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Blessed are the pure of heart

“What happened to the commandment ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ in our lives?”, asked St John Paul II. “Does it really matter to spouses that children are born to chaste parents? Do we contain within ourselves the sense that the human body is called to resurrection and that we should take due care of its dignity?”

Blessed are the pure of heart

Are we able to realise that human fertility is proof of the truly amazing trust that God has in mankind, in men and women,and do we try not to fail this trust from God? Do we remember that every human is a person and that we cannot reduce any person to the role of an object that can be regarded with lust or simply used? (Łomża, 4 June 1991). In his Wednesday catechesis during the first five years of his pontificate, the Holy Father John Paul II spoke about the theology of the human body and explained the truth of the meaning of human sexuality as revealed by God. In creating man, the Lord God writes into his heart the desire for an enduring love. Only such love can fulfil our pursuit of happiness. That is why the Lord Jesus calls us, so that we may accept His love and love each other mutually as He loves us. This love should manifest itself in a particular way in the intimate love of men and women that Christ seals with the holy sign of the sacrament of matrimony. The Lord Jesus says: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate”. (Matt 19:6). A legitimately contracted marriage is indissoluble, and as a sacrament it becomes an image and icon of the Holy Trinity. In God’s plans, sexual relations are reserved exclusively for spouses and become for them an act of participation in the life and love of the Holy Trinity. The Lord God desires that sexual relations express a selfless gift of the entire spiritual and physical richness of the person – given to the person of the spouse – to be a holy sign

of the sacrament of matrimony and a source of the mutual sanctification of the spouses. Such an experience of sexual relations is only possible in the sacramental union of matrimony in which the spouses are in a state of sanctifying grace, and hence, in which they have chaste hearts. The Lord God reveals to us that the most important thing is love, while at the same time sensual pleasure and feelings must conform to the law of love, that is to say, to His commandments. In this context, one sees that the sins of impurity cause great damage in a person’s spiritual sphere. They kill love, enhance egoism and lead to eternal damnation. “Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers – none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9–10)

The Lord God reveals to us that the most important thing is love

Marital infidelity, premarital sex, homosexual acts, looking at pornography, oral sex and the use of contraception all belong to a particularly serious category of sins. All conscious and wilful provocation of sexual pleasure through masturbation, petting and other acts of this sort destroy love and enhance egoism. These acts violate God’s commandments. They are egotistic acts concentrated on the self in opposition to the unselfish gift of self, and they lead a person into a hell of egoism, addicting him or her to sexual experiences and attractions like narcotics and alcohol. They are deadly sins, because they destroy the gift of a chaste heart and ruin the person, leading him or her to a state of spiritual death and slavery to the power of evil. In his theology of the body, St John Paul II stirs us from spiritual torpor. His teaching is for many the discovery of the truth that true love and freedom cannot exist without a moral order, without chastity of the heart. “The civilisation of death wants to destroy the chastity of the heart”, the Holy Father John Paul II warned. “One of their methods is the deliberate questioning of the value of the human behaviour which we call the virtue of chastity. This is a particularly pernicious phenomenon when the target of the attack becomes the impressionable consciences of children and youth. A civilisation which in this way wounds or even kills the proper relations of one person to another is a civilisation of death, because a person cannot live without true love.” (Sandomierz, 12 June 1999)

Rise, let us be on our way!

To all those who become disappointed on the path of faith, St John Paul II calls: “Rise, let us be on our way!” At the same time, he offers consolation: “God’s love does not weigh us down with burdens that are beyond our capacity to bear; nor does He impose demands which we would not be able to endure. If He calls, He will come with the necessary help” (Rise, Let us be on our Way). In order to walk our daily path of faith, we must have self-discipline. We must establish a plan for the day and implement it with unflinching diligence. Our daily schedule of activities must include a regular time set aside for prayer, for being one-onone with Christ, time for work and service to others, as well as time for worthwhile relaxation. We must put our whole heart into all of our activities, work and prayer. We must be demanding of ourselves, we must overcome the egoism that reveals itself in a reluctance to expend the necessary effort, in laziness and in indulging ourselves. How? There must be a decision of the will to force ourselves to act, to pray, to work and to take on other commitments, especially when we least want to. If, in spite of his weaknesses and shortcomings, a person rises and follows the path of the Commandments and the Gospel, reading and fulfilling the will of God, then Jesus will be able to form his personhood and free his heart from egoism.

