The affections of the heart and their power

This is only going to be a brief entry about a very important and profound topic — the human heart.

The heart is made for loving, just as the intellect is made for knowing the truth.  However, the heart gets easily attached to things which are not necessarily good for us, or only good at a certain time or in a certain, limited measure.  All too often, we become attached to one created good or another — a person, for example, or a distorted idea of our own excellence in mind or body — in a way and/or to a degree that is all out of proportion with reality and our own best interests.  We sacrifice our health, our wealth, our time, our very lives in order to feed an impure fire that can never burn hot or long enough and, burn as it may, can never satisfy the deep need all of us have for true, lasting, ennobling love.  Love ought to elevate us; if it is misplaced, it drags us down.  In extreme cases, it can completely destroy us and prevent us from attaining the end or purpose for which we were created.

From the above, we can see that the supreme issue where loving is concerned is the choice of the object to be loved.  This is where a well-informed intellect comes to our aid.  If we are to make good choices about the object to be loved, we must have sufficient knowledge of the various objects from which to choose.  We must know and understand their true value, their proper use, etc.

We have all heard it said that the lover becomes, in a way, like unto the beloved.  If we love carnal things, we, after a fashion, become carnal — the considerations of the flesh and the pleasures thereof come to dominate our thoughts and our fleshly appetites determine our choices.  This is extremely common, but it is also extremely disordered.  The body is but the servant of the mind and heart and soul.  When we are too carnal-minded, it is as if a blind, uncoordinated, maniacal passenger in a car has thrown out the driver and taken over control of the car.  What follows is predictable: the journey goes astray and, at some stage, may very well result in a deadly collision and the end of the journey altogether.

We must choose the object of our love wisely and with a view to our true best interests, considered with respect to both time and eternity.  This life is short, much shorter than we tend to think when we are busy and distracted with a thousand cares.  The decisions we make now will, without fail, have enormous implications down the road.  There is an old saying about having made our bed, we must now lie down upon it.  Well, it might help to rephrase it this way: we are all going to have to lie down upon the bed of our making, so we might as well make it as well as we can.  Godspeed to you and yours.

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2 Responses to The affections of the heart and their power

  1. Pingback: Purity of heart (continued) | The Great Purification

  2. Pingback: Purification by way of substitution: Nature abhors a vacuum | The Great Purification

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