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Heart (Nous, Revelation, Wisdom)

“The holy man, Simeon, took the Child Jesus in his arms and blessed God Who revealed the Child to the eyes of Simeon’s heart as the Light of nations and glory for God’s People (Lk. 2:28-32)… Submission to God is the essential mark of Saint Simeon’s holiness, clearly shown in his hymn. Consider: he lived in Jerusalem (vs. 25). Many, many times he was in the Temple. However, when the Virgin came with the Holy Infant to make the required sacrifice, Simeon “...came by the Spirit into the Temple” (vs. 27). Why? Because he listened with his heart to God. Therefore, he was led to the encounter at the critical moment and in the exact place. The Holy Fathers call revelation like this ‘the gift of discernment’ or ‘diorasis,’ the ability to perceive invisible truths and happenings, an ability given to Saints who are deified from years of ascesis and prayer.” (Dynamis 2/3/2020)

“The heart in Scripture refers to the center of consciousness, the seat of the intellect and the will, and the place from which spiritual life proceeds. When God's grace permeates the heart, it masters the body and guides all actions and thoughts. On the other hand, when malice and evil capture the heart, a person becomes full of darkness and spiritual confusion.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 12:35)

“I personally think that there is something within the human that is particularly attuned to revelation. We describe the experience by saying, “A light came on,” or “The coin dropped.” The movement between ignorance and knowledge in such situations is not a path. It is sudden and even jarring. We see when shortly before we were blind. I would suggest that the knowledge acquired in such a manner differs qualitatively from knowledge gained in other ways.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…modern man is governed by an instinct to obtain and consume. The laws of the market rule over him, and he has no power over these laws, because he has lost the sense of the presence of the Living God in his heart.” (Ivan Ilyin)

“Until modernity, the church always understood the heart as the nous, as the part of us designed to perceive and experience God. The authors of the Bible and the Holy Fathers thought of it like a sensory organ. Further, until humanism dominated modern thinking, we understood thoughts as coming from outside of us and that is why the entire Bible and life of the church is framed in spiritual warfare. Now, in a culture dominated by materiality with a psychological version of spirituality, many people believe thoughts originate from inside us within our brains, as opposed our brains being how we receive and process thought. So many of us indulge in prayer and spirituality in the wrong manner, often without God, seeking inner peace or calm only or some other goal related to self. The purpose of prayer and all practices in the church are to open our heart to God. True knowledge comes through revelation that is the result of prayer and all spiritual practices focused on union with Him, Wisdom Himself. (Sacramental Living Ministries)

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