The Lord has placed a huge desire on my heart to see His face. I long with my whole heart to reach Heaven and the beatific vision. I think this desire is one of the reasons I love adoration of the Blessed Sacrament so much. It’s like looking into the eyes of the Lord. The thing I’m starting to realize is that to accomplish this, to reach this goal, I have to purify myself. I am so unworthy. I need to be pure of heart in order to see the face of my savior and stand in His presence.
“Who may go up the mountain of the Lord? Who can stand in His holy place? The clean of hand and pure of heart.” -Psalm 24:3-4
This is a huge challenge. What does it even mean to be pure of heart? I know that to be pure means to be unblemished. To me that means the Lord is saying that I have to be perfect before I can see Him. And that’s true, that’s kind of the whole point of purgatory – to purify us of our sins before we reach Heaven. But this challenges me a little bit because I want to see the Lord now. I want to be in His presence, feel Him here and now, be in relationship with Him in the present. That’s not a weird request. But if I want that does that mean I have to be completely perfect now? I know that’s not going to happen. I am a sinner. I fail every day to do the Lord’s will in different ways.
So what does it really mean to be pure of heart? Does it actually mean we have to be perfect to see the Lord?
“Pure in heart’ refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God’s holiness.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church 2518
“Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God.” -CCC 2519
If it’s true that I must be pure of heart to see the face of God then I want to get on that immediately. I want to be growing in purity every single day. In that growth I’ll be moving closer and closer to the Lord. I’m still not really sure though how to develop that purity of heart. I know I need to purge myself of sins. Which naturally means visiting the sacrament of Reconciliation often. But it also means praying regularly and seeking to follow the Lord’s will not just in the long term, but in the day to day. The Catechism has an answer:
“Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity, purity of intention and of vision.” -CCC 2532
Growing in purity demands constant vigilance. It means always being aware of my intentions and working every day to follow the Lord. If I desire one day to see the Lord face to face I must commit to this , no matter how difficult it may seem, because the Lord is worth all of the sacrifices and determination I can muster. And the Lord wouldn’t have placed such a deep desire on my heart if it was impossible. So I just have to trust that He will get me there.