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Pure Heart

“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)

“Just as physically seeing Jesus of Nazareth, even seeing His miracles, did not automatically mean one perceived Who He truly is and that He most truly reveals God, so simply reading the Bible does not automatically lead to perceiving “the face of God” in it, or perceiving it truly. It is primarily through the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, that we are enabled to perceive and understand these truths most accurately.” (Mary S. Ford)

“Within the Tradition, and the Scriptures, the knowledge of God (and thus of the self), comes as revelation. It is hidden and must be made known. That which hides God is within us, not outside of us. It is the “pure in heart” who see God. This does not necessarily imply a sinlessness or perfection. Rather, it is a stillness that can see what truly is without turning away.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We cannot simply take life on earth and interpolate it into eternity when imagining heaven. We must be ready for something completely new. We may have brief glimpses and experiences of heaven in this world, but they will always only be a foretaste of what is coming. No matter how wonderful these experiences are, they still cannot measure up to what is coming. Keep in mind that in this world we rely on our physical senses to experience the spiritual world and we interpret these experiences through our understanding of the senses (touch, taste, smell, feeling, hearing, sight). In that new creation we will be seeing with the eyes of our heart, experiencing salvation in ways we cannot now imagine. The pure in heart will “see God” – obviously it is not the eyes with which we will be seeing God but with our hearts. We won’t know what that means until we get there.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“… [The Apotsle] John’s thought is that those who hope for the fulfillment of the promise of “seeing God” will anticipate it and act according to it. To a greater or lesser degree, they will act as if the hope that they have “in Him,” (Christ) is a present reality. In the expectation of becoming “like God,” they will purify themselves of “sin and lawlessness” “just as God is pure” (1 John 3:3). The Greek word for “pure” means free from fault, uncontaminated, and unadulterated…Thus, by God’s grace believers strive to rid their hearts with what is ungodly, unholy, and unrighteous. As their souls become less and less mixed with worldly desires and earthly concerns, their hope grows stronger–so strong that, if God wills, they get a foretaste of its fulfillment. They experience in a limited way the blessedness that Jesus spoke about when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).” (Fr. Basil)

“To spend time with someone who has learned well the battle of the heart is to sit at the gate of paradise. On some few occasions I have had opportunity to meet such warriors. The peace that is theirs, the complete lack of self-consciousness are signals that you have come to a new country. Such living witnesses are the loudest proclamation of the gospel known on earth. For in their heart, God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. These are the dwelling places of the New Jerusalem and the living promises of God. Their hearts point us to the place where we should be engaging the struggle and remind us that with God all things are possible.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We acquire purity of heart by more quiet prayer. Purity of heart requires a certain kind of effort. The effort is delicate, not like a New Year’s resolution. Purity of heart has more to do with yielding than striving. Purity is something the Lord does through us as we freely want to pray, to be prayed through. In a sense, we pray and the Lord prays through us.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“Christ reveals that our efforts to do good depend upon our submitting to Him from the heart. He alone can give us the power to do what is just and pleasing to God… The impure heart craves the good things of this life and becomes attached to material comfort, disregarding the condition of the soul…The impure heart is the greatest barrier between ourselves and God, for it separates us from Him who alone is able to restore in us the power to do good…our words and deeds – what comes out of us – reveal what truly lies within our hearts.” (Dynamis 7/24/2014, 7/3/2019)

“Jesus criticized the Pharisees and the experts in religious law harshly...They went wrong by focusing on outward appearances and ignoring the inner condition of their hearts. People do the same when their service comes from a desire to be seen rather than from a pure heart that is full of love for others.”...for someone to receive the Holy Spirit an open heart is necessary, and it is made open by faith. Just as the reception of radio waves necessarily requires an antenna, similarly for the reception of divine grace a pure heart full of faith is needed." (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 42-52, St. Luke the Surgeon of Simferopol)

“…the “skirmish line” of spiritual warfare is within our mind. Evil thoughts must be stopped there if we hope to attain the pure heart that knows Christ….Our greatest problems have spiritual roots: we disdain to lift our hands to God, worshipping and opening our hearts to His grace, which alone makes our works wholesome and worthy. Human methods alone will never solve our problems apart from a meek spirit and a pure heart (Mt 5: 5, 8). Men must repent, confess, and put “on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24).” ((OCPM 11/23/2015, Dynamis 11/16/2019)

“The soul’s vision is in the heart. From the heart and through the heart a spiritual person views and controls his whole soul. A pure heart means sound spiritual vision. By means of a pure heart a person sees not only his soul, but even God Himself. In the words of Christ: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…Saint Paul calls us to labor for “a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5), for these alone secure us in the renewing and refreshing love of Christ. A pure heart commands and directs the soul, dispelling any evil thoughts that enter it, so that we do not receive “[our] soul in vain” (Psalms 23:4). Such a heart will draw close to God, and the Lord will dwell within us to help our heart continue in purity (James 4:8).” (St. Nikolai Velimerovic, OCPM 11/23/2015)

“How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves…Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God.” (St. Nektarios of Aegina)

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