Truth of God
Jesus is referred to as a stone, not only because he is the Person of the Trinity who can be seen and touched, but also because he is Truth incarnate. The Truth of God is unchangeable. Hence, the appropriateness of stone as a symbol for Jesus, who is Truth incarnate. However, relative to the heart of fallen man, it still reflects a state of unchangeableness, but negatively. In Scripture, a spirit (inner heart) of stone denotes an intractable unwillingness to follow God’s commands and/or repent of our sins (cf. Ex. 7:13, Dt. 2:30, Mt. 19:8).
The Holy Spirit is, among other appropriations, the fire from within the Father and the Son, compelling them to express Truth, what is known and good. The Holy Spirit is not Himself expressed but proceeds from the Father (Truth known through the intellectual generation of the Son) through the Son (Truth known through seeing the Father). When one sees pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one may notice flames coming from his heart; those flames symbolize the Holy Spirit — Holy Desire, Divine Charity.
Recall Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4). He took the form of fiery tongues, inflaming the hearts of the Apostles. The fire represents the radiating Holy Desire of the Holy Spirit, bringing all truth and recalling to their minds all the Truth that Jesus had taught them (Jn. 14:25-26). The tongues represented the Holy Fire of Truth that must be radiated outward — must be expressed. Absent breathing in and out, we would quickly die. This breathing in and out is an oft-used description of the action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us that he came to set the world on fire (Lk. 12:49-56). The Holy Spirit is the oxygen (the Breath) without which a fire cannot burn.
The person in whom the Breath dwells is on fire to breathe out the Breath (Truth known and Loved) and then breath in the Breath — the Holy Desire for union with that Truth that is known (cf. Lk. 24:32, 3:16). In certain circumstances, a heart of flesh denotes the opposite (e.g., Ez. 11:19). For example, when the Holy Spirit is dwelling in the spirit of man, the phrase, heart of stone, is used to denote a heart that is overflowing with pride and lust. On the other hand, the term, heart of flesh, indicates good — a heart that radiates love. Ezekiel writes, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ez. 36:26). After receiving a new heart and a new spirit, a heart of flesh (an integral component of the mouth sending out grace) becomes essential to express the new heart and new spirit accurately.
In Hebrews, Paul tells us that a hardened heart (aka a heart of stone) is a heart of rebellion (Heb 3:15) and disobedience (Heb 4:3-7). The heart of flesh is one in which the Holy Spirit dwells (see The Spiritual Heart for a greater understanding of what that means). St. Paul writes:
For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall never enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place he said, “They shall never enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb 4:3-7).
Understanding the heart of flesh in the context of a new spirit, from which grace overflows, would best be elaborated by reading my two-part article on the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib. Parts One and Two can be found at STOSSbooks.com. They are titled: “Woman: The holy spirit of the Family.” As Venerable Fulton Sheen tells us, “The plan of the Incarnation was based upon the communication of the Divine through the human, the invisible through the visible, and the eternal through the temporal. It was, in a certain sense, the foundation of a Sacramental universe in which material things would be used as the channels for the spiritual.” Jesus tells St. Faustina that “I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls;” Furthermore, in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes [ emphasis SML] in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart [“believers heart” in this passage would correspond to Jesus saying “approaches with trust” in his conversation with Faustina] shall flow rivers of living water’” (Jn. 7:37-38). This living water is the grace of the Holy Spirit, and it is a river flowing out from the believer’s heart. Our understanding of this passage will become more fully appreciated when we talk about the Eucharist.
In Baptism, man receives a clean new garment. However, as a result of repetitive sinfulness, it is constantly soiled and needs to be rewashed through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. St. Paul writes, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Eph. 5:25-27). Without the resurrection of Jesus and the subsequent ascension to the Father body and human soul, Baptism would not be possible — the Holy Spirit could not have descended to us. Upon our resurrection, when our spiritual soul reunites with our body (both now pure and unchangeable), the body is referred to as a white stone (cf. Rev. 2:17).
Man is symbolized by stone when the body is referred to in the context of a nuptial relationship to the NC Temple — Jesus’ resurrected body — via Baptism and the Eucharist. St. Hildegard tells us Baptism is the Sacrament through which the Church grows “by the building up of the living stones, who are washed white in the pure font,” in preparation for the wedding banquet of the Lamb. Although redeemed man is often symbolized by stone, he is also represented by precious stones, e.g., diamond, onyx, and sapphire.
The dust of DNA is a crystalline matrix. Likewise, all rocks and stones are two or more minerals, i.e., existing in a crystalline matrix. Therefore, all Redeemed souls, in a state of grace, are clothed with a body that can accurately be described as actual precious stones.
Let’s look at a few examples of the latter:
1. “‘You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, topaz, and jasper, chrysolite, beryl, and onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and wrought in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared’” (Ez. 28:13);2. “Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight” (Josh. 4:3) and “when your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial for ever” (Josh. 4:6-7). These twelve stones were a symbol of the twelve tribes of Israel and a type of the twelve Apostles of Jesus.
 St. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 317 (Paulist Press; all rights reserved; used with permission).
 Durrwell, Holy Spirit of God, 31.
 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, The Mystical Body of Christ, Ave Maria Press, Kindle Edition, p 26.
 St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy (Poland: Congregation of Marians, 1987; Marian Press, 2005), n. 310. The word believe in Scripture is often misinterpreted by non-Catholics; it is often interpreted in the context of present-day understanding, not in the context of ancient Jewish understanding. Scripture tells us this. “Whoever believes [SML] in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys [SML] the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath” (Jn 3:36). The two parts of this passage are not mutually exclusive. In ancient Judaism, the word “believe” is inextricably linked to the words obeys/disobeys. Otherwise, the two parts of this passage would contradict each other. If you believe, but do not obey Jesus’ commandments (such as: “do this in remembrance of me” Luke 22:19), you will not have eternal life.
 St. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, 172.
 cf. Ibid., 432.