A Teaching on the “Love With All the Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength” Commandment

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Sabbath Greetings in Christ to all my dear friends. Many Blessings and love from the Benelux Archdiocese, Orthodox Church of the Culdees. Those who couldn’t join us in the liturgy today but are doing from home or elsewhere, I want to send along this teaching to remind of using your heart and soul in prayer. This teaching (or coaching) is a continuation on our many studies you can freely download on mp3 or join us live in the chatroom to participate in fellowship. You can also join us (from your local home in the daily liturgy, and in the Liturgical BCP Prayer, “THE SHAMA” A Prayer of Christendom and of the Culdees.)
Happy Sabbath, As it says “teach these and speak of these love commandments when we sit in our home, walk on the way, when we lay down and rise up” that good news of His Kingdom governance coming on earth. I pray all my friends and loved ones will continue in the faith as Yahshua admonished Peter (that faith once delivered to the Saints). All working towards His Kingdom, as it says “seek first His kingdom, then all these things(necessities of life) will be added unto you.” Praying it daily, not only for this day’s daily bread, but for turning around from all those things that teach against His love for mankind, helping them turn around, and yet a deeper message for “the called” ” the elect”, ” the saints”, ” the firstfruits”, “the overcommers”, “the faithful”, “the obdient”, ” the righteous”, “the holy”, “the predestinated”, “the chosen”, “the sanctified” and “the glorified”. And any who are ashamed of even one of His words, Yahshua will make an open shame before all the world, before His father, and the holy angels as He has promised. All victory and love.
So as love is so vital and key I hope this message of love “with all the heart, soul, mind and strength” will be a blessing to you. As it’s the first and most important (non-negotiable) commandment that is now possible by the supernatural Power of the Holy Spirit in a higher more miraculous way as our forefathers had so graciously accomplished in their legacies for us all to follow. I’m hoping to make many new friends in this below teaching that we elaborate on in many ways often in the Orthodox Church of the Culdees as in our last 400 recorded mp3s at http://Christsassembly.com (and is coming up in many upcoming teachings) about loving “with all the heart”, and renewing in that knowledge, as in the study below.
Notice the order the love commandment is given “..with all the heart, all the soul, all the mind, and all the strength”. It doesn’t say all the body. Also in the old testament the word mind wasn’t used. The mind also isn’t mentioned for it in all the gospels. He who is the word made flesh (Christ) is depicted with a teaching emphasis of emotions for each Gospel (Lion, Ox, Man and Eagle faces of the glory of YAHWEH that is eternal and expressed concretely via Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The mind can be considered one of the last on the list because thinking can disconnect so quickly the rest. Also you only think on what you have chosen for your attitude of the heart. David said, Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee. The mind is not the source of thoughts, the heart is. The mind/brain/intellect is more like an antenna, and still yet the most vital transmission system, (and like a computer computer with a cpu, harddrive, etc) where it all works is in the heart. The heart, and even the belly, and even each organ records information and stores it also like a harddrive. There are many Scriptures about these facts. We have to reprogram our bodies, and empty out the bad, and keep the commandment to “be filled with the spirit” we know the “fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, against such there is no law(only victory and claiming more victories)”. It says “the spirit of man is the candle of YAHWEH that seeketh out the inner parts of the belly” and the full armour of YAHWEH makes us withstand all the fiery darts of the enemy. Each of the pieces of armour covers the area of the body(each organ center) that houses the fruit of the spirit that loves YAHWEH more than just the mind . The mind will automatically think and want to do what’s right once the attitudes of the heart is changed, as it says “repent / change your thinking” first and foremost and then not only they were healed and restored, but also they weren’t punished for forsaking Him (the Christ) and His path of life.
Theophan the Recluse defines prayer as “standing before God with the mind in the heart.” What do these words mean? Fr. Kallistos Ware explains,

“So long as the ascetic prays with the mind in the head, he will still be working solely with the resources of the human intellect, and on this level he will never attain to an immediate and personal encounter with God. By the use of his brain, he will at best know about God, but he will not know God. For there can be no direct knowledge of God without an exceedingly great love, and such love must come, not from the brain alone, but from the whole man—that is, from the heart. It is necessary, then, for the ascetic to descend from the head into the heart. He is not required to abandon his intellectual powers – the reason, too, is a gift of God – but he is called to descend with the mind into his heart.”

