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Quotes of the Day for November 13, 2020 – Thoughts on if we have the guts

“Contemporary science is starting to catch up to this ancient biblical wisdom about the human person. Scholars at UCLA and McMaster University have been conducting experiments that are shedding light on our “gut feelings.” Their studies point to the way microbes in our stomachs affect the neural activity of the brain. “Your brain is not just another organ,” they report. “It’s . . affected by what goes on in the rest of your body.” In fact, Scientific American reports that there is “an often-overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our ‘second brain.’” No wonder Jesus invites us to follow him by eating and drinking (John 6:53–58). Discipleship doesn’t touch just our head or even just our heart: it reaches into our gut, our splagchna [bowels], our affections.” (James Smith)

“We learned to follow God. We learned to follow our collective gut - because our gut tends to follow the righteous path that leads us to God. This makes sense to me, since I believe, I must believe, that the good is instinctive, while evil requires a little thought.” (Father Anthony Savas)

“ ‘…he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd’ (Mark 6:34). Compassion can often mean kindness and sympathy. In these verses, it means something deeper and much more powerful. “And he had compassion” is translated from the Greek ἐσπλαγχνίσθη (esplachNEEsthee) and comes from the root word in Greek for “guts.” In other words, it is compassion and concern that are felt in one’s guts – a compassion that is felt in a deeply physical way. Compassion felt in this way compels us to respond with love and deep concern.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

“…we read in the Toolkit for Spiritual Growth that righteousness and mercy require heartfelt concern for others. In this context, almsgiving and charity are acts of love that are shared and lead to healing. Fr. Evan examines the word in scripture, splachnizomai, that is often translated as “compassion.” He explains that this translation omits the physical implication of the Greek, which is best translated “to feel in one’s guts.” This is the feeling that leads us to true acts of charity and almsgiving.” (Fr. Evan Armatas, Fr. Jim Kordaris)

“Splagchnizomai the text says. It’s a rare Greek verb meaning something like “torn up in the gut.” Splagchnon is the Greek word for viscera, internal organs, intestines and bowel. When Jesus considered the young man and his mother His stomach turned in knots. It tore up His insides. It was gut-wrenching. That’s where compassion originates—in the gut. That’s where compassion begins to emerge, not in our heads, but in the gut. That’s what compassion feels like.” (Ken Kovacs)


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