Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On the Heart

Here are a few quotes perhaps you can chew on in your mind over the next few days regarding the heart.

Saint Makarios the Great, is an epic ascetic of the Egyptian Desert. He is known for his battles with demons, austere piety, and his counsels on the Heart. This quote is amazing for its summation of just what lies within our heart. Within our conscience. Not only is the pit of our secret evils there, but so is the joy of joys.

"Within the heart are unfathomable depths. It is but a small vessel, and yet dragons and lions are there, and there poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There likewise is God, there are the angels, there life and the kingdom, there light and the Apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace: all things are there." - St. Makarios the Great

Saint Hesychios the Presbyter, another awesome dude from the desert, is known for his many sayings from the Philokalia. We may be surprised just what we find in our hearts, when we begin to apply the statutes to our lives. But don't despair, remember it is a choice we always have. To struggle against our temptations or follow them through til we no longer can stand in front ourselves and say we all far short of the mark.

"Just as someone in the midst of a crowd, holding a mirror and looking at it, sees not only his own face but also the faces of those looking in the mirror with him, so someone who looks into his own heart sees in it not only his own state, but also the black faces of the demons." - St. Hesychios the Presbyter

Saint Maximos the Confessor echoes what Saint Hesychois says. If you strive to follow the statutes, if you fight against your passions, then you will find the Holy Spirit will help you at every opportunity to Live a life in imitation of Christ.

"If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in him, then all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments."- St. Maximos the Confessor

And to back me up on this, Saint John Chrysostom:

"Once we begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out." - St. John Chrysostom

Have a Blessed Week Everyone!