"When the heart gets accustomed to putrid thoughts, or logismoi, he said, then it suffers from contamination."
Kyriacos Markides, A Mountain Of Silence, p. 64
Father Maximos says that we are attacked by logismoi, putrid thoughts, all the time. There is nothing unusual about this. It is when we entertain these thoughts and even relish them that the trouble starts. Father Maximos contrasts the contamination of the heart with the pure of heart. Those with a pure heart have not allowed themselves to be contaminated.
I see this contamination all the time as a psychotherapist. People complain despondently about the state of the world. They are depressed, irritable, critical, negative and sometimes entertain suicidal and homicidal ideas.
James Adkisson, the man who killed the parishioners at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist church may be an example of a person who was taken over by logismoi and had a contaminated heart. But we all have contaminated hearts when we become obsessed with ideas, things, relationships that have become dysfunctional and destructive.
Cognitive Behavioral psychotherapy, all the rage these days, helps people change their dysfunctional thinking. Albert Ellis' Rational Emotional Therapy, RET, has attempted to do the same thing for decades. Before the cognitive psychologists and psychotherapists focused on dysfunctional thinking, the saints and church elders had identified the problem centuries before.
Every now and then I meet someone with a pure heart. They are free. I want to be like them.
People with a pure heart bring grace into the world for themselves and for everyone they come into contact with. Pure heartedness is such a blessing for us as human beings. Pure heartedness, though, is not created without effort, awareness, discipline, and prayer.
I have been praying the efeche, "Lord Jesus Christ, the Son Of God, have mercy on me a sinner." Father Maximos says that this prayer will purify one's heart. It seems to help me.