The heart plays a distinguished role in prayer. For this reason spiritual writers refer to the heart as an *altar.* Richaél Lucero surveys the centrality of the altar in Judaism and Catholicism to refresh our approach to prayer, esteem the majesty of our hearts, and renew our zeal for the significance of the altar in the liturgical celebrations of the Mass/Divine Liturgy. Listen now.
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—“Let your heart be an altar.”—St. Peter Chrysologus
—“For this holy altar, by which I stand, is stone, ordinary in its nature, no different from the other slabs of stone that build our houses and adorn our pavements; but seeing that it was consecrated to the service of God, and received the benediction, it is a holy table, an altar undefiled, no longer touched by the hands of all, but of the priests alone, and that with reverence.”—St. Gregory of Nyssa
—“The heart is the meeting point between body and soul, between the subconscious, the conscious, and the supraconscious, between the human and the divine.” —Kallistos Ware (in “Christian Spirituality: Origins to the Twelfth Century”)