Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”(1)
In a previous blog post, I, thusly, described the purity of heart of which Jesus speaks: “…singleness of purpose. When…I am neither distracted nor confounded by myriad things, but rather I want, I will one thing…”(2)
I’ve had another thought.(3)
Suppose the purity of heart that enables one to see – to perceive, to be aware of the presence of – God is less (truly, is not) a matter of one’s intentional desiring or conscious willing, but is more (truly, is) one’s state of human being.(4)
If so, then one’s seeing God is as innate an aspect of one’s existence as thinking and feeling, as breathing.
And, if so, then, it seems to me, the purity of heart that sees God affects one’s prayer life.
This brings my contemplation full circle. For what underlay my rethinking the meaning of purity of heart was…is my awareness that of all the forms of prayer, the one with which I wrestle, often finding myself blank of mind and mute of tongue, is adoration.(5)
With this new (at least, for me) notion of the nature and meaning of purity of heart, now I understand that, with every thought and feeling, with every breath (that is, simply by being), I adore God, needing to ask nothing of God but to delight in God’s presence.
And, now, I understand the psalmist’s song:
One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord.(6)
(1) Matthew 5.8
(2) Being Blessed: Mid-Summer Meditations on the Beatitudes (7 of 10), July 17, 2019
(3) For as long as I can recall, I’ve had second (and third and fourth and unto the nth degree) thoughts. As I’m wont to say, “Give me another moment and I’ll rethink it” (whatever the “it” is). Sometimes, I revel in this characteristic frame of mind of reconsideration, for, through it, I recognize another facet of a given subject. At other times, for the sake of not being able to leave an issue well enough alone, I weary myself!
(4) By “human being,” I mean to say that the purity of heart that enables one to see God is not an altered, extra-terrestrial, or after-death state of existence, but rather is an essential element of one’s life in this world.
(5) In addition to adoration, the other forms of prayer I have in mind are: praise, rendering honor to God simply, profoundly because only God is God; penitence, confessing my sins, seeking to make restitution, and asking God for forgiveness; thanksgiving, expressing my gratitude for all God’s blessings, particularly salvation; oblation, offering myself, my life and labor, to seek and to do God’s will in the world; and intercession and petition, bringing to God the needs of others and mine own, respectively, asking that God’s will be done.
(6) Psalm 27.4 (my emphases)