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Pope Francis The Pure in Heart will see God 01.04.20


Pope Francis: Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God 01.04.20



Pope Francis    01.04.20  General Audience, Library of the Apostolic Palace - Catechesis on the Beatitudes          Matthew 5: 8

Pope Francis Blessed are the Pure in Heart 01.04.20

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today we read together the sixth Beatitude, which promises the vision of God and has as a condition purity of heart.

One of the Psalms says: "Come says my heart seek his face ; your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me" (27:8-9). This language reveals the thirst for a personal relationship with God, not a mechanical, not one that is up high in the sky, no: personal, which even Job's book expresses as a sign of a sincere relationship. As Job says, "I had heard of you by hearsay, but now my eyes have seen you"(Jb 42:5). And so many times I think that this is the path of life, in our relations with God. We know God by hearsay, but we move forward with our experience , forward, forward and eventually we know Him directly, if we are faithful ... And this is the maturity of the Spirit.

How can we get to this intimacy, to know God with our eyes? One can think of the disciples of Emmaus, for example, who had the Lord Jesus beside him, "but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him" (Luke 24:16). The Lord opens their eyes at the end of a journey that culminates with the breaking of bread and began with a rebuke: "How foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!" (Luke 24:25). This was the rebuke at the beginning. Here is the origin of their blindness: their foolish and slow heart. And when the heart is foolish and slow, you don't see things. You see things as cloudy. Here lies the wisdom of this Beatitude: in order to contemplate it is necessary to look deep within our hearts and make room for God, because, as St. Augustine says, "You were more inward to me than my most inward part" (Confessions,III,6,11). To see God, it is not necessary to change glasses or observation points, or to change theological authors that teach the path: we must free the heart from its deceptions! This path is the only one.

This is a decisive maturation: when we realize that our worst enemy is often hidden in our hearts. The noblest battle is against the inner deceptions generated by our sins. Because sins change the inner vision, they change the evaluation of things, they makes us see things that are not true, or at least that are not so true.

It is therefore important to understand what "purity of the heart" is. To do this, it is necessary to remember that in the Bible the heart is not only feelings, but is the most intimate place of the human being, the inner space where a person is himself. This, according to the biblical mentality.The same Gospel of Matthew says: "If the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be!" (6:23). This "light" is the gaze of the heart, the perspective, the synthesis, the point from which reality is read (cf. Evangelii gaudium, 143).

But what does pure in heart mean? The pure in heart live in the presence of the Lord, preserving in their hearts what is worthy of the relationship with Him; only in this way do they possesses a unified life, linear, not winding but simple. The purified heart is therefore the result of a process that involves liberation and renunciation. The pure of heart is not born thus, it has experienced an inner simplification, learning to renounce evil in itself, which in the Bible is called circumcision of the heart (cf. Dt 10,16; 30.6; Ez 44.9; Ger 4,4).

This inner purification implies the recognition of that part of the heart that is under the influence of evil – "You know, Father, I feel like this, I think so, I see so, and this is bad": to recognize the bad part, the part that is clouded by evil – to learn the art of letting oneself always be taught and guided by the Holy Spirit. The journey from the sick heart, from the sinful heart, from the heart that cannot see things well, because it is in sin, to the fullness of the light of the heart is the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who guides us to make this journey. Here, through this journey of the heart, we come to "see God".

In this Beatific vision there is a future, eschatological dimension, as in all Beatitudes it is the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven toward which we move. But there is also another dimension: to see God means to understand the designs of providence in what happens to us, to recognize His presence in the sacraments, His presence in our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and suffering, and to recognize Him where He manifests Himself (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church,2519). 

This Beatitude is a bit of the fruit of the previous ones: if we have listened to the thirst for the good that dwells within us and we are aware of living with mercy, it begins a journey of liberation that lasts all life and leads to Heaven. It is a serious work, a work that the Holy Spirit does if we give him space to do so, if we are open to the action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason we can say that it is a work of God in us – in the trials and purifications of life – and this work of God and the Holy Spirit leads to great joy, to true peace. Let us not be afraid, let us open the doors of our hearts to the Holy Spirit to purify us and take us forward on this path to full joy.