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Aug 12th
Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, pri PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby Reyes   
Sunday, 13 December 2009 12:08
Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church PURITY OF HEART The purity of heart that Christmas calls us to. The fruits of this virtue. Internal acts. Christmas is a light in the darkness, a light that will never go out. Everyone who looks towards Bethlehem can contemplate the baby Jesus, with Mary and Joseph; that is to say, everyone who looks with a pure heart, because God shows himself only to the pure in heart (Matt 5:8). Christmas is a summons to purity of heart. Perhaps many men see nothing wonderful when this feast comes around because they are blind to what is truly important: their hearts are full of material things, or of filth and misery. Uncleanness of heart produces insensitivity to the things of God, and to much that is humanly good as well, including compassion for the unhappiness of other people. But from a pure heart spring joy, the ability to see the divine, trust in God, sincere repentance, recognition of ourselves and our sins, true humility, and a great love for God and for other people. Some scribes and Pharisees once asked Jesus: Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat. Our Lord took the opportunity to show them that they were disregarding more important precepts. Hypocrites! he said to them. Well did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me (Matt 15:2, 7-8). Then Jesus called the people together, because he was going to say something important. It was not to be a question of yet another interpretation of a point in the Law, but something fundamental. Our Lord was about to explain what really makes someone pure or impure in God’s eyes. And he called the people to him and said to them, Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a man (Matt 15:10). And a little later he explained to his disciples on their own: What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man (Matt 15:18-20). What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. The whole man is defiled by what happens in his heart - evil desires and intentions, envy, spite ... These external sins which Our Lord enumerates, before ever they are committed externally, have already been committed interiorly in the sinner’s heart. This is where God is loved or offended. It is true that sometimes the external action increases the goodness or the sinfulness of the interior act, through a greater intensity of determination, of the harm caused to other people, and so on. But it is the heart which must be kept healthy and clean, and then all the rest will be pure and pleasing to God. With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at ( To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email The DEFENSORES FIDEI FOUNDATION actively spreads Ecclesial Information, Catechetical Instructions and Apologetics in pursuit of making good Catholics better Catholics. Any contribution to help this apostolate is heaven-sent and now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (in USA). Please visit us at

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