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Blessed are the pure in heart

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" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.." The pure in heart is not afraid of light, for God is light, and his eyes joyfully endure the sight of Him. The pure of heart has nothing to hide within himself, he has nothing to suppress, to abolish, to remove. The pure in heart has no remorse, he has no regrets, his conscience is so transparent that it filters the light without holding it but it remains enlightened by it. The Pure in heart is a complete, integral creature who has harmonized all her components jointly. The pure in heart declares war on passions not to eradicate them but to control them. He mortifies his human will not to destroy it but to offer it to God. The one who is pure does not hate himself for his  own impurities, but he hates impurities as they pollute the purity that belongs to God.

The pure of heart is not the one who has done nothing wrong in his life, the one who, thanks to his intelligence, has always managed to avoid mistakes, failures, or the ridiculous.

The pure of heart is not the one who has not remorse about his own choices of life and who reaches the end having accomplished everything he wanted.  Even it’s not the one who represses instincts,  and denies them to his humanity, or that with an act of pride wants to suppress the character that is in him to present himself immune to blame, faultless in the eyes of the world,  of history,  the eyes that may even replace those of God. Purity is accuracy, not severity. God's eyes look much deeper within us. It's not the fall that counts, or having stained his owns character or maybe having bungled it all in our life. Although God gives importance to these things He looks at the inside of us with greater interest, as the truth of man lies in the heart. God who is truth, and who cares only the truth, looks at our intentions. If we are wrong, He fixes his eyes first and foremost upon our intentions. And this is a key point of Jesus' teaching to Luisa Piccarreta, through the writings of the Servant of God.

If we have worked well, if we have made a gesture, an act, an action, a work deserving the appellation of holiness, it is not enough for God, for He looks and judges again within us. It is not enough to participate with vivid fervor in sacred rituals, not merely approaching the sacraments devotionally and regularly, not merely counting among charity associations, not merely being good Christians. It is necessary to remember every moment why we do so, we must never escape the motive of our actions, our thoughts, our words, our choices. It happens that even if we do not turn the beacon of our consciousness towards the darkness of our soul, our heart can also find our motives to act without our knowledge (or tacit agreement). And not always the thoughts that support our behaviors are sacred. Often it happens that we start a work with good intentions and in the course of this, we neglect them to the point that new and more dangerous intentions take their place.

Examining ourselves is a hard and tiring work for which we should always be vigilant, without breaks, or otherwise the arrogance of the worldly reasons will overwhelm our weak good intention. We will act for our own sake, for personal interest, we will propose strategies to appear in such a way that we are allowed to act according to the command of  the human desire, or more trivially for an inane, fruitless, tepid habit. Without being vigilant about the thoughts of our heart, we might find ourselves from day to day, from time to time, to be co-workers of injustice, to commit crimes, to be whitened sepulchers full of moral putrefaction in our soul. It is impossible for man to act without a reason, from the smallest to the greatest choice. And if our consciousness doesn’t provide the reason for our behavior and our choices, worldly reason will prevail and trace our story, even unconsciously, because this mentality belongs to man by education, by habit, by inurement.

We need an incessant and endless examination of conscience to reach the purity of heart. We must take care of heart before our social habit. It’s the heart that has priority over devotional practices; it is our inner being that merits consideration so that our exterior can be a spontaneous outlet of it, a scented blossom that has its roots in a well-cultivated heart. Only in this way we can avoid our exterior can be a deceit, an empty architecture conceived by the idea that we want others and even God to have about us. Jesus Himself in the Gospel warns against the idea of ​​purity by accusing the hypocrisy of those who think that it should be sought outside and not inside, as purity and impurity reside in the heart: “There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him!(…) Don’t you understand that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him? For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer. What comes out of a person defiles him. For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. All these evils come from within and defile a person.”

This is the asceticism that modern man should practice to reach the purity of  heart. It’s not fasting, abstinence, hermitage themselves that give purity to man. It is not the mortification of the senses in itself that gives purity to the human heart, but the mortification of the human will, in short, the will that is polluted and corrupted from self-love, from the attachment to pleasures, profit, money, pride. The mortification and purification of our intentions represent the asceticism that each of us should practice and which is at hand to every one”. At any time we should ask ourselves, Why should I go to church today? Why do I want to be good? Why am I speaking this way, why am I staring at this thing? How am I looking at that person? Often it is not necessary to change the action to purify our heart but why we accomplish it.  So, the pure in heart is simple, clear, he makes unity. There is no contradiction between what he appear to be  and what he is.  The pure heart is coherent.

Or if he falls into inconsistency, he reconquers his   consistency by denouncing, showing, confessing his wickedness. The pure in heart has always only one thought in what he does or he says. He is always recognizable. Purity of heart exposes us to the malice of others. The human corrupt will  makes us perceive the purity of heart as a dangerous choice because it makes us fragile, weak, vulnerable. But the pure in heart has the power of a vision that makes him strong, the vision of God.

The purity of heart is thus the virtue that opens to us the doors of the Divine Will. It allows us to return to the pure state before the original sin, the condition of beatitude to which Jesus wants to bring man through the work of sanctification, as He revealed to Luisa. The Virgin Mary to be born and remain immaculate, to be totally pure, had to sacrifice her whole human will by binding it forever to the throne of God.  Therefore, it’s the human will that makes man impure, leading him inexorably to sin and away from God.

The purity of heart is thus the result of our examination of consciousness, of a constant control over ourselves, over our intentions. Luisa Piccarreta, on the other hand, follows another path, she accomplishes another office. In the passage of September 2,  1906 she confides to Jesus her concern to make no reflection over herself, especially when she thinks  of eminent Saints. But Jesus reveals to her that He has for her a special grace, that is to make her live as a little daughter, and as such she is so intimately united with Jesus that she has no time to think about herself. It is Jesus who takes care of all the interior of Luisa, cleaning her if she is stained, feeding her if she need food; He anticipates her in everything, unlike the big brothers, who, even if they are children, are able to clean themselves, on their own, and probably with much effort and existential suffering.  So, Luisa's office is to be a little daughter, to love Jesus totally, unconditionally as a child, so that He is the only fixed thought, constantly. Which heart is more pure than that of a little daughter, of a  young girl? I say this with trembling and aching heart, knowing that it’s the first and most tiring road I have to go through,  as I haven’t or I lost the sincere and loving littleness of Luisa. But a path is possible even if it is painful in order to find the purity of heart that will make us free and light from sin and will give us eyes to see God. Fiat



Alessandro De Benedittis
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