Pure in heart, faith alone?


#1

Ok, time for another post-Reformed sermon question!! Please bear with me and know that your responses are thought provoking and well-received:yup:

Today’s text was on Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Quite similar to Psalm 73:1
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

Ok, I suppose, trying to denounce the Catholic view of Justification from another angle, my Pastor made a point to press the issue that this is by faith alone. Actually, this was a wonderfully encouraging sermon on having a pure heart, so whatever I say is not in doubt of the necessity of having a pure heart, but rather about understanding the Catholic teaching.

It is Christ Who purifies our hearts: Malachi 3:3
And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.

Great, right, you should agree!!

But, Acts 15:8,9
And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

And Ephesians 3:16,17
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend…

Ok, those were the main passages he used, and he went on to talk about perseverance, and our heart being deceitful above all evils (Jeremiah 17:9).

So, I can think of a couple things you Catholics might say, but what would you say, give a complete explanation of “pure in heart” please

Thanks


#2

without GIVING you the catholic answer, but perhaps to GUIDE you to it, i ask a simple question:

how do i come to have a pure heart?


#3

None of your Bible quotations says “faith alone.”

Hebrews 10:22 seems to associate the cleansing of our hearts with baptism, “washed with pure water”:
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Ephesians 5:26, likewise, seems to associate our cleansing with baptism, “the washing of water with the word”:
[size=2]that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,[/size]
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following about the “pure in heart.” The quote from St. Augustine [311] seems to address the issue in question.
I. PURIFICATION OF THE HEART

2517. The heart is the seat of moral personality: “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication…”[305] The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance:
[indent]Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who do not know the evil that destroys man’s life.[306]

2518. The sixth beatitude proclaims, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”[307] “Pure in heart” refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity;[308] chastity or sexual rectitude;[309] love of truth and orthodoxy of faith.[310] There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:

The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed “so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe.”[311]

2519. The “pure in heart” are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him.[312] Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as “neighbors”; it lets us perceive the human body - ours and our neighbor’s - as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.


  1. Mt 15:19.
  2. Pastor Hermae, Mandate 2, 1: *PG 2, 916.
  3. Mt 5:8.
  4. Cf. 1 Tim 4:3-9; 2 Tim 2:22.
  5. Cf. 1 Thess 4:7; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19.
  6. Cf. Titus 1:15; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
  7. St. Augustine, Defide et symbolo 10, 25: PL 40, 196.
  8. Cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2.

[/indent]


#4

[quote=jeffreedy789]without GIVING you the catholic answer, but perhaps to GUIDE you to it, i ask a simple question:

how do i come to have a pure heart?
[/quote]

I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Like, that’s a good question, but what do you mean?

I guess you mean what you say. Thanks for asking.

I’d say, and I think my pastor would agree based on the question I asked him this evening “Are our hearts still deceitful above all evils after they have been made pure by Christ and the Holy Spirit through faith?” That was my question.

So, to answer your questioin, I’ll say that there are 2 elements to it.
First, obviously the cleansing is done by the supernatural power of God.
For example:
**Hebrews 9:14 ** how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

That would be a companion verse to those I referenced in the original post.

OK< so the second element would be our sanctification (to use it in the Reformed way) where we are progressively “purified.” This is also done by grace and is a work of God, but is a development over time by repentance, doing good works, and growing in the knowledge of God. And praying the Rosary:love:. I had to add that!! I add it in a good way, I’m not anti-Mary or anti-Rosary. I’ve even read some Louis de Montfort. So I know the potential in Marian devotions.

So, Christian obedience is a part of purifying our hearts.

That’s even in one of the original passages I quoted.

Ephesians 3:16,17
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend…

Maybe it’s not the clearest, but I think that **Matthew 7:17 **is pertinent: “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, and every bad tree bears bad fruit.”

It’s really pretty simple to me, but when it comes to all these doctrinal twists, I’m like, WHAT!! :whacky: But if I become Catholic, I’ve gotta be able to soundly answer these questions, and be confident of my answer for my own sake.

So, does that help answer your leading question?


#5

yes. :slight_smile:

that IS what i meant.

the pure in heart shall see God.

am i pure in heart? heck no.

am i being MADE pure in heart? yes, every day. the way He’s making me pure in heart, like you’ve said, is through ‘good works’ - through DOING loving things to people, practicing caring for them, even when i don’t ‘feel like it.’

after years of doing this, my heart is made purer and purer. eventually, i will be like Him, inside AND out.

if i die before that process is complete (which is likely), then the process of purifying my heart is completed in purgatory.

you really answered the question yourself. do you feel comfortable with your answer?


#6

Am I comfortable with my answer?

Yeah, pretty much

Does my answer make me comfortable with my heart?

No, it’s pretty unsettling at times.

Thanks


#7

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