We’ve all seen the beer commercial where they advertise that it is made using, “pure, Rocky Mountain water.” We see the cleanest stream, which seems alive with natural beauty and purity. We’ve all seen, probably with our own eyes, pollution in a harbor. I went on a cruise last year and where the ship was moored to the dock, there was pollution, litter, and oil marks on the surface of the water. Nothing “pure” and “natural” there.
What kind of “water” flows in your heart? What kind comes out of your mouth? Two difficult questions. I know that all the “water” in my heart is not pure. Certainly, all the words of my mouth are not either. And yes, Jesus tells us that “if anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” So, what makes the difference between living water and filthy water flowing from our hearts and our mouths? It’s the same thing that makes the difference between the pure, Rocky Mountain water and the filthy water in the harbor. Human effort.
Human effort, in the form of conservation, keeps the mountain stream pure. Human negligence, in the form of commerce, or greed, or laziness, allows the harbor to become a place of pollution. Human effort plays a big part in the disposition of the human heart.
I can’t make the harbor at the Port of Tampa clean all by myself. I can decide that I am not going to make it worse by not putting more garbage in there. I can even decide to pick up litter that I encounter.
I CAN control the cleanliness of my heart. I can have a heart that flows with living water. And how is that possible? Well, I can’t do it all by myself, that is for sure. My own personal discipline will play a role. The encouragement of others will play a role. And Christ Himself will play a role. I have to open my heart and let Him in. I have to ask Him to make my heart pure. I have to desire to walk in His light, to “not walk in darkness” but to accept His “light of life.”
The Holy Spirit plays a role in this. For the Holy Spirit leads us to Christ by softening the heart with grace. The Holy Spirit heals the infirmities of our soul and heart so that our heart is ready to accept Christ and to be filled with the living water.
Think for a few moments today about what flows from your heart and your mouth, and whether they look like a Rocky Mountain stream or a polluted harbor. As you hear once again the prayers of Pentecost today, let them flow into your heart like an injection of life, living water, and light, and then get up from prayer with a renewed commitment to having living water flowing out of your heart and mouth and walking in the Light of Christ.
Create in me a clean heart, o God and renew a right Spirit within me.
Now the Spirit, the Comforter, is poured out on all flesh. It started with the host of the Apostles, and from them It spread out the grace to the believers by participation. It’s mighty coming is confirmed by distributing the tongues in the form of fire to the Disciples, to extol and glorify God. So, now that our hearts are noetically illumined, and we are fortified in faith by the Holy Spirit, let us earnestly pray for the salvation of our souls. (From the Aposticha of the Vespers of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)
Let living water flow from your heart and mouth!