id The heart: quick ideas about the human heart. Illnesses it can endure: hatred, materialism, egotism. How to improve your heart?
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  • A. Heart illnesses.
  • B. Actions that improve our heart.

1. Hatred. Our heart has been created to love God and others. When we seek a good for another person we are happy. However, he who hates doesn’t hurt the other persons heart but his own.

2. Materialism. This way of thinking only takes into account material goods and so limits his heart to only loving those things (see poverty). In some cases, people only crave for money for themselves and for others as they see themselves unloved.

3. Selfishness. He who is selfish is in love with himself; and only himself. That means that he loves wrongly, as the heart shrinks since it has been created to love many. The following things are closely linked to selfishness:

  • Pride – as it adds insensibility and despise towards others, with difficulty to be corrected.
  • Lukewarmness - he who wants to love effortlessly, putting their comfort before that of others. He neither hates nor loves.
  • Disordered sex – when sex is understood as a mutual surrender that gives place to a new life, our heart increases in size. On the other hand, when sex is used merely for one’s own pleasure selfishness increases and our heart is wounded. (The intelligence is also hurt as it becomes trapped in those thoughts).
  • Uncontrolled affection – letting yourself be guided by your affective whims is another form of selfishness. The best heart is that which is affectionate but know when, how and with who to put it into practice. Those people with a noble heart do not look for personal satisfaction but rather seek the best for others.
  • Excessive pleasures and too much comfort also feed selfishness and stall our ability to sacrifice oneself for others.
How to improve your heart? Loving God, yourself, and others.

4. Does our love for God improve our heart? If our heart loves good it improves. It increases in size as the good that is love is bigger. As God is the Infinite Good; he who increases his love towards him, has a nobler heart. So that our love for God increases we usually recommend:

  • The meditation of Christ’s sufferings – when meditating how much our Lord suffered for us you recognise how much he loved us. This causes our heart to seek our Lords love without being frightened by the effort this involves.
  • Piety – encouraging your children to have a pious relationship with God makes them much close to God’s heart and prevents the growth of pride. Similarly, a relationship with Our Lady also does great good to our hearts.
5. Is self-love selfishness? Only if it is excessive or disordered. For example, an overly comfortable life is harmful. True self-love seeks:
  • The exercise of virtues – the gaining of positive ways is of great personal benefit. Specifically, charity and humility, chastity and detachment counteract those illnesses.
  • Sacrifices or mortifications – anything which limits an excess of comfort alleviates our heart of selfish layers and makes it capable of doing good to others. That is exactly why, sacrifices that are properly carried can benefit one’s heart a great amount.
6. How do you love others? A few examples that you can practice are: serving others, understanding them, respecting them, correcting them warmly and especially, doing apostolate; concerning yourself about other peoples’ souls.