(NOTE: This transcription has been automatically generated through an AI program. Consequently, this transcript may not match everything you hear in the podcast episode, and it may contain errors such as spelling, grammar, word choice, etc., due to the limitations of current AI technology.)
Hi everyone and welcome to episode six of Midnight Carmelite. This is your host Andrew Gniadek. So this episode we’re going to briefly discuss the human heart, as I mentioned in the last one. So in our previous two part series on Freedom, we demonstrated that the heart cannot be a slave to necessity or indifference, right? So something externally set up or just indifferent to things, meaning choice is the ultimate end. That the heart must be a free heart, right? Which puts it in a state to love what is right, good, true and beautiful, and this love must be constant.
Episode one, it must have contact knowledge with the thing love, so it can’t be ignorant. Episode two, it must come from a desire to love that thing for the sake of itself and not a lack of desire. So that’s episode three of this season And then four and 5, obviously it must be done in freedom. So today episode six, we’re going to discuss this free heart and how it needs God.
So in the Hebrew tradition, the heart is considered the seat of the emotions and passion. In the philosophy of human person, the heart is that which necessarily arises from personality as the source of love. And in the Carmelite tradition, it’s the source from which we move with our will and charity to grow in union with God. So the nature of the heart per se could be a whole book, huge subject. It’s an amazing subject, but I just wanted to spend some time meditating on just one scripture passage where Jesus deals directly with the human heart to hopefully light our way. So let’s begin. So in Matthew 15 6, the Pharisees and the scribes leave Jerusalem to confront Jesus.
Now this is a big deal for them to leave their seat of power to come and do something like this. And that meant Jesus was a real threat to something they loved, which was power over what it means to be a Jewish person at the time. So in fact, the first charge against Jesus and his followers was the Pharisees and scribes asking why his followers, you know, didn’t wash their hands before eating their bread. So my translation here, Jesus responded, he said, why do you break the commandment of God on account of your tradition?
So let’s start with the word commandment here. So what jesus here is asking is kind of paraphrased, why are you breaking the nature of what God set down the reality that God set down this and for what you meaning the scribes and Pharisees think should be set down, Why have you set up ends? That you think should be ends, goals, in this case washing of hands. He then he confronts them up on how they took the fourth commandment, Honor thy father and mother and twisted it to suit their needs and this is kind of a hard passage to translate.
So basically I’m just summarize it and what happened is is if you you could give your property to the temple and then you wouldn’t have to you know uh give it to your parents from what you had because you’d be considered the temples property. But from how I understand it, it’s basically analogous to offshore tax accounts used to evade taxes. It’s a way of smuggling your property, you know, like with this facade of doing the right thing i.e. hiving property to the temple, but you’re really still using it for yourself.
So then you’re not really giving it to who it should be giving it to, which in this case would have been the person’s father. So this is obviously twisting for the sake of personal benefit. What God sat down rather than following what God sat down, his ends and love. And that’s exactly what Jesus says next. He says quote and you made void the word of God on account of your tradition, you may avoid the word of God on account of your tradition. So the Pharisees and scribes here, they took what God sat down in reality and twisted it for their own benefit.
And then they set this new goal right? So they said this new goal and then they use the facade of what God sat down meaning the fact that they’re in their position. The commandment to claim this legitimately. So this is the height of hypocrisy there dissembling is not what God sat down, it’s not what God intended, the goal to be. They’ve twisted the whole thing. So then Jesus takes this one step further and saying exactly that he says. And this is again, my transition quote, I say, a rightly prophecy concerned you saying this people honors me with their lips, however, their heart is kept far from me then to no purpose.
Do they worship me teaching as teachings? The injunctions of men unquote. So, notice two things here. First, Jesus accuses the Pharisees and scribes avoiding the word of God. So he’s saying, he’s saying, you know, earlier, he’s saying, you may avoid the word of God and kind of your tradition. So, what they sat down, they’re avoiding what God sat down second, he says that Isaiah rightly prophecy. Did saying that instead of following what God laid down, scribes are following their injunctions, their word under the character, that it’s God’s word to keep legitimacy for themselves.
And most importantly, they do all this to no purpose. And I think this is key to no purpose. Their worship is to no purpose. It’s just, it’s really, you know, without a purpose as anarchy, it’s nothing, it’s no order. It’s it’s a mess to say, you know, say colloquially Now we come to the point about the heart, Jesus lays out that what comes out of the heart is what defiles a person, not things on the outside. So like in their case when they accused him of not washing their hands before eating their bread.
And this is a really important point. I want to pause on here because if you think about it, the person’s activity reveals the person right being in a way of self-revealing. So you see a person you know that, like Jesus says, you know, a tree by its fruits. So you see in the activity, what the activity is in relation to other things. And you can tell whether that’s a you could tell the you know, the heart of the person from the activity. So activities self revealing of the heart.
And Jesus says later on this passage, so what comes out of man’s heart are evils such as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, false testimony, thefts, slanders. These are the things that defile a man right, Eating with unwashed hands doesn’t defile a man. And that’s exactly what Jesus says in verse 20 he’s saying, eating with unwashed hands doesn’t defile anybody. It’s this hypocrisy, this setting down these injunctions to say that’s what’s going to not defile you when really you have to work on your heart have to have a heart of love, heart of Christ, you know, God was from talking about King David, he said, you know, I would like a man after my own heart, that’s what I think Jesus is talking about here again, the Pharisees and scribes injunction that they’re the ones who put down that induct junction God did not sit down that injunction.
And clever listeners probably see attachment here because attachment to what the Pharisees and scribes want, and then the culmination of that being their tradition, the culmination of what they want, This memory of what they want is not an attachment to what God himself sat down. Thus, free heart must follow the path that God set down in the Catholic tradition. God sits down his teaching and paths through his church and we just had her Feast day. Saint Therese of Lisieux said that the church had a heart and that heart is aflame with love.
It stirs the members of the Church to act and encompasses everything in the Church, because in the Church love properly understood, it is everything. And if you look at the greatest commitment love God and love your neighbor. So, a free heart must at its very core the heart of love. Not a heart of hypocrisy, like described here, the loving free heart must follow what God sets down, not what men command in contradiction to what God sits down. So, I’ll end our podcast with that this week.
Hopefully, this lit our way a little bit about the human heart and things for us to meditate on and consider in our own lives for ourselves and try and grow closer to Christ.