Fullness of Heart

“I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. I also believe that many a man is praying to God to fill him, when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling; and when the heart is turned upside down, and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come…”

– D.L. Moody

Christ in the Wilderness, Moretto da Brescia, Metropolitan Museum of Art:


Easter blessings to my readers. May we all walk in love, light, and understanding, each and every day.


9 thoughts on “Fullness of Heart

  1. Bill says:

    Thank you, Claudia — and the same to you and your family.

    Question: Not surprisingly, the Christian story has inspired artists throughout the centuries. Annunciation paintings, Michelangelo’s Pietas, Last Judgments . . . the list goes on. Yet, while the Resurrection lies at the center of it all from a theological viewpoint, it just seems to lack the number of quality art works you might expect. I mean, there is some beautiful work out there — the della Francesca painting, for example — but somehow it seems to be underrepresented.

    Do you agree? If so, do you think that there’s something about the event that’s somewhat ineffable? Or am I missing it?

    • artmodel says:


      I agree 100%. While I also agree that the event is ineffable I’m not sure if that’s the explanation. Artists have proven to be been quite capable of depicting enigmatic, awe-inspiring events. So I’m really at a loss what the reason is. To the della Francesca you mentioned, I would also add Titian’s Resurrection. Now I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but Raphael’s Resurrection painting doesn’t work for me. He’s better than this:

      I also feel there are very few works depicting Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. That event seems to be neglected on the painting front as well.

      Thanks so much for your comments!


      • Bill says:

        You’re right! And with the palms, the procession, the walls of the city — it would be an opportunity for a great, dynamic composition.

  2. caseyklahn says:

    Amen to Moody’s quote and happy Easter, Claudia and everyone.

    Hi, Bill. It is a good observation on your part and I wonder if the passion of the cross and much of the drama of the life of Christ is more “present” with us. Our universal experience is on this side of resurrection.

    I ask myself similar questions regarding the schism between the churches and the representation of sacred scenes. The Renaissance and the time of the reformation was a high-water mark for Christian art and my own protestantism has devolved to the point where Christian art is a child with an ice cream cone and a cottage in the woods lit by rays of golden light. LOL. I take to heart the earliest message that mankind was formed in God’s Image. The roller-coaster ride since then has been an amazing ride, but like most of you I cherish the works you mentioned above.

    BTW, I’ll be in Italy this year getting an eyeful of the Renaissance masters.

    • artmodel says:

      Hello Casey!

      Hope you had a blessed Easter, my friend. You make a great point about what has become of Christian art. We’ve fallen a long way – a very long way – from Veronese and Caravaggio (two of my favorites). As a fellow Protestant I find your point about the schism very interesting. And the “roller-coaster ride”, absolutely.

      How wonderful that you’re going to Italy! You’re going to have an amazing time I’m sure. Bill just returned from there. And I know an art teacher at FIT who was going there over the spring break. He said it would his first time back there in almost 20 years. I’m long overdue for a return trip myself.

      Thanks for your comments, Casey! Great to hear from you.


  3. Lynn Kauppi says:

    A blessed Easter Claudia!! Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
    Frankly I’m surprised that Moody ever said anything like this. All I’ve ever been exposed regarding Moody is the fundamentalist stuff. What’s he’s saying above sounds just like what Thomas Merton and many others in the contemplative tradition have said for centuries.


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