The great tragedy of our times lies in the fact that we live, speak, think, and even pray to God, outside our heart, outside our Father’s house.

And truly our Father’s house is our heart, the place where “the spirit of glory and of God” would find repose, that Christ may “be formed in us”.

Indeed, only then can we be made whole, and become hypostases in the image of the true and perfect Hypostasis, the Son and Word of God, Who created and redeemed us by the precious Blood of His ineffable sacrifice.

Yet as long as we are held captive by our passions, which distract our mind from our heart and lure it into the ever-changing and vain world of natural and created things, thus depriving us of all spiritual strength, we will not know the new birth from on High that makes us children of God and gods by grace.

In fact, in one way or another, we are all “prodigal sons” of our Father in heaven, because as the Scriptures testify, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Sin has separated our mind from the life-giving contemplation of God and led it into a “far country”.

In this “far country” we have been deprived of the honour of our Father’s embrace and, in feeding swine, we have been made subject to demons. We gave ourselves over to dishonourable passions and the dreadful famine of sin, which then established itself by force, becoming the law of our members.

But now we must come out of this godless hell and return to our Father’s house, so as to uproot the law of sin that is within us and allow the law of Christ’s commandments to dwell in our heart.

For the only path leading out of the torment of hell to the everlasting joy of the Kingdom is that of the divine commandments: with our whole being we are to love God and our neighbours with a heart that is free of all sin.

Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou), The Hidden Man of the Heart (Essex, Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist, 2007) 12-15.

Hat tip to Sr Macrina Walker OSCO (A Vow of Conversation)