By Francesca Merlo
The sixth Beatitude promises that those with a pure heart will see God. Pope Francis began his catechesis explaining that anyone who seeks the face of God shows the desire for a “personal relationship” with Him.
Like the disciples at Emmaus, “blindness” comes from a foolish and slow heart, said the Pope. In this case, “one sees things clouded”, he added.
The Lord opens the disciples’ eyes at the end of their journey, which culminates in the breaking of the bread.
“Here lies the wisdom of this Beatitude”, said the Pope. “To be able to contemplate it, it is necessary to look deep within our hearts and make space for God”.
To see God it is not necessary to change our glasses or the place from which we are looking. Our heart needs to be liberated from its own deceit. When we realize that our worst enemy is often hidden within our own hearts, this is a decisive maturation process. That is the most noble battle against the interior deceptions generated by our sins.
To understand what “purity of heart” is, we must recall that in the Bible, “the heart does not consist solely in sentiments”. It is the “most intimate” part of the human being: “the interior space where a person is him or herself”, said the Pope.
The ‘pure of heart’ are not born that way. They have “lived an interior simplification, learning to renounce evil in itself”. The Bible calls this process “circumcision of the heart”, said the Pope. It is an inner purification that implies recognising the part of the heart which is under the influence of evil. This helps us to be led by the Holy Spirit, “through this journey of the heart to ‘see God’”.
In this beatific vision there is a future dimension: “the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven”, said the Pope. But there is also another, he continued:
“To see God means discerning the designs of Providence in what happens, recognising His presence in the Sacraments, in our brothers and sisters, above all the poor and suffering, and to recognise God where He manifests Himself”.
A lifelong path of liberation begins in the furrow of the Beatitudes. This path is the Holy Spirit’s work, God’s work, when we give Him space.
“We are not afraid”, concluded the Pope. “Let us open the doors of our hearts to the Holy Spirit so that He may purify us and lead us on this journey towards joy and peace”.