Give me a heart of flesh

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland (Photo: Irene Bom)

God said to the Jews in exile in Babylon, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIVUK)

Here is a prayer dating back to the 4th century asking God to work this miracle in us.

O Lord, who has mercy on all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and enjoy you,
for Christ’s sake, Amen

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

Related topics to explore to your heart’s content

  1. Jesus’ parable about the sower and the seed in Mark 1:1-20 (also in Matthew 13 and Luke 8). Note in particular the impact of stony ground.
  2. From the blog: Unite my divided heart
  3. article about Ambrose and his legacy
“When we speak of wisdom, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about virtue, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking about Christ. When we are speaking about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking about Christ.” So wrote Ambrose, bishop of Milan, biblical exegete, political theorist, master of Latin eloquence, musician, and teacher; in all these roles, he was speaking about Christ.

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