A clear stream way up in the mountains-- like snow melt. A brilliant white flower. Cool water gushing out of a rock from deep within the earth.
Last week I stated that God gave me three words in which to live by, the first was the word simple. The second one is pure.
Purity= freedom from contamination; it is synonymous with cleanness, clearness, clarity.
What pictures come to your mind?
I think of something that is life giving, unpolluted and fresh.
Purity in the spiritual sense is very much like this.
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8. (emphasis added)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in 2519: The "pure in heart" are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him.312 Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God…”
What keeps us from seeing God and seeing according to God?
Well--what keeps us from actually physically seeing anything?
Think about your windshield or your glasses--when they get dirty or smeared it can be very hard to see.
Sin is like this. When we sin things get muddied up.
Sin taints and stains what God intends to be pure. Even a little mud can really smear up a windshield. The Bible says that our foolish hearts can become darkened by sin.
This smudge causes us to become “double minded” or “two-hearted”. No longer seeing clearly, we try to figure out which way to go, what to do, who to serve--God or self? And this causes all kinds of instability.
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
We read that David stated: “I know God...that you take pleasure in integrity…” (emphasis added)
Integrity=”the state of being whole, solid and undivided.”
So how do we live integrity and regain this purity of heart if things are “muddied”?
There is really only one way--a Divine clean up! Actually, even better-a Divine heart transplant! Nothing shy of turning in our old heart that is tainted by sin, doubt and impurity, and allowing God to replace it with a new one- will do.
The prophet Ezekiel writes what He heard God say to him in 36:26-28:
"I will sprinkle clean water over you to make you clean; from all your impurities and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you so that you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep them. You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”
We as Catholics believes this first “sprinkling” happens at Baptism-- but guess when else? In the confessional! God sprinkles us clean again and again! And gives us a sacramental grace to follow Him.
And it is there that He gives us a new heart--that is a grace and a desire to love and to serve Him with purity of heart and intention. With a new heart comes true freedom and joy!
So want to have a clean and pure heart? Bring it to God for a divine clean up job! Be FREE! Live JOYFULLY! Embrace PURITY!
“A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51:12
Oh help! I long to be pure of heart! I long to have freedom and joy! Only You can enable this for me. Please Lord, take away my heart of stone and give to me a heart of flesh that is quick to respond to Your bidding. Make me pure of heart. Make me will only One thing...You.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Photo by Daisy Overmyer-age 12.