The Pure in Heart

Blessed Are The Pure in Heart (Beatitudes #6)
From here Ron Rolheiser says :
To see the face of God is to have all desire quenched, all restlessness stilled, all aching quieted. To see the face of God is to attain complete peace.
 As a deer yearns for flowing streams, so I yearn to see the face of God. I thirst for the living God; when shall I see the face of God? (Psalm 42:1-2). 
By the time of Jesus, the idea is present in Jewish spirituality that the only answer to human longing is to see the face of God. To see God's face is to come to peace. 

To see the face of God is to have all desire quenched, all restlessness stilled, all aching quieted.

But we are still left with the question: Who can see the face of God? How is this to be achieved? 
Jesus answers simply: Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see the face of God (Matthew 5:8).
That simple phrase then became a one-line mandate to encompass the entire spiritual quest.
The Desert Fathers, the classical mystics, and subsequent Christian spirituality in general have focused on one thing in their praxis - attaining purity of heart so as to see the face of God. To work at attaining purity of heart is the ultimate spiritual task.
It is also life's ultimate task.
We long for many things and are both buoyed up and fatigued by our own insatiable energies.
These energies push us in every direction, towards creativity, love, sex, hate, martyrdom, boredom. Sometimes we know what we want, a particular relationship, achievement, acceptance, status, job or home.
We believe that we will find peace by attaining it, but experience has taught us that full peace of heart will not be found, even there.
Where will it be found?
In purity of heart, in removing those things inside of us that block our connection to the author of all the persons, places, beauty, love, colour and energies for which we ache. 
From a great book of Rolheiser's The Shattered Lantern : ..Classical spiritual writers have always identified purity of heart with contemplation. So the struggle to purify consciousness so as to better experience God is the struggle for contemplation, for a fuller awareness. 
In Western culture today most of us have an atrophied contemplative faculty, a muddied self-awareness. God is present to us , but we are not present to God. We lack contemplativeness and because of this we lack a vital experience of God.
The eclipse of God in ordinary awareness is in the end, a fault in contemplation.

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claire said...

What a feast for the soul you offer here, Phil... You are so inspiring!
Thank you so much!

Philomena Ewing said...

Great to have you visit Claire !!
Thank YOU !!