Notebook

Purity of Heart

Great purity can exist in the midst of ugliness. Darkness can help us perceive the brilliance of light, be it small and placed at a distance. It impresses me that the Major Archbishop of Kyiv, Mgr Sviatoslav Shevchuk, should choose to reflect on purity of heart today, even as we may be tempted to avert our gaze from atrocities committed in Ukraine. His words, which I’ve compressed very slightly, are an inspiration:

‘To be pure in heart means to see God present in my heart; to build a pure relationship with him, not a selfish one, not using God as a means to achieve my own goals or satisfy my own lusts and passions. To see God in your heart means to share in his resurrection. The Lord God gives man this gift of resurrection in the sacrament of baptism. The fullness of God’s presence must be manifest in our relationship with God and neighbour. May the Lord God show his face in Ukraine. May he bless Ukraine through pure-hearted people who, even in the circumstances of a brutal war, know how to maintain their purity. People who look into the face of God, then see his image in every person, then try to serve God present in a specific other. Such people are already blessed. Such people rejoice in the purity of their hearts, and they see God.’