What is it to be “Pure of Heart?
This entry is all “Christian Spiritist” regarding the unguarded service of the heart for God towards others in comparison to Man’s expected rituals for outward show. My Atheist friends may choose to skip this entry for its unbridled spiritual assertions… Or, continue reading along with a love for the writing of Yours Truly, lol.
I am guiding a study group of Spiritists this weekend for the first time in years (after recovering from being grounded indefinitely in Australia) and the topic is the Beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” and I begin with the question – What does pure of heart mean?
“Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul.” – GotQuestions.org
To be pure of heart also means to do all one can to examine oneself and take steps to correct any problem that is not in alignment with God’s divine plan of progress. We all progress by making mistakes and doing what we can to fix them.
A willingness to confess imperfect actions when one realizes them, and equal willingness to work on correcting the imperfections with God’s assistance is the same as being pure of heart.
Man’s Ritual Overthrown for Cleanliness in God
Now, the subject of pure of heart comes in conjunction with “Unwashed hands,” as an example of Man’s rituals coming before the pure heart (Look up unwashed hands, and Jesus for more from the bible). In the time of Jesus, hand washing and other ritualistic behaviors had greater import than today. Though we have come up with modern man-made rituals around spirituality that can be just as distracting as those in the Jesus’s time.
An example of true purity compared to following Man’s ritual of hand washing to prepare for the blessing of food from God was from Mathew 15: 11 and Luke 11: 37-40, when Jesus spoke to a crowd, telling them that it is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth that makes him “unclean.” This was to mean that people are more focused on the outer ritual of cleansing than sharing God’s love in their hearts with others.
To chide one for not following Man’s rituals is hypocritical (“unclean”) and is to miss God’s point of love and true progress, as God knows the inside of us as well as the outside.
Last night, I was moonlighting my regular bible study (yes I attend, but keep my mouth closed about my Spiritist viewpoints on reincarnation and the true purpose of Jesus’s sacrifice, while at the same time I connect to the power of God’s love through Jesus). The ex-minister who leads our bible group, we will call her Margery, brought up a classic example of someone busying themselves with ritual and expected duties.
This lady we will call Beatrice, who was a friend of Margery, always did just exactly what her church asked of her for the sake of outward appearances. She conformed to what the church community expected of her, nothing more and nothing less. When Margery told her that our particular group was continuing to meet despite having finished the study guide for the term, the church lady got all worked up and said, “But the groups must break up for the holidays after the study guide is finished! You can’t continue with one group and not the others! It just isn’t done like that!” (Or some such exclamation).
Margery said that she responded with something like, “Well! This particular group asks to continue and I can’t think of anywhere that I would rather be than serving God by studying and praying with the members of this group, united in the name of Jesus, all serving him by striving to continue enriching their hearts and minds with the Word. I sacrifice the time because I am called to do it!” (Or something along those lines).
Margery told us that Beatrice was quiet for a quick moment and then said quietly, in surprise, “Oh! I see…” And with that, she was quiet in contemplation for ages, completely silenced. Our study guide, Margery finished by saying to us that it was the longest time that Beatrice had ever stopped talking…
Maybe she was contemplating what it meant that a group of ladies wanted to get together to study the bible, not for the sake of doing the right thing in the eyes of Man, but because they have the spirit of God in their hearts when they meet to study together, and they don’t want to break just for man’s ritual of discontinuing for the holidays.
We Are Not Perfect, But We Can Be Pure of Heart
Being pure of heart does not mean that we are perfect. It just means that one is doing one’s best to be thinking and acting as God bids us to do.
Love simply. Love without playing games or considering complicated strategies to gain empty recognition for oneself as a substitute for true communion with God.
Love simply. Do good, tell the truth, respect and serve others with your heart focused on the love of God.
So, if we make our main goal to be like Jesus or to give love back to God for the love God gives us, then the exterior rituals that Man makes up mean nothing in comparison to what we keep in our hearts.
When we become pure of heart we are then able to see God. Being pure of heart is a product of having faith in God’s love and making it our most important goal.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” – Saint Augustine
Those mucking around in the mire of man’s rituals for the sake of appearing like they are connecting to God, or appearing like they are doing the right thing are going to miss the main point – they won’t be able to see the forest for the trees.
Those pure of heart will see God, and enjoy the beauty and love of being “clean,” clear, simple, light, full of the joy of God instead of the busy emptiness of Man’s ritualistic expectations.
Sounds nice to me, (smiling softly)…
Music Link: Aerial Boundaries – Michael Hedges