Perceived By The Heart

5 May

“It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason.”  ~ Blaise Pascal

In our day-to-day lives, we are in a constant struggle between heart and head.  There are times that we tell ourselves to follow our hearts and other times that we say that our head, our intellect, needs to rule us.  In a perfect world, we know that it is a blend of both that is the best for us but we don’t live in a perfect world, do we?  We generally go either with the head or the heart.

Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and Catholic writer in the 1600s, grappled with the whole heart or head concept and decided, when it came to matters of the faith and in perceiving God, that it was the heart that led the way and not the head.  I agree with him.

Too many people approach faith and God through reason or intellect.  They try to detach themselves from the heart, from any kind of feeling, and let their reason rule them.  But you can’t find God purely by reason.  Oh, sure, you can shout out the classic logical proofs of God.  You can apply reason to many of the teachings of the Church.  But you will always come up short if you don’t end up with a heart-to-heart meeting with God.

We will not meet God head-to-head.  God is too awesome for us.  His knowledge is too vast.  He is too incomprehensible.  But the ability to meet with Him heart-to-heart and have a relationship with Him does not demand intellect.  It demands a pure and humble openness to His possibility and to His great love.  When we meet God on that level, He is able to open Himself up to us more fully and our intellect, our reason, can then become more informed.

Lead with your heart.  It might bring pain and sorrow as well as triumph and joy but it is the only way to more fully embrace the Lord, our God.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t over-think your faith.  Allow your heart to reach out to God and to be embraced by God.