“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8)
Of all the beatitudes, this one seems the most inaccessible. I mean, I know my own heart and how impure it really is. Thus, purity of heart is only possible if God provides it; we can’t do it ourselves. We are totally dependent on him.
A careful study of the word, however, might give us a hint as to how this takes place. It’s what the saints called purgation. The word pure, in the Greek, is katharos, which is an adjective meaning clean. It is the word also used in John 15:3 to describe the results of pruning (kathairō), the verb associated with katharos. Kathairō literally means to purge. It is the process by which we are emptied, in order to be filled. Thus, if we ever want to be filled with God’s purity, we must first allow the Spirit of God to purge us of our impurities. In the words of a wise saint, “How can God possibly fill you if you are already full of yourself? It’s like trying to pour into an already full cup. You must first empty the cup.”
So, instead of just trying to add purity to our hearts and lives, which is impossible for us to achieve on our own anyway, we should probably start (through the power of the Spirit) by emptying ourselves of all that is not God. Then, and only then, can he fill us with himself, and his purity. Then we will, indeed, be blessed.
In the words of Susan Annette Muto, “When we live the Beatitudes in and with the Lord, we become liberated persons in the fullest sense. We follow the path of purgation until, with Jesus, we are filled with the peace of surrender to the Father and led by his Spirit to new depths of intimacy with the Indwelling Trinity.”
Closing Prayer: Purge me, Lord Jesus, of all that is not you, so that you can fill me with your life, your love, and your purity.