Q&A with an Orthodox priest: Spirituality vs Warm-heartedness


Sister N.: Father, how is spirituality different from warm-heartedness?

Father Andrew: We all are warm-hearted people. A warm-hearted person is very good, open, takes care of everything, wants and makes efforts to help everyone. A warm-hearted person has a charitable, kind, sympathetic and benevolent soul. However, a warm-hearted person is unstable and emotional; his feelings may be very positive but they are prone to change at any moment. Warm-heartedness is not enough to be able to truly help another person because it is too emotional, too earthly, too human.

Spirituality is the action of the Holy Spirit in an individual's heart, when the individual admits his total unworthiness and sinfulness but still is not desperate about his salvation but trusts God and lives with His blessing. A spiritual person will stand up against all hardships he has to endure because he is based on the solid rock of faith and trust in God instead of self-confidence and human truth which might be a lie in God's eyes.

Today we sometimes are even unable to be warm-hearted but we are still called to speak about spirituality because we live in the Church and there is the Holy Spirit that protects us. He never fails to touch us during communion, and this is true spirituality. Speaking from the human point of view, we could rank people in accordance with their works and their zeal... Speaking from the spiritual point of view, though, all men are equal for God. God grants the fullness of His love to each and every one who partakes of His Mysteries but people can accept and realize this fullness of love to a varying extent.

 

CONVERSATION

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