A Clean Heart

A Clean Heart

St. Francis of Assisi said, “The truly clean of heart are those who look down upon earthly things, seek those of heaven, and, with a clean heart and spirit, never cease adoring and seeing the Lord God living and true.” [Early Documents, Volume I, page 134]

My heart is not clean. Lord have mercy.

My heart is not clean. It is sullied by a thousand things, none dirty unto themselves. It is sullied by my unhealthy desire for a thousand things that are merely distractions from the true longings of my soul. I see and seek the things but not the Spring that animates everything. I clutch what is not mine, what belongs to everyone. I long for earthly things more than heavenly things. The time I spend adoring God are weak, skimpy, fleeting episodes. Praising God is a low priority, usually left to the hands of fickle whim. And so it is no wonder I do not often see the wonder of the living and true God. My heart is busy, occupied with a thousand things.

My heart is not clean. Lord have mercy.

But a heart that is not clean is not cause for despair. For its very uncleanliness prompts a tidal wave of grace. Where sin abounds, grace is even more bountiful. Access to that overflowing grace requires an honest effort to look down upon earthly things and seek those of heaven.

The treasure we seek is not here but within our hearts.

Our treasure is God, and God alone.

from Thoughts of a Blind Beggar
Orbis Books, 2007

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