A Healthy Heart and Soul

“My eyes are spent with weeping;
my stomach churns;
my bile is poured out on the ground
because of the destruction of my people…”

(Lamentations 2:11)

I think we all have experienced gut wrenching sickness – we are emotionally devastated by news and events and feel sick to our stomachs.  We lose our inner peace and equilibrium and emotion turns into visceral response.  We become physically ill.   St.Theophan the Recluse advises us:

“Do not overlook the fact that health does not depend on food alone, but above all on inner peace. Life in God, cutting us off from worldly turmoil, brings peace to the heart and, through this, keep the body also in good health. Activities are not the main thing in life. The most important this is to have the heart directed and attuned to God.”  (The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, p 235)

 

Directing our hearts toward God, becoming attuned to God in our hearts is the preparation for dealing with events that completely upset us.  The bottom drops out beneath us, but focusing on God helps us cope with the loss of control, the dizzying changes and the nausea of life spinning out of control.   We need to develop this relationship to God while in calm waters in order to hold on to God in the stormiest of seas.

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