Blessed are the pure in
heart, for they shall see God. Purity of heart leads to perfection.
Two things are contained in the
heart: the desire for goodness which is natural to it and the desire
for evil which is unnatural. This latter gives rise to such passions
as murmurings, envy, detraction, etc. The former promotes knowledge
of God and rids the soul of all these passions.
If the Christian soul repents with
tears and sighs, devoting himself humbly to a life of prayer,
fasting and good works, God, in His goodness, will come to his aid
and free him from all sinful inclinations.
Many who have lived celibate
monastic lives have failed to attain purity of heart because,
instead of following the will of God, they have followed their own
wayward desires. Open to the attacks of the evil one, their hearts
are filled with pride, vanity, jealousy, criticism, raging anger,
strife, and other passions.
These are likened to the foolish
virgins who have spent their time foolishly. They have not
controlled their tongues nor their eyes nor their bodies; they have
not cleansed their hearts of lust and other deplorable defilements.
These are deserving of the bridegroom's words; "I know
We must beware of entering through
the wide gate and taking the easy road that leads to perdition, for
many go that way. Instead we must enter by the narrow gate and take
the path of sorrow and afflictions that leads to life. Few people
enter this gate.
If you should set out on this
narrow gate, do not delay or waste time lest you find no one to sell
oil. . .and all because of your laziness.
St. Anthony the Hermit