Purity of Heart
actually Seeing God
How do I attain to
purity of heart — and the promise of seeing God?
How can my heart,
so stained and marred by sins, become pure? For so many, the understanding
of having a pure heart pertains only to sexuality. Yes, a person
becomes impure through illicit relationships, gestures, and words;
by deliberately lingering on lurid sexual imagery (which abounds).
However, there is far more to purity of heart that simply leading
a sexually chaste life, just as there is far more to the actuality
of sin than just limiting it to that which is committed in and through
So how do I attain purity of heart ?
Purity of heart comes about by a total exposure to the word of God
and putting the Word into practice in our lives, by being
obedient to His truth, by deep and honest prayer, by frequenting
the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance,
by the practice of self discipline, and by cultivating an
attitude of reverence towards all human beings in whom God
Jesus himself has told us what it is that makes our hearts impure,
but He has also told us what makes our hearts pure — remaining
you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you.
Abide in me, and I in you.”
(St. John 15.3-4)
In St. Marks
Gospel we read,
you not that every thing from without, entering into a man cannot
defile him, because it entereth not into his heart, but the things
which come out from a man, they defile a man. For from within out
of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications,
murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness,
an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things
come from within, and defile a man.”
(St. Mark 7
these things, to what ever degree they rest in the human
heart, that make us impure, and it is these sins and attitudes that
we need to root out of our souls in order to become pure.
When you reflect sufficiently upon it, all these sins cause a death
in one form or another, either physically, or through the death
of the soul to God. In the very least, they all involve a death
To you who are reading this article I cannot exhort you more to
the beauty and joy of knowing and possessing a pure heart, uncorrupted
by the world and untainted by sin. It will enable you to really
see God in this world and all around you, it will enable you
to experience a beauty of being that you would never have dreamed
possible: to live without any ensnarement, to be free of being chained
to and by the spirit of this world.
It is within the reach of everyone. No matter how far you may have
strayed you must never, never, loose hope, but cling to God
and trust to His grace. With Him all things are possible — especially
those things you think impossible to yourself. His greatest miracles
have never been raising the dead — but in making Saints out
of sinners — which is a raising from the Second Death.1
There are, however, and for the most part, few instant conversions
to purity. It will take years of constant effort, of falling and
rising to attain a pure heart — but it is possible
to regain that clarity of vision and heart, in God.
It opens us up to love truly, to really experience human and divine
love as God intended, because so much dross is laid aside and right
choices are made; and to the degree that all these things are gradually
purged from the human soul, God can ever more deeply possess us.
Beati mundo corde
— the Greatest Blessing: the Vision of God
are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
(St. Matthew 5.8) This
is the Third Beatitude from Christ's Sermon on the Mount.
Of all eight Beatitudes, only the third makes this promise: that
the pure in heart will see God! In the life to come,
yes. But you will find that you see with new eyes and a new heart
even in this life, for all will become numinous, be invested with
God. You will see beyond the superficies, the mere appearances that
either obscure or deceive ... to the Presence of God and of His
most holy will in all things, in all places, and at all times.
The spirit of this world has reduced all love to such a degrading,
utterly impoverished state, that many people now do not so much
as authentically understand what love is and and what its demands
really are. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. It is death of
divine love, both of the acceptance and of the giving of love. How
can we give or accept what we do not know, do not understand?
A pure heart gives you the defenses of a child, and their puissance
is great indeed: innocence and guilessness. A pure heart
allows the love of God to flow through it for others, holding nothing
It is the very purity of heart and soul that attracts us to the
Saints. Who of us are not filled with awe, wonder and joy at the
awareness of the reality of the Immaculate and totally loving Heart
of Mary? How the very concept draws us, speaks to us: a veritable
haven of goodness, love, and purity where no stain of sin nor shadow
of evil dwells.
Pray to Mary, pray to her, that she may grant you the graces
that you need to attain, little by little, day by day, purity of
heart — and what you will become is nothing less than a vessel totally
open to God and for others; a cistern of deep, cool
water in a parched and barren world.
purely, and they will come ... God, and all who encounter Him in
greater gift have you to give ... than God Himself?
Poor Clare Colettine Nun
1 Apocalypse 20.6
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