The sixth beatitude on pure of heart (Mt 5:8-5:8)

“Blessed are

The pure in heart!

They will see God.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν Θεὸν ὄψονται.

 

The happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) would be those who have a pure heart (οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ).  Their reward would be that they would see or behold God (ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν Θεὸν ὄψονται).  The heart was considered the center of thought and will.  Thus, we often hear people today who say that a person has a good heart.  They are good hearted.  The heart represents the whole person, so if the heart is pure, the whole person was pure.  Only the pure in heart would see God, which was a special reward.  In Psalm 24:3-4, they wanted to know who could ascend the hill to enter the holy place of Yahweh’s Temple.  Only those who had clean hands and a pure heart could enter the holy place, since they could not have a false or deceptive heart.  Then, they would receive the blessing from Yahweh.  They were the ones who would see the face of the God of Jacob.

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The practical consequences of religious belief

Religion is about belief and behavior.  How we behave depends on what we believe.  The “what” and “why” of life feed into each other.  By doing a certain thing we understand why we are doing it.  We start to do it by first believing it worthwhile.  Behavior is determined by belief, but belief is also determined by behavior.  Praxis is acting and doing.  Theory is thinking and understanding.  We live according to what we believe.  We believe according to the way we live.  There is a circular interplay.  True religion is an integrating force in our lives, so that the whole person is really an integrated personality.  Religion is not a view of life, but a way of living.  A person’s view of the world reflects a way of living.  We express our ethical beliefs in both a concrete and symbolic way.  We have to understand what is being done, in order to understand what is said.  Religion is a life style, not an idea.  Are you challenged to be yourself?  Do these religious practices increase your identity?  Do they challenge you to be freer?  Do they open new horizons?  Do they have value?  Is your human existence better off?  These are the questions you must ask about your religious practice.

Belief in God

The ultimate source of all is the creative God.  This universal gifted invitation from God is built on human trust, and needs a response from the whole person, that develops a way of life, a certain kind of spirituality.  Belief is a free acceptance response, a particular approach to the religious question that all humans have about the ultimate concern in their lives.