my heart is hard like a stone…

Blessed Elder Paisios of Mt Athos

from Elder Paisios:

- Elder, when I feel my heart become hard like a stone, what should I do?

- Your problem is not a hard heart but a mind-driven heart. Your entire heart has been taken over by your mind and is now at its service. But there is still a chance for your heart to go back. Each day you must read prayers to the Theotokos. If you want your heart to get back in shape, that’s the best medicine. You do have a heart, but it has been clouded by “logic”…. Things are different in the spiritual life. What is needed is simplicity. Act with simplicity and trust in God.

- How can I become simple, Elder? – I shall have to open your head and put an old-fashioned mind in it!
You need to enter the simple world of the Saints, and get to know the spiritual science which lifts and refreshes the soul, and gets rid of headaches. “Logic” will make us suffer. For example, I say to myself, ‘This must be done in this specific manner,’ and so I go ahead and do it because it has to be done. I don’t do it with my heart but because the mind dictates it. Logic and courtesy may tell me that ‘I must surrender my seat,’ but my heart will not. Think of the difference when my heart is moved and I surrender my seat out of love. I feel such joy!

- Elder, I don’t have a heart.

- You do have a heart, but as soon as it tries to act, your mind puts a muzzle on it. You must try to acquire the logic of the heart, faith and love.

- How can I achieve this? – The first step: go down town to Thessaloniki and March barefoot in protest, so that people will say that you went mad; this way you will get rid of your mind!!! Blessed soul! You approach everything with mathematical exactness. What are you, an astronomer? If you stop thinking “logically”, you will be able to start working spiritually on yourself.

“The Holy Fathers saw everything with the spiritual, the divine eye. Patristic tests were written in the spirit of God and it was in the spirit of God that the Holy Fathers gave their interpretations. Today this spirit is lacking and Patristic texts are hard to understand. People see everything with secular eyes and cannot see beyond that; they do not have the breadth of spirit that results form faith and love.”

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