The heart as a little boat
Each of us is sailing in his heart….
You’ve heard of an insult–the wind has arisen. You’re become angry–the waves are high. With the blowing wind and the surging waves, your boat is in danger, your heart is in danger; your heart is being tossed about. You’ve heard of an insult and want revenge; you get your revenge, … and you’ve shipwrecked. Because Christ was asleep in you. What does that mean? That you’ve forgotten Christ. Wake Christ up. Remember Christ, and Christ will awaken in you… The one who was asleep in your heart did not seek revenge. Awaken him; remember him. The memory of him is his word; the memory of him is his command…..
When temptation comes, the wind rises; when you are disturbed, the waves surge. Wake Christ up; let him speak to you. Who is this, that the winds and sea obey him? … Imitate the winds and sea: obey Christ. At the command of Christ, the sea listened, and you’re deaf? The sea listened, and the wind ceased, and you’re still blowing? … Don’t let the waves overwhelm you by disturbing your hearts. But because we are human, if the wind blows, if it upsets us, let us not despair: let us awaken Christ so that we can sail on a tranquil sea and reach our homeland. (Augustine, Sermon 63, 3: PL 38, 424-25)