Even when the new catechism came out I can remember being struck by the definition that it gave of the heart, but now I find it absolutely astonishing:
1.) The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place “to which I withdraw.”
2.) The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others;
3.) Only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.
4.) The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives.
5.) It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death.
6.) It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation:
7.) It is the place of covenant.
(the numbering of the clauses is my own – ed.)
What account of human beings has ever accounted for that? Every Greek, Medieval, or Modern/Contemporary account I’m aware of either overlooks this or would have to explain it away. In fact, the passage challenges the adequacy of all rational accounts of human nature and human life: there is an unmistakable critique of psychology in point 4, and of all philosophy in point 2 (especially in conjunction with 3 and 5).