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Purity

“Purity is the foundation of theology and a true relationship with God…Acquiring purity must be our first step toward knowing God…purity of heart is the goal of every Christian…“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (vs. 15). The pure in heart shall see God (Mt 5:8). They follow the Lord, being qualified “for every good work” (Tts 1:16), for we “know them by their fruits” (Mt 7:16).” (Dynamis 7/26/2021, 12/30/2021)


“We might say that purity and impurity depend on our perception. In this vein, the Lord taught, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). What we perceive depends on the way we see it. If we see the world through clean glasses, then everything will be clear to us. But if we see the world through dirty glasses, all we see will be cloudy to us. These thoughts explain why our Trisagion prayers begin with the petition that the Holy Spirit would “cleanse us from every impurity.” We pray for this cleansing because purity of heart is freedom from desires, motives, and concerns that darken our minds and pervert our actions. A clean heart has only one desire– to know Christ (Philippians 3:10). It has no other intention than to do the will of God. It has no other way than the path of the truth of God.” (Fr. Basil)


“In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said that “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20) Christ came to fulfill the law and the prophets, not to abolish them. (Matt. 5:17). He taught that the commandment against murder forbids anger and insult. (Matt. 5:21-22) He said that the commandment against adultery forbids lust. (Matt. 5: 27-28). He called His followers to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect, especially by loving even their enemies. (Matt. 5:43-48). None of this is about mere outward compliance that anyone may claim to have mastered, but about acquiring the purity of heart necessary to see God.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“What is in the heart makes the difference. Imagine two teachers. One teacher is careful to be exact and correct in every statement. But he does not convey the spirit of the teaching but only its letter. Another teacher is not always accurate in content. But he teaches from a pure heart. Which of these should one follow? Paul gives the answer, “God has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:5). The teacher who teaches from a pure heart that is in tune with the Spirit is the one that teaches the Word of life. The teacher who teaches the letter but not the spirit kills the spirit. Paul put it this way, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure” (Titus 1:15). In other words, those whose hearts are pure, testify that everything that God has made is pure. But those whose thinking is impure make even good things impure.” (Fr. Basil)


“…most of us are a mixture of purity and impurity—at least, of impurities of mind or behavior in our past….Purity is a choice.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


“Purity is the foundation of theology and a true relationship with God…Christ is quite clear that purity of our heart is essential in the knowledge of God…Often purity in a Christian context is reduced to abstinence from carnal desires. But purity is much bigger than just that. Purity is more about a state of our whole being and an attitude and condition of the heart.” (Dynamis 7/2/2018, Father Stephen Freeman, Sacramental Living Ministries)


“The pure in heart are completely devoted to the worship and service of God and accept no compromises. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, those who achieve purity practice all virtue, have no conscious evil in themselves, and live in temperance. This level of spirituality is attained by few, but all may strive for it. When the soul's only desire is God, and a person's will holds to this desire, then that person will indeed see God everywhere.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 5:8)


Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The brain has come up in the world, while the heart has been demoted. The heart used to be widely recognized as the locus of God’s activity within us, the hub of human identity and conscience, linked with our capacity to love, the core not only of physical but also of spiritual life—the ground zero of the human soul. In our brain-centered society, we ought to be surprised that Christ didn’t say, “Blessed are the brilliant in mind.” Instead, He blessed purity of heart.” (Fr. John Oliver)


“Everyone is given by God the ability to see and hear Him. However, since God always speaks of purity, righteousness, holiness, faith, forgiveness, goodness, and the like, many are offended and push His influence out of their hearts.” (Eric M. Hill)


“…He says to others, ‘The Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).’ By this we should learn that if a man’s heart has been purified from every creature and unruly affections, he will see the image of the divine nature of his own beauty…for God imprinted on our nature the likeness of this glories of His own nature.” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa)


“Often purity in a Christian context is associated with sex and abstinence from poor sexual thoughts or behavior. But purity is much bigger than just that. Purity is more about a state of our whole being and an attitude and condition of the heart.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Proverbs 6:16-19 tell us that the Lord hates six things, and seven are an abomination to Him - A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren… The list refers to pride, arrogance, haughtiness, lying, murder, evil inclinations and causing dissention – all of which reveal a heart that is not of God…sex is absent from this list. This does not mean we should not behave properly in this regard. It just serves as reminder that proper sexual behavior alone should not give us a level of deceptive self-satisfaction that we are close with God if we are not avoiding everything on this list.” (Sacramental Living)

“Purity of heart, by which is meant clarity of thinking, means to keep the heart and mind free of thoughts that distract us from prayer and loving service of neighbor.” (Hieromonk Maximus)

“Jesus refutes their [Pharisees] views that ritual purity depends on outward actions. Rather it is the state of the heart that determines a person's purity.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 15:1- 20)

“If we seek purity of life and holiness solely by means of our own strength, we risk becoming discouraged. The fatal delusion of self-sufficiency eventually plunges us into despair. Let us rather depend upon the Church and the Holy Spirit to bring us to Christ, teaching us to receive the healing touch of His hand and His blessing.” (Dynamis 12/24/2014)


#HieromonkMaximus #SacramentalLiving #SacramentalLivingMinistries #Dynamis #FatherStephenFreeman #OrthodoxStudyBible #FrJohnOliver #EricMHill #SaintGregoryofNyssa #FrBasil #FrPhilipLeMasters #FrBasil #AlbertSRossiPhD

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