Purify My Heart

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks the blind man in today’s Gospel. The blind man replies, “Lord, please let me see.”

Doesn’t this episode apply to all of us? Don’t we all wish to see? We all desire a stronger faith, a clearer sense of God’s will for us, perhaps even a tangible, visible sign of His loving concern for us.

And deep down, we yearn to see God.

As we walk by faith and not by sight in this life, we are spurred on by Our Lord’s promise: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8). So, the real question is, how do we become “pure in heart”?

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2517 and following, we find a beautiful commentary on purity of heart, which involves attuning our intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness. The Catechism, recognizing that purity of heart, body, and faith are intimately related, points out three specific components of the “purity of heart” that will enable us to see God:

(1) charity “So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart” (2 Tim. 2:22).

(2) chastity, or sexual rectitude “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).

(3) love of truth, and orthodoxy of faith ”I repeat the request I made of you . . . to instruct people not to teach false doctrines or to concern themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the plan of God that is to be receive by faith” (1 Tim. 1:3-4).

As some commentators rightly reminded us in the midst of the clerical sex abuse scandals, orthodoxy, chastity, and charity indeed are intimately related, and without them our faith is undermined and our desire to see God is thwarted.

May we ask God today to help us grow in faith, chastity, and charity, so that at the end of our pilgrimage we may see God and, like the man who was blind, give Him all glory and praise.

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