The Spiritual Heart

Saint Sophronius

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,


Lord, forgive those who hate us and are unjust to us; Do good to those who are good to us. To our brothers and sisters and members of our family Grant their petitions that are unto salvation and life eternal; Visit those who are sick and grant healing to them; Accompany and protect those who travel by land, sea and air; Stand by as an ally to our faithful rulers; To those who serve us and are merciful to us grant forgiveness of sins; To those who have asked us to pray for them, unworthy though we be, Grant them forgiveness and mercy according to Your great mercy. Remember, Lord, all of our predeceased-Fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters-And grant them a blessed repose Where the Light of Your Countenance shines. Remember, Lord, our brothers in captivity And deliver them from every difficult circumstance. Remember, Lord, those who labor and do good works In Your holy Churches; Grant to them their petitions which are unto salvation and eternal life. Remember, Lord, also us, Your humble, sinful and unworthy servants, Enlighten our mind with the Light of Your Knowledge And guide us on the way of Your Commandments, Through the intercessions of Your All-Pure Mother and of all Your Saints; For You are Blessed unto all ages of ages. Amen.


On March 11th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, Teachers and every righteous spirit made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Saints Trophimos and Thallos at Laodicea; Saint George of Sinai; Saint Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem; Saint Sophronius of Vratsa; Saint Efthymius, bishop of Novgorod; Saints Asclepiades, Macedonia, Linus, and Sabina; Saint Epimachus of Pelusium; Saint John Moschos; Saint Sophronius of the Kiev Caves; Saint Theodora, Queen of Arta; Saint Pionius of Smyrna; Saint George the New of Constantinople; Saint Alexis of Goloseyevsky Skete, Kiev Caves; Saint Cyprus holy Icon of the Theotokos.

VENERABLE GEORGE, EGOUMENOS (ABBOT) OF SINAI, BROTHER OF SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS. Saint Sophronios wrote of George the Ascetic of Sinai. George once desired to receive Holy Communion at the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, and the twelve-day journey was accomplished in a few seconds. He appeared during the time of the Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion from Patriarch Peter. Peter asked that George stay to eat with them, and George answered, "May the Lord's will be done." After a short time, he suddenly found himself again on Sinai. When the Patriarch saw that George was absent from dinner, he set letters requesting George's presence again. This confounded the fathers of Sinai, who sent three priests to the Patriarch to testify that George had never left Sinai. George also sent a letter saying that he had not left Sinai in 70 years, as he had not departed by his own efforts. In the letter to the Patriarch, he prophesied their joint demise, which came to pass.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints and holy Ascetics, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.


Holy Epistle Lesson: 3 John 1:1-15
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 19:29-40, 22:7-39


"You should not wait until you are cleansed of wandering thoughts before you desire to pray; such distraction is not banished from the mind except by assiduous prayer requiring much labor. If you only begin to pray when you see that your mind had become perfect and exalted above all recollection of the world, then you will never pray." [Saint Isaac of Syria]

by Archimandrite Zacharias [source: The Hidden Man Of The Heart]

Questions and Answers

Question 1. Forgive this very naive question: Where is the heart? Not 'What is the heart?' but 'Where is the heart?'

Answer 1. The heart is within our chest. When we speak of the heart, we speak of our spiritual heart which coincides with the fleshly one; but when man receives illumination and sanctification, then his whole being becomes a heart. The heart is synonymous with the soul, with the spirit; it is a spiritual place where man finds his unity, where his mind is enthroned when it has been healed of the passions. Not only his mind, but his whole body too is concentrated there. Saint Gregory Palamas says that the heart is the very body of our body, a place where man's whole body being becomes like a knot. When mind and heart unite, man possesses his nature and there is no dispersion and division in him anymore. That is the sanctified state of the man who is healed. On the contrary, in our natural fallen state, we are divided: we think one thing with our mind, we feel another with our senses, we desire yet another with our heart. However, when mind and heart are united by the grace of God, then man has only one thought--the thought of God; he has only one desire--the desire for God; and only one sensation--the noetic sensation of God. That is why repentance and tears are so much appreciated: they help us to find that healing, that state of integrity, because no human being can weep having two thoughts; we weep because of one thought that hurts us. If we are hurt by the thought that we are separated from God, that 'salvation is far from the sinner' (cf. Psalm 119:155) and all those things that inspire this pain in our heart, then, of course, we can cry; but if we have two thoughts, we cannot cry. The Saints do not have many thoughts; they may have only one thought, but through that thought, they see the whole of cosmic being, heaven and earth. That thought becomes a pair of binoculars through which they see and discern everything. Tears are much appreciated in the spiritual life because, sooner or later, they make the heart surface. If we have tears because we desire God and we want to be reconciled with Him, surely the heart will be found and the mind will descend into it and God will reign there with grace.

[to be continued]

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George