Saturday, April 28, 2012

To have a heart

Abba Pambo said, ‘If you have a heart, you can be saved.’

To have a heart is to love your neighbor, to hold him and every creature with love, tenderly, inside of you, in your will, your prayer. It is the willingness to welcome not only Christ into you, but your brothers for whom He died, as well.

Welcome them into what? into where?
That is the heart. It wasn't there before, not until you began to welcome others with love. At that point, the only Lover of mankind entered into you and built a mansion where both He and the brethren could be brought in and welcomed.

If we have a heart, yes, then we are sure to be saved, for ‘with our brother lies our salvation.’

This is what life in the bridal chamber of the Lord, the Holy Orthodox Church, has taught me, and not by words, but by actions.

You too, brother, have a heart, I know you do, and having one is a risk, it can be broken, but not for long. And the breaking is necessary, so that it can grow larger and larger, becoming in the end a tree in paradise in which the birds of heaven, the souls of the redeemed, can build their nests.

‘Welcome them all as you welcome Me,’ says the Lord, ‘for verily, in them you have welcomed Me’ (cf. Matthew 25:40).

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