Saturday, March 27, 2010

Purity of Heart

Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” So, since I want to see God, I want to be pure in heart; I want to actualize this Beatitude in my life. The heart is a major emphasis in the Bible. The heart the Bible speaks of is not the emotional center spoken of in contemporary culture. Rather it is the spiritual center of the human being; the Bible recognizes the heart as the preeminent human dimension. It integrates all the other human faculties. Reason, intuition, and the will are all informed by the heart. Although the heart radiates throughout us, permeating our entire being, it has mysterious depths beyond the reach of our everyday thinking. “Who can understand it?” Jeremiah asked about the heart. God replied, “I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind….” God penetrates both our conscious and unconscious mind and knows the depths of our heart. It is in these depths that the essence of the human being is rooted.

This is why I believe we are called to practice some form of the “prayer of the heart” such as the Jesus Prayer or Centering. Such prayer takes us into the depths of our heart beyond our mental reasoning and emotional variations, opening us to the presence of God there. Over time, this kind of deep prayer stabilizes us in our awareness of and connection to the Spirit and enables us to respond to God’s unfolding action in the present moment. We are able to see God's presence and action in our daily lives and live lives that more and more express our growing unity with him.

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