritual beginnings in men’s hearts…Within the heart’s recesses, our passionate thoughts hasten our journey toward visible, sinful action. This corrupt interior movement effectively negates the truth of God, leading us to question whether He truly acts in our lives. Such interior insults leave us utterly without excuse before God (Rom 1:20). When we deny and destroy the image of God within us, we first do ourselves in by the disastrous consent of the heart. The sinful heart dares God to act visibly, as if challenging Him to put up a billboard listing what is already written within us.” (Dynamis 3/20/2019)

“Cain’s heart was not right and he killed his brother Abel as a result. The Lord spared him but that still did not bring about his change of heart. Instead, he went to the land of Nod. Nod means “one who wanders away from God.” He built a city and had a son named Enoch (not to be confused with the Enoch, the Father of Methuselah who went directly to heaven like Elijah as told in Genesis 5:24). In his pride, Cain named the city after his son. He glorified himself and his accomplishment, not God, and sent this message to his own son. Adam and Eve had another son Seth, and Seth had a son he named Enosh. The Bible said Enosh, in contrast to Enoch, hoped in the Lord and called upon his name (Genesis 4:26). This is the humility of a good heart. So we see even in the beginning as the world populates the manifestation of the sheep (Enosh, the right hearted) and the goats (Enoch, the wrong hearted) that Christ warns us about in Matthew 25:31-46.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“We grow cold within when our heart is distracted, when it cleaves to something other than God, worrying about different things, getting angry and blaming someone, –when we are discontented and pander to the flesh, wallowing in luxury and wandering thoughts. Guard against these things, and the coldness will diminish.” (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“Most of us live outside our heart, and our mind is in a constant state of confusion. Some good thoughts may surface from time to time, but the majority will be harmful, and this destructive condition will prevail for as long as we continue to ignore our heart...The prayers of a fragmented mind have neither clarity nor depth, but a mind that is reunited with the heart overflows with humble prayer and has such strength that it reaches the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” (Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex)

“There is a need, rather, to become good watchers of the heart, as well as the mind; to discern that which is good and fosters our prayer from that which rends it from us. This is the spiritual labor of disciplined prayer, and is the preparation by which we draw near to God.” (Bishop Irenei Steenberg)

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