The Three Languages: Mind, Heart, and Hand
“I like to speak of three languages: head language, heart language, and hand language. There has to be harmony between the three. It should be such that you think what you feel and what you do, that you feel what you think and what you do, and that you do what you feel and what you think. That is what is concrete” (Pope Francis, my translation from the original Spanish).
Pope Francis has nailed it once again! In a recently published interview with a pastor from a poor area in Argentina, the Pope speaks about the three aforementioned languages: head (intellect), heart (emotion), and hand (action/sensing in the concrete). The best sort of faith is not simply emotion (e.g. “I feel that Christ has saved me”) but rather a harmony of all three sorts of languages. I must know about the economy of salvation. I must feel the depth of Christ’s love for me. I must witness his gaze of love and sense his consoling touch. Isolating one of the these three parts is simply inhuman, as we humans experience all three modes of being at once! As the great Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno has put it (and I paraphrase), “What an injustice it is to stop at seeking to know the truth when we ought best to LIVE it!”
My prayer for all of us is that we begin to integrate all elements of our human experience into our faith. May we not be “museum” Christians who know many things but never exit the confines of our fossilized knowledge. God has made us human beings of flesh and bone; may we never fear our humanity, for God became human so that we might be divine.
David J.W. Inczauskis, n.S.J.
(See http://www.news.va/es/news/una-parroquia-de-la-periferia-entrevista-al-papa-e for a full copy of the Pope’s interview.)