Understanding the Beatitudes - 6 of 8
Understanding the Beatitudes 6 of 8
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
3/8/20 by Rev. Dr. Christine
The sixth Beatitude in Matt. 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” We are reminded that Jesus the Christ is teaching his disciples of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the way is through prayer, meditation and right living. Those that have reached the Kingdom consciousness are truly blessed; they are humble, comforted, have dominion, fulfilled, forgiven, pure and know God.
Pure in heart, what does that mean? The dictionary defines pure as clean, clear and true, perfect, unmixed, untainted with evil or guilt. In the Aramaic “Pure in heart” means “Pure in mind.” I see it as being congruent, in agreement, in thought, feeling, and action to our true divine nature.
We read in Matt. 6:1-4, “Be careful concerning your alms, not to do them in the presence of men, merely that they may see them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. Therefore when you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the market places, so that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to you that they have already received their reward. But when you give alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing. So that your alms may be done secretly, and your father who sees in secret, shall himself reward you openly.”
This is about our true intentions behind our actions. Are our intentions pure? Or is there an agenda in wanting something in return, even as recognition or a simple thank you?
The following is a story from the “Sai Baba Gita” which explains this lesson; the setting is in India: “In a village there lived a couple who had a young daughter. It was just a small family of three. It was a very poor family. But poor as they were, these parents decided to provide proper education for their child. There was no school in the village in which they lived, so they had to send their child to a neighboring village. She had to traverse a forest every day to go to the village where the school was. Along the way, in the forest, a small shelter had been erected to provide rest for wayfarers.
One day, when passing by, this girl found an aged man in the shelter. He appeared to be undergoing some suffering. She realized that he would not be able to reach the next village where he could get medical help and protection. Because of want of food, his body had become weak, and as she passed by she could see that his condition was not good.
Daily she had been carrying some food for herself, and from the next day onward she gave this food to the sick man. Every day, in the morning on her way to school, she would leave the food, and then in the evening she would collect the empty container. After ten days of ministering to him in this way, he regained some strength.
One day, as she was coming by on her way home, he took the hands of this little girl and asked her, “Dear child, you have been giving me food every day. Please, tell me where this food is coming from. Do your parents know that you are bringing me food every day? Or are you taking it from somewhere without their knowing it? Is this, perhaps, the food that has been provided for your daily lunch, and you are giving it to me instead? Tell me what you are doing. Please answer my question.
She replied, “Honorable sir, I have been brought up to take things only with permission, and I can assure you that my parents know of my bringing food to you. Ours is a very poor family and we have very little money, but still we have been able to manage to provide food for ourselves and those in need. So, I have been bringing food from my family especially for you.
He asked her, “But if you have so little money how are you able to buy this food?” She replied, “Beyond here in the forest, there is a fruit-bearing tree. On my way, I collect fruits from that tree and sell them before going into the school. With the little money I collect, I buy the food. The next morning I prepare it and bring it to you.” The old man was overjoyed at her sacrifice and her intelligence and straightforwardness.
Gradually the man recovered his health and was able to walk to the village where this girl and her family lived. What was the result of all the kind actions directed towards the sick man by this sweet little girl? The man told the family how he had been praying to God, “O Lord, give health and prosperity to the parents of this girl. When I was sick and helpless, I could not be of any use to the world. Now I am much better and can be helpful to others. I pray to you out of a heart filled with gratitude to bless this family.”
Then one evening, the Lord came to that house with a chest full of gold and asked, “Is this the home of the child who has given so much food and water to one in distress?” The Lord continued, “It was I who assumed the form of the sick man who languished in that shelter, until your little girl came and took care of me. Now I am leaving this gift so that the child can grow up and become highly educated. I lived in that shelter for ten days to test this girl. This child’s heart is very sacred and pure. It is full of kindness. Her heart is my dwelling place, my own temple.”
He handed over the chest to the parents telling them to use the money to secure her happiness and prosperity, and then he disappeared. The parents felt they didn’t need so much wealth just for themselves so they used it for the welfare of the whole community in which they lived. They asked everyone to conduct themselves in the belief that present in every being is the full manifestation of God. They showed by their own lives how God could be obtained, by expressing love and compassion and kindness to all beings who were in need.”
This story shows the results of doing for the sake of being helpful. There is no hidden agenda, greed, or wrong doing. She helped because the sick man needed food, that simple. Out of the pureness of her actions, a greater good came forth to bless her and it poured forth to the entire community.
Now looking at this beatitude from the level of meditation or prayer. We are told in 6:5-6, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who like to pray, standing in synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you that they have already received their reward. But as for you, when you pray enter into your inner chamber and lock your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret shall himself reward you openly.”
When we go into prayer or meditation it is to know God, to have no other want but to just know more of God. We are told to go inward, and be in silent communion with this Divine Presence that is within us.
Then in Matt. 7:13, “Enter in through the narrow door, for wide is the door and broad is the road which leads to destruction, and many are those who travel on it.” The mind can wander all over the place; to the depths of hell or the heights of heaven. An untrained mind allows all thoughts to be entertained.
An old saying is “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” The mind chatter stuff entertains when we are not consciously in the present moment, in the here and now. It’s a form of day dreaming, we can be driving along thinking something that happened years ago, in complete dialog within our head. Sometimes stray negative thoughts pop in, seemingly from know where.
It is up to us to narrow the field to only the true and refined pure good thoughts. It is the mind of pure thoughts that shall lead the way to seeing or knowing God.
We are told in Matt. 6:22, “The light of the body is the eye: If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The mind must be pure of all impurities such as doubt, greed, lack, fear, anger, guilt, and worldly aspirations in order to reflect on God. Those kinds of thoughts, are like looking through a glass darkly. Looking through muddy waters, and what do you see – not much, but more mud. It is like wearing dark sunglasses, and running around asking where is the sunlight.
The light is always here, but we just don’t see it through a mind filled with junk thoughts. Junk thoughts are much like junk food, having empty calories without real nourishment or substance - just taking up space.
In truth we are, and always have been wholly divine. We are the light, a body of light, of spirit. We have but temporarily clouded our perceptions with false beliefs, negative thoughts, and feelings that perpetuate a sense of separation from God. Then to know God, to be one with God, is to think like God. Our great example is Jesus the Christ. He saw the good, knew Oneness of God, he taught truth, and his actions were of love and compassion.
Then in Matt. 7:3-5 it reads, “Why do you see the splinter which is in your brother’s eye, and do not feel the beam which is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, let me take out the splinter from your eye, and behold there is a beam in your own eye? Oh hypocrites, first take out the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to get out the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
If we took out the beam of our own eye first, we would see there is nothing to remove from our brother’s eye. We are but mirroring or projecting our own inner consciousness. When we see truly with a pure heart we no longer see imperfection in others. Instead we see God, we see Goodness, we see beauty, we see love. We no longer see a cripple, instead we say “arise and walk.
So often we have heard the saying “be true to your heart.” The heart represents our inner most sacred self. Which in truth is then being true to our God Self nature: which is whole and perfect at all times. This scripture is telling us then, how we view our own self is how we see others. When we have a pure heart of love, then we have become a blessing, sharing our love, truth and light unto the world seeing God everywhere. We are Practicing the Presence of God.
I shall now rewrite this Beatitude from “Blessed are the Pure in Heart: for they shall see God.” To “Joyful I am in the One mind of love: for I now know God within and as everywhere present.”