All our spiritual strength and power flows from prayer. It is in prayer, along with the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, that we permit Jesus to transform our hearts, free them from sin, and enable them to love. This is why people harm themselves so seriously when they neglect prayer, since then their spiritual life diminishes and dies. Then, they stand defenceless against the attacks of the powersof evil. In order to set out daily on the path of faith, one has to set aside a specific time for prayer: the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, meditation on the Holy Scriptures, adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament or other forms of prayer. One can never free oneself from the obligation to pray, rationalising it by being in a bad mood or feeling bad. It is exactly when I don’t want to pray that I should pray twice as much, offering to Jesus my aversion and bad mood. Aversion to prayer and postponing it for later is one of the most devious and dangerous temptations of evil spirits. One must be aware of their existence and reject them categorically.

In caring for one’s spiritual life, one cannot neglect regular, monthly confession. It is advisable to find a regular confessor. Here it is particularly important to promise Jesus: “Lord Jesus, I promise You that I will try to always live in a state of redeeming grace, and if I suffer a severe fall, I will come to You immediately so that You can free me from this sin through the sacrament of penance.”

Marital infidelity, premarital sex, homosexual acts, looking at pornography, oral sex and the use of contraception all belong to a particularly serious category of sins

St John Paul’s whole life is a testimony to be read that everything in his life started “at the feet of Christ concealed in the Most Holy Sacrament”. The secret of his holiness is precisely prayer. He designated several hours a day to it. It was thanks to the Holy Mass, prayer and contemplation that he drew from Christ love, wisdom, knowledge and strength, since only Christ is the unique source in which “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). Thinking back on his life in Cracow, the Holy Father wrote: “In my home chapel I did more than just pray; I also sat and wrote. There I wrote my books, including The Acting Person.I am convinced that the chapel is the place from which the particular inspiration originates. It is an enormous privilege to be able to live and work in the shadow of this Presence which is like a powerful magnet. My dear deceased friend Andre Frossard, in his book God Exists, I’ve Met Him, captured the depth of the power and beauty of that Presence. However, it is not always necessary to go physically to the chapel in order to enter into the presence of the Most Holy Sacrament” (Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way).

The Movement of Pure Hearts

St John Paul II calls each of us with ever greater power than he did while living here on earth. Through his entire spiritual legacy, he calls to us not to be afraid to open the doors of our hearts to Christ, so that we might persistently walk the path of holiness, trust in His inexhaustible mercy and accept the gift of a pure heart. Jesus says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt 5:8). Blessed, that is to say happy, are the people who have pure hearts; that is, those who are in a state of sanctifying grace. Without a pure heart, we will not know how to love and we will not attain heaven. That is why the most important task on earth is to mature in holiness, attaining the gift of a pure heart.

There is no true love without union with Christ, without a pure heart, or without maintaining a state of sanctifying grace. If someone continues in deadly sin, he remains in a spiritual state of death and slavery to the power of evil. Such a person will not manage to love if he cuts himself off from the only Source of love, which is Jesus, and his heart will be dominated by strong emotions and a covetous flesh.

The Lord Jesus invites you to give Him your heart to heal it in his “clinic of pure hearts”, so that He can make your heart pure, free and open to love. This is possible only when you cling to Jesus with all your strength, when you cooperate with Him and allow Him to lift you up after every failure and heal all your spiritual wounds in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, when you observe your daily prayer.

Who can join the Movement of Pure Hearts? Anyone who desires to offer Jesus his heart for healing and learn from Him how to love with pure love.

What are the requirements? A sincere willingness to fulfil all the obligations included in the MPH prayer of entrustment, and especially the obligation of daily prayer and reading of the Holy Scriptures, of immediate renunciation of all serious sin in the sacrament of penance, as well as undertaking a systematic transformation of oneself by developing and diligently implementing a daily plan, which will include a regular time dedicated to prayer, work and rest.

When and how can you join the Movement of Pure Hearts? Any time! First go to confession, and when you receive Jesus in Holy Communion, give Him your heart by saying the MPH’s prayer.

We also ask you to inform our editors when you join the MPH, so that we can write your names into the Book of pure hearts and send you a special blessing. Remember to pray the prayer of entrustment daily, and remember that the bimonthly “Love One Another!”is the instructional text for members of the MPH throughout the world (we publish in twenty different languages). This is why all members of MPH are required to read the magazine regularly. Take upon yourselves the responsibility to evangelise in your environment, your country and the world through “Love One Another!”The Mother of God, who is also the Chief Editor of our magazine, also asks you to write down your testimonies and send them to the editors. Share the treasure of faith with others, along with your experience of God’s hand acting in your life.

May the Risen Christ fill you with love and peace. With my priestly blessing and the gift of daily prayer for each of you, I remain

Fr M. Piotrowski SChr., along with
the editorial board


The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in September 2020.

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