Man is said to be a reasoning animal. I do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. Perhaps that which differentiates him from other animals is feeling rather than reason. More often I have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. Perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly—but then perhaps also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the second degree.

Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life

God calls sin adultery of the heart. It is what you give your heart away to other than the heart of God.

John Eldredge, "The Sacred Romance," in Preaching Today (Tape 196).

Only the pure in heart
can see God, and therefore, draw nigh to him; and only by God's drawing nigh to them can they maintain this purity.

S Kierkegaard, Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing

Be patient
toward all that is unsolved in your heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

It is this divine forgiveness that I have to practice in my daily life. … It demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put a few conditions between me and the one whom I am asked to forgive.

Henri Nouwen, The Prodigal Son

We carry the world in our hearts: the oppression of peoples, the suffering of friends, the burden of enemies, the raping of the earth, the hunger of the starving, the dreams of every laughing child. Awareness focuses our hearts. Zeal consumes us.

Joan Chittister, Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light

Seeking god with one's whole heart is no joke, especially if it might be the only way to find him.

Paul L. Holmer, The Grammar of Faith

In the sanctuary of your heart with God, the words are not as important as faith.

Friedrich von Schiller, Mary Stuart

Hands to work, Hearts to God.

Shaker motto

Our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.

Augustine, Confessions

A new heart that will be able to walk accordingly with God and feel shame when it deviates: that is the kind of new heart I would like to have.

Gail Godwin, Heart: A Personal Journey Through its Myths and Meanings

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. … 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, Pens

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. … Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

Hannah More, "Christianity a Practical Principle," in Practical Piety

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.