Ya gotta have heart…

Those familiar with scripture will readily recall that the heart has a prominent place in both testaments.

In the Old Testament, God complains, through the prophets, about the superficial worship of the people, who offer material sacrifice, but their hearts are far from him. Proverbs speaks of wisdom entering one’s heart (Prov 2:10), the need to trust the Lord with all one’s heart (3.5), how a perverted heart devises evil (Prov 6.14), and that the Lord weighs the heart (Prov 21:2).

At the beginning of the New Testament, Mary is described as treasuring and pondering events in her heart. Then, there is that intense preacher in the desert, St. John the Baptist, who had people travel from all over the country into the desert to experience his ministry. What did his speech have that converted such difficult categories of people, like the greedy tax collectors, the tough military, and the professional prostitutes?  Even the haughty King Herod listened to his prisoner’s words.

The key is found in his description as ardens et lucens, ardent and illuminating. He appealed to both the mind, and to the heart. Malachi foretold a prophet who would turn the hearts of fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. This was mentioned by Gabriel to John’s father, Zachary, in the Temple.

The Letters of St. Paul frequently speak in reference to the heart, such as when he asks Philemon to “refresh [his] heart in Christ” (Phlm1:20).  Christ always pleads with others in the hope their exchange enlarges his hearers’ hearts towards him.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello Doug
    I like your post. Insightful.
    David


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