The head seeks God but it is the heart that finds Him. “For man believes in his heart and so is justified …” writes St. Paul (Romans 10:10). When the head descends into the heart, the “head” faith becomes a “heart” faith. It becomes not just a “head” faith or just a “heart” faith but a “head-in-the-heart” faith. Just as love, charity and the other important virtues cannot exist only in the mind but are primarily of the heart, so it is with our faith and trust in God. We are not to let Jesus remain in the mind and give Him only a cold intellectual allegiance. He must descend into the heart where we shall be able to feel His presence and yield our will to Him.

To return again to Theophan the Recluse:
“You must pray not only with words but with the mind, and not only with the mind but with the heart, so that the mind understands and sees clearly what is said in words, and the heart feels what the mind is thinking. All these combined together constitute real prayer, and if any of them are absent, your prayer is either not perfect, or it is not prayer at all.”
St. John Chrysostom says that God hears our prayers more loudly when we are praying with the mind in the heart.

The over-intellectual scholars in Constantinople criticized St. Gregory Palamas and his way of prayer. Faith to them was only a matter of the mind not of the heart. For Gregory Palamas it was both. And the Church supported his view.

“You must descend with your mind into your heart,” Theophan insists. “At present your thoughts of God are in your head. And God himself is, as it were, outside you, and so your prayer and other spiritual exercises remain exterior. Whilst you are still in your head, thoughts will . . . always be whirling about like snow in winter, or clouds of mosquitoes in the summer. . . All our inner disorder is due to the dislocation of our powers, the mind and the heart each going its own way. The mind must come to an initial concord with the heart, growing eventually into a union of the mind with the heart.”

Father John of Kronstadt talks about people who “call prayer that which is not prayer at ali: for instance, a man goes to church, stands there for a time, looks at the icons or at other people, and says that he has prayed to God; or else he stands before an icon at home, bows his head, says some words he has learned by heart, without understanding, and without feeling, and says that he has prayed – although with his thoughts and his heart he has not prayed at all, but was elsewhere, with other people and other things, and not with God.”

He goes on to say, “Thus he who does not pray with his heart does not pray at all, because only his body prays, and the body without the mind is nothing more than dust.”

Theofan writes,
“Descend from the head into the heart. Then you will see all thoughts clearly, as they move before the eye of your sharp-sighted mind. But until you descend into the heart, do not expect to have due discrimination of thoughts. . .
« . . the union of the mind with the heart is the union of the spiritual thoughts of the mind with the spiritual feelings of the heart. . .
“Do not be lazy about descending. In the heart is life, and you must live there. Do not think that this is something to be attempted only by the perfect. No. It is for everyone who has begun to seek the Lord.”

By descending with the mind into the heart through prayer the Church is calling on us to make what Dag Hammarskjold called “the longest journey, the journey inward” to the center of our being which is nothing other than the Presence of God within.

The secret of sanctity and of happiness is open to all. If for five minutes a day we can quiet our imagination, close our eyes to the things of our senses, enter within our soul which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and there commune with our Lord, life will flow happily, serene and consoled even in the midst of pain.

When you are on an ocean-going vessel you are not meant to remain indefinitely in any harbor, no matter how attractive it might be. You are to sail the seas of life. Your visits to any harbor should have only one purpose – to make you a more seaworthy vessel. The purpose of prayer is just that: not to keep us anchored in safe harbors but to enable us to sail the seas of life no matter what the weather.

Dive into prayer often. Let the words not remain only on your lips. Let them go from your lips to your mind to your heart. Let your heart be without words but never your words without heart. As you so pray, the strengthening presence of Jesus will be with you. The healing love of Jesus will be poured upon you. The resurrecting power of Jesus will flow through you to touch, bless and heal your mind, soul and body.
“Executives are hard to see
Their costly time I may not waste;
I make appointments nervously
And talk to them in haste.
But any time of night or day,
In places suitable or odd,
I seek and get without delay
An interview with God”.
(Authur Unknown)
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“Come now, little man!
Flee for a while from your tasks, hide yourself
for a little space from the turmoil of
your thoughts. Come, cast aside your
burdensome cares, and put aside
your laborious pursuits. For a little
while give your time to God, and
rest in Him for a little while. Enter
into the inner chamber of your mind,
shut out all things save God and
whatever may aid you in seeking
God; and having barred the door of
your chamber, seek Him.”
— Anselm of Canterbury