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‘In temptations and sufferings, it is not we who make the plans, we do not choose our cross, but we accept the cross that the all wise Providence of God allows in our life. God knows how big or small a cross we need. He will give us just that cross which is absolutely right and necessary for us to be disentangled from all our attachments in this transitory life, and to run after Christ with a free heart.’
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The Hidden Man of the Heart consists of a series of presentations on the place of the heart in the spiritual life of the Christian. Reference is made to the Hesychast tradition of the Orthodox Church, including two of the most influential figures in contemporary Christianity: Saint Silouan the Athonite (1866-1938) and Saint Sophrony the Athonite (1896-1993).
Delivered in Wichita, Kansas at the 2007 Clergy Brotherhood Retreat of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, each lecture (divided here into chapters) is published in full, together with its corresponding Questions & Answers.
‘Man’s true purpose foreordained before all worlds is attained by the keeping of the Creator’s commandments; their fulfil ment presupposes the return of the mind to the heart and the restoration of its original integrity. For only then can a person love God with his whole being and his neighbour as himself, according to the twofold commandment of love. Such was the state of man in Paradise; he knew neither division nor struggle within his soul. The natural God-given power of his mind was continually turned towards the Face of God, and his delight in the glory of God knew no bound. But now he is fallen and his mind is dispersed; he must return to his heart and rediscover his unity…The mind is now in the heart. God watches over it.
It is immersed in the warmth of the heart, and is cleansed by the baptism of fire which the Lord brought to earth (cf. Luke 3:16; 12:49). And when the cleansing is complete, the mind becomes as lightning, and is ready to enter the deep heart!
Father Zacharias studied theology at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Saint Sergius in Paris and at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has lived all his monastic life in the monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex where he serves as a spiritual Father and minister of the word of God to his brethren and the people that come to him.