Written on our Hearts


#1

In multiple places in the bible, we hear the Lord tell us He will write his law upon our hearts perhaps most clearly emphasized in Jeremiah,. “Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts.”

My question today is, is this to be understood as having begun with the New Covenant? Prior, in times of the Old Covenants which Israel would mess up time and time again, the Laws instilled by God.

Are we to take this literally, that God somehow, mystically changed our hearts such that our very own conscience (when properly formed) entails us to know better the Will of God? Where prior to the New Covenant, in order for one to do “good” he/she was less inclined to know the Will of God and therefore was more reliant to the written Law.

Hope I am being clear. This question is really a stepping stone for more questioning in my heart and mind, but this is at the root.

Thanks Much


#2

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this refers, first of all, to the effects of Christian Baptism on the soul. When we are Baptized, the Holy Spirit actually takes up residence in our soul, or ‘heart’ to put it another way. This is what is referred to as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I believe that’s what was meant by those passages in the Bible. The Law of God is placed within our conscience through the actions of the Holy Spirit in our soul. We become more aware of what is right and wrong, and are inspired by Him to do the right things, and to avoid sin.

However, when we fall back into sin, we lose some, or all, of that grace and ability, depending on the seriousness of our sin. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell where sin is present. He will flee from us. That’s why the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is so important, because when we receive Absolution, we regain those graces, and the Holy Spirit returns to dwell in us, again.


#3

Great question… I am also interested in the answers…

Mary.


#4

Not many takers thus far.

Telstar, thank you for your response. Being perfectly honest I did not even consider Baptism. Perhaps this is the answer as well as the means.

Anyone else? Was Baptism what was being referred to (prophesized) in Jeremiah? Is this when our Lord writes the Law of the New Covenant on our hearts? If so, can this be categorized as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.”?

He not only commanded us this, He writes it on our hearts in Baptism? Meaning perhaps He provides the gift and ability (Grace) to carry through with these commands, then it becomes up to us to persevere throughout our lives?

Lot’s of questions I know. I guess I am a “by what means” kind of thinker.


#5

Don’t forget the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive at Confirmation.

But it’s also true in a mundane way that being Catholic, growing up Catholic, living as a Catholic, we tend to find that we often do have things “written on our hearts” to the point that we can’t forget them, even when it is “inconvenient” and sets us apart from our friends.

As Proverbs 7:3 reminds us, we can also ourselves write good things on the tablets of our hearts.

(Amusingly enough, this shows up in the near-future space anime/manga, Space Brothers, with a NASA flight instructor who insists on newbie astronaut Nanba Mutta writing down important things “in the notebook of your heart.” I don’t know if that was intended, but the logbook idea cracks me up.)


#6

You’re very welcome. It does seem that not too many have any other responses. Maybe they agree, but just haven’t said anything about it. :shrug:

It certainly makes perfect sense to me. I’m no theologian by any stretch of the imagination, but Baptism does open up our hearts to God’s grace.

The Summa Theologica has this to say about that passage and other references in the Bible, to the law being “written” on our hearts. The key to this response seems to be that it happens through faith, which comes from the grace of God. IMHO, the most direct means of the infusion of grace and faith into our souls, comes through our Baptism. So, maybe I was right.


#7

Excellent point. Confirmation is the reaffirmation of our Baptismal promises, brought to their full maturity, when we become the soldiers of Christ and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. That Sacrament certainly has a positive effect on our spiritual growth, by strengthening our faith in God. :thumbsup:


#8

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