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“Let us consider our heart for a moment as a parcel of land we are seeking to cultivate. Concerning hardness of heart, Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos says: “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.” (Dynamis 9/18/2020)

“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)

“According to the Gospel, it should be said that undoubtedly each person is given his own saving cross. This cross has grown on the soil of our heart, and it is only through this cross that we can be saved. From this it follows that if we refuse to carry our cross of obedience for no legitimate reason, we refuse to go by the way of Christ, by the saving way, and we want to invent for ourselves another way, free of labor, for attaining the Kingdom of Heaven. But this cannot be.” (St. Anatoly of Optina)

“Our hearts will be fertile ground if we center our lives in Christ…When our hearts are fertile soil -- we can openly and honestly receive blessings from our Lord. If we “root” ourselves in Him, then like a tree with deep roots, will be able to weather any storm…we know that Jesus will be with is with us and that we are being used as His instruments.” (Fr. Mark A. Leondis)

“Sin grows like a weed in the soil of personal existence, and the fruit of sin is the “detestable self.” All the great ascetics of the Christian faith argue that this weed must be pulled and the sinful self be put to “death” in order that the image of God may grow in its place. The sinful self is distinguished by a “self-will” that sets up the individual as a small “god” that asserts itself over and against other selves, as it seeks to possess what it desires…The exotic plant of faith can only survive and be healthy when it is rooted in its native soil of reality—a reality bigger than just what is true inside of you.” (Vigen Guroian, Donald Williams)


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