Logo2 Heart

The Word “Heart”

Throughout the Scriptures, the word “heart” is used to mean the deepest core of a person, the place where our deepest desires, feelings, thoughts and motives are found. Karl Rahner says that what comes first in understanding this word is not the physical heart, such as a doctor might describe it, but the inmost being of a person. This is what Scripture refers to when it says: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength…” Deut. 6:4, or when it says of God “how could I part with you… how could I give you up?... My heart recoils from it!”  Hosea 11:8

or when Jeremiah speaks God’s promise to the exiles –
“Deep within them I will implant my law, I will write it on their hearts.”

The Hebrew Scriptures abound with such imagery in which God is described as loving, compassionate, passionate, moved to the heart.
And then, in the Incarnation, the unimaginable happens, God lives among us and loves with a human heart. The intuitions of the prophets and psalmists were fulfilled beyond all human imagining.

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To quote Karl Rahner again:

“You, the Infinite, are the God of Our Lord Jesus Christ …  and when he says that he loves us, and that in him You love us, this word comes from a human heart.
And to a human heart, this word has only one meaning … if this human heart loves us, the heart of Your son, the heart which is finite like my own poor heart, then my heart is at peace…”

From: ‘Encounters with Silence’