Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. ‘Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
In today’s meditation, we will focus on one of the eight beatitudes: “Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.”
A clean heart is one that has been purified by the Holy Spirit.
With good reason, we venerate in our Church the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Of these two Hearts we say that they are completely pure and full of love. Nothing can be found in them that is not in accord with God. In the case of Jesus, this is evident; and in the case of Mary it is also certain, thanks to her Immaculate Conception and her way of following the Lord. We know that ejaculatory prayer which says: “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”
Purity of heart means that all our intentions, both conscious and unconscious, are totally centred on God. This requires a long process of attentively perceiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit and also getting to know ourselves. Not infrequently we still live in various forms of self-deception, and we still do not have the right image of God, nor do we see ourselves as God sees us.
A pure heart wants to love, and not only to deny nothing to the Beloved, but to give itself to Him completely and forever.
The royal road to a pure heart, which is also a prerequisite for attaining it, is the ever-deepening knowledge and encounter with God.
In this context, it can be a great help to meditate on the words of our Heavenly Father, transmitted in a private revelation through Mother Eugenia Ravasio. In fact, we had proposed to dedicate the 7th of each month to God the Father, from whom everything comes and who is the source of all good.
Let us therefore take a short extract from “The Father’s Message”[i]:
I am the ocean of charity. I showed you the spring which pours from My Breast to quench your thirst, and now, in order to let you see My goodness towards everyone, I am going to show you the ocean of My universal charity, that you may dive into it blindly. Why? So that, diving into this ocean, souls rendered bitter by faults and sins may lose that bitterness in this bath of love. They will emerge from this ocean better, happy at having learned how to be good and charitable. If, because of ignorance or weakness, you yourselves happen to fall again into this state of bitterness, I shall still be an ocean of charity, ready to receive this bitter drop, transform it into charity and goodness and make you holy as I, your Father, am.
God the Father offers us here a wonderful way for our hearts to be transformed. With great trust, we are to abandon ourselves in His love. If we know our Father’s love – and therefore Himself – then we see His Heart, which is always open to receive us. We can always enter this Heart and immerse ourselves in His infinite love; in this “Ocean of charity”. This love will then cleanse us from our vices and sins. But we do not only bring before God our vices and sins, but also all our imperfections, our evil inclinations and faults, our inner hardnesses and wounds, which undergo a transformation in this “Ocean of charity”.
Of course, this process involves self-knowledge. But this is in the light of the Holy Spirit and does not generate bitterness and closedness; nor endless accusations or endless feelings of guilt. Rather, the love of the Father calls us to turn to Him and to entrust ourselves totally to Him.
In this way, the hard heart is transformed by experiencing a greater love, in which it can abandon itself unreservedly. In this way God touches the heart and the soul is purified.
This is a very concrete way… In fact, all graces come from the Father and are given to us through His Son and the Holy Spirit.
In daily practice, it could be like this: As soon as I perceive within me bad thoughts and feelings, hardness, envy and jealousy, I immediately turn to God and place all that before Him in an inner and trusting dialogue. In fact, all the darkness in me does not exist in Him, but in Him I find pure love and uncreated light. My darkness cannot penetrate into God; on the contrary, it must give way as soon as it comes into contact with the Lord. Then, if I throw myself confidently into the open Heart of God, into the “Ocean of charity”, His love penetrates me, so that I can breathe again and continue on my path. It is similar to what we experience in the sacrament of confession, where God’s mercy comes to meet us.
Then, on the one hand, it is God who grants us a pure heart (cf. Ezek 36:26) by transforming it with His own love. And on the other hand, we ourselves must make ourselves a new heart (cf. Ez 18:31), in that we sincerely bring all our faults and imperfections before God, vigilantly but not scrupulously, thus immersing ourselves again and again in this “ocean of charity”. We must accept God’s invitation to remain there forever, as the Father expresses it so beautifully in this Message:
“Come and cast yourselves into this immense ocean and remain in it for ever.”
So, we are called to abide in the Heart of God forever, in time and in eternity.
As we learn to know God’s love better and better, we will begin to discover it in all situations of life. We come to understand that God’s intentions are always pure and that everything is filled with His immeasurable love. In this way, we begin to “see God” already in our earthly life. Thanks to true love, the shadows disappear from our eyes, blindness fades away, our gaze becomes free….
Thus, we see God more and more, our heart becomes more and more pure, so that the words of the Lord begin to be fulfilled: “Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God”.