Purity of Heart: a Spiritual Perspective

We so often hear the phrase, ‘Purity of Heart’ but what does this actually mean. More importantly, what does it mean in a spiritual context. Many people rightly believe the definition includes such characteristics as keeping our thoughts pure or keeping our bodies chaste, and this is certainly true, but neither of these elements go far enough. According to the Danish philosopher, Soren Kiergegaard, in a book by this very title, “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing.” Scripture would seem to support Kierkegaard’s argument when it tells us to ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God.’ In other words, the first and most important thing in our life must be the pursuit of God and His Kingdom, and this is exactly what Kierkegaard argues for in his book. The entire text is basically an assault on what Kierkegaard calls ‘Double-Mindedness’ or the propensity of individuals to attempt to balance their pursuit of the Good, (which Christ Himself tells us is God) with their individual desires for the things of this world. According to Kierkegaard there can be no such balance. Instead, he argues, everything else must be subordinated to our pursuit of the only thing that can bring us ultimate fulfillment. Mark and Frances draw extensively from the writings of Kierkegaard for this important conversation, but then they go on to incorporate and validate his argument with quotes from some of the great Saints of Carmel. If you are looking for the reasons of so many of the apparent discontinuity in your life, and the remedy for these disconnects, then this is the program to listen to.

Listen to or download the podcast.

RESOURCES:

Magazine:
“Magnificat,” August 2016; Yonkers, NY.

Book:
“Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing” by Soren Kierkegaard; Harper & Brothers.

“The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross: ‘Ascent to Mt. Carmel’” by John of the Cross; Trans. by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD; ICS Publications.

“The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity, Vol. 1: Major Spiritual Writings; ‘Heaven in Faith,’ by Elizabeth of the Trinity; Trans. by Aletheia Kane, OCD; ICS Publications.

Article:
“Commentary On Kierkegaard” by D. Anthony Storm found at sorenkierkegaard.org

Scripture:
Mt 5:8, Mt. 19:17, Mt. 6:33, Rom. 3:23, Phil. 4:6-8