Jesus used his parable of the sower scattering seed on soil to show how the Word of God interacts with different kinds of people. There are serious impediments to a seed’s ability to germinate, let alone blossom, in the differing places the seed might land. This is as true for a farm field as it is for the garden of our hearts. We cultivate the ground of our hearts through repentance and confession of sins, which requires the plough of humility to break up the clods of our hard heartedness. The desired loamy soil in gardening requires organic material be added to the soil to help it become more fertile. Humility, which must be organic in a Christian to relate to others, helps change our hearts from stone to flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). St. Porphyrios (d. 1991) proffers that there are certain cardiac impediments to the spiritual life which inhibit God’s seed from taking root and bringing forth fruit in the garden of each person’s heart.
“For Christ to enter within us when we invoke Him with the words ‘Lord Jesus Christ’, our heart must be pure and free from all impediments. It must be devoid of hatred, egotism and malice. We must love Him and He must love us. If, however, our heart does harbor some thought of censure or ill will, there is still something we can do about it. The secret is to ask forgiveness or to make confession. But that, of course, as we said, requires humility. If you put the words of God into practice and are not troubled by pricks of conscience, you are calm and do good works, then you enter naturally into prayer without realizing it. Then you simply wait patiently until grace comes.” (Wounded by Love:The Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, p 115)
Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain.
You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.