Today we are reflecting on the sixth beatitude. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” This goes beyond the virtue of chastity. The heart symbolises our emotions but also symbolises sincerity, and is the seat of our real intentions.
Pope Francis says that this beatitude speaks of those whose hearts are simple, pure and undefiled. If our hearts are not simple, pure and undefiled then we become hypocrites. We do things for other motives. To gain admiration of others, or to advance our own standing.
I love that sentence in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Man judges by appearances but God sees the heart.” Blaise Pascal wrote that we have two lives. One is our true life, and the other is the one that exists in our minds or in the minds of others. We work tirelessly to adorn and preserve our imaginary existence and neglect the real one. The prevalence of social media can tempt us to develop and promote an image of ourselves.
The origin of the word hypocrisy was reserved for theatre arts. It simply mean “to recite’, to represent something on stage. So as Fr Cantalamessa wrote, “The origin of the word puts us on track to discover the nature of hypocrisy. It means making life a theatre in which someone recites for an audience. It means putting on a mask, ceasing to be a person and becoming a character.”
The questions in prayer we could ask of ourselves today are;
What are my real intentions? What do I truly seek? What do I truly desire? Is there anything in my life that tarnishes love.
“A heart that loves God and neighbour genuinely and not merely in words, is a pure heart; it can see God.” Pope Francis.