The Way of the Heart as presented in this blog is in harmony with a piece written by Rev. Brian Robertson: At the Heart of Things. This blog also draws inspiration from an essay entitled “The Way of the Heart“, by Gerard Encausse. In short, it is the aim of this blog to offer reflections on the living of a Christian mysticism centered on the heart, that “place” where intuition, inspiration, thinking, feeling and action can be integrated in the wholeness and harmony of Divine Love.
The Way of the Heart is not a path that is circumscribed by a particular theology or Christology. The mainstream understanding of Christian faith rests upon the notion that there is a set of traditional doctrines about God, Jesus, and our relationship with them, that we must take literally and believe as incontrovertible truths. Where such belief is lacking, it seems that kind of faith demands we must at least be willing to profess a submission to such dogma as though we are accepting the party platform to help our team win, or as though we are placing a bet for salvation from Hell.
By contrast, as presented here, the Way of the Heart does not imply that faith is a pretense of any sort, or that pretense is a substitute for genuine convictions or a price for Divine Grace. The Way of the Heart trusts that what is in our hearts, the core of our souls, is perfectly clear to God, even more than it is to our own conscious awareness. It trusts that God understands why an authentic faith makes it impossible for us to honestly profess and genuinely serve anything other than what we actually do hold sacred and true, and that to attempt to do otherwise is a falsehood. It therefore trusts that God – with infinite understanding, wisdom and grace – loves us just as we are and has no punishment in store for us simply because we cannot honestly agree with, let alone submit to, what someone else tells us is right and true. With this understanding, faith is experienced as a process, not a position; it is a dialogue, not a definition; it is alive, fluid and evolving, not dead, concrete and inert. Faith is much more about living in this world with an attitude of trust in and devotion to love than it is about one’s intellectual understanding of God or compliance with rules about right and wrong. And so, if faith is the test of a Christian, it is not a multiple choice or true-false exam on dogma, and it is not a tally of what laws have been kept or broken, but is more like the ongoing submission of an apprentice artisan’s work to the Supreme Artisan.
Two very important implications of this conviction are: (1) the Way of the Heart does not require us to believe the Bible is a perfectly transcribed dictation from God; and (2) it does not require us to submit to any other human being in ecclesiastical or theological authority, although we are free to do so. On this path it is not necessary that we put the words we read with our physical eyes or hear with our physical ears, no matter what the source, above the Word we discern with the eye and ear of the heart. Actually, it is this inner Living Word, the Logos, and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that are our most trusted guides. By the same token, the Way of the Heart is not necessarily about rebellion against tradition or authority; participation in the counsel, companionship and comfort that they offer can be of inestimable value. As followers of Jesus in this manner, we trust that the supreme law is love, that God is Love, and that to serve Love in both thought and action is to serve and be united with God. The authenticity and genuineness of that service is a matter for each of us to continually work out in our personal relationships with God and our fellow creatures.