May 3, 2020

The Heart of the Myrrhbearers (St. Theophan the Recluse)

By St. Theophan the Recluse

O tireless women! They didn’t let their eyes sleep and their eyelids close until they found the Beloved One! It seemed that the apostles balked at it. They went to the tomb and saw that it was empty, but they were puzzled and unable to tell what it could mean because they hadn’t seen the Risen Lord. Does it mean that they had less love than the women? No, but theirs was a mindful love, afraid to err because the stakes were too high and the Object of love was so exalted. As soon as they saw and touched Jesus with their own eyes and hands, then each of them professed with their hearts and not just with their mouths like Thomas, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28); and there was nothing that could separate them from the Lord.

The Myrrhbearers and the Apostles symbolize the two sides of life: emotion and reasoning. Life isn’t real without emotions; life is blind, wasteful and barely gives any fruit without reasoning. We’ve got to combine both. Our emotions should run ahead and motivate us; our reason should determine the time, the place, the way, and generally manage the good that our heart nudges us to do. Inside, our hearts go first, but in practice, let reason take the reins. Only when our emotions become adept in telling the good from the evil, shall we be able to rely on our hearts. A living tree shoots forth stems, flowers, and fruit; likewise, if our heart reaches this stage, it will begin to sprout only good that feeds the entire flow of our lives.