Holiness of heart

      No Comments on Holiness of heart

True holiness does not reside in externals but in purity of heart, which is ineffable but real.  It is an offering of the heart to God, a living sacrifice that fulfils renewing prophecy in the royal priesthood of prayer of the heart.  The heart offers God to God through God, which is the mystery of Holy Trinity lived in the Spirit, loved through Christ and known as the glory of the Father.  Prayer of the heart, although ineffable, is a sacrificial offering of God to God in God in which our whole life becomes Holy Trinity, leading us way beyond the dogmatic concept of God in Trinity, yet revealing to us what Orthodox Trinitarian dogma is trying to express.  The holy fathers lived this mystery in the heart before they tried to express it in dogma, being free of dogmatism, which is mental fixation and reification.  Prayer of the heart offers the thought of God as a living sacrifice so that the very life of God is loved and known.  We give the thought of God away for God’s Name’s sake, the ‘I AM’ of God unveiled in the midst.  We offer ourselves and all that we are in his Name, so that his wisdom gives birth in our midst, which is the revelation of glory.  There is no violence here, but love’s infinite kindness, which clothes our nakedness with glory, concealing our utter poverty.  The heart is rich with God through God when glory crowns our sacrifice and the Kingdom comes.

Holiness of heart is the royal priesthood referred to in the Book of Revelation, which the Hesychast tradition calls glorification and deification (See Rev 1:6).  It is not the result of clever technique but a gift of sheer grace, yet grace is not arbitrary caprice but glorious, utterly reliable love.  Glorification is holiness of heart lived day by day as self-emptying love, opening glory to glory without end.  Grace crowns light with glory in the paradise of the pure heart.  It is rest in peace in the heaven of heavens, made present now as the advent of the age to come.  The Name is hallowed and the Kingdom comes when holiness of heart meets this grace and co-operates with its light as graceful synergy.  Illumination opens the eye of the heart and purifies it from within.  Glorification unveils the glory of the Name in the heart by hallowing.  The Name reveals God in uncreated light, as the saints bear witness again and again in every age.  We accuse them of delusion just as we accused Christ of being devil possessed.  Yet we canonise them once dead whilst reducing Christ to the level of Arian humanness.  We think we are resisting devils when we demonise Christ whereas in fact we are resisting him.  This pushes glorification back into the age to come leaving us in blind control of our destiny.  When God is reduced to the age to come, unturned egoism reigns.

The Kingdom of God hallows the heart so that as translucent purity it becomes the temple of the Name.  Name hallowing is way as well as truth and life.  The hermitage is where wisdom dwells and the Name is hallowed.  Wisdom discerns the glory of the Name and fills the hermitage with hallowing light.  It is not the hermit that makes the hermitage but the hallowing Name.  So when the hermit moves from one place to another, it is the Name that hallows and wisdom that is God’s unchanging dwelling place.  The glory of Christ crucified is enthroned in holiness of heart, awakening the whole world to the mysteries of the Cherubic Hymn.  A wisdom cell is not holy by virtue of the external activities of a hermit but by the hallowing presence of wisdom and the Name.  The dwelling may be hidden, humble and simple but the uncreated light of the Name is glorious and glorifies all who hallow it, hallowing those who are hallowed by it.  There is no confusion so there is no division, and no division means hallowing union.  True holiness of heart is a mystery of glorification, but it remains ineffable even when it is revealed.