Pope Francis focuses the catechesis of his General Audience on the sixth Beatitude, which promises that those with a pure heart will see God.
The sixth Beatitude promises that those with a pure heart will see God. Pope Francis began his catechesis explaining that anyone who seeks the face of God shows the desire for a “personal relationship” with Him.
Like the disciples at Emmaus, “blindness” comes from a foolish and slow heart, said the Pope. In this case, “one sees things clouded,” he added.
The Lord opens the disciples’ eyes at the end of their journey, which culminates in the breaking of the bread.
“Here lies the wisdom of this Beatitude,” said the Pope. “To be able to contemplate it, it is necessary to look deep within our hearts and make space for God.”
“To see God it is not necessary to change our glasses or the place from which we are looking. Our heart needs to be liberated from its own deceit. When we realise that our worst enemy is often hidden within our own hearts, this is a decisive maturation process. That is the most noble battle against the interior deceptions generated by our sins,” the Pope said.
To understand what “purity of heart” is, we must recall that in the Bible, “the heart does not consist solely in sentiments.” It is the “most intimate” part of the human being: “the interior space where a person is him or herself,” said the Pope.
The ‘pure of heart’ are not born that way. They have “lived an interior simplification, learning to renounce evil in itself.” The Bible calls this process “circumcision of the heart,” said the Pope. It is an inner purification that implies recognising the part of the heart which is under the influence of evil. This helps us to be led by the Holy Spirit, “through this journey of the heart to ‘see God.’”
In this beatific vision there is a future dimension: “the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven,” said the Pope. But there is also another, he continued, “To see God means discerning the designs of Providence in what happens, recognising His presence in the Sacraments, in our brothers and sisters, above all the poor and suffering, and to recognise God where He manifests Himself.”
A lifelong path of liberation begins in the furrow of the Beatitudes. This path is the Holy Spirit’s work, God’s work, when we give Him space.
“We are not afraid,” concluded the Pope. “Let us open the doors of our hearts to the Holy Spirit so that He may purify us and lead us on this journey towards joy and peace.”
Pope: Jesus is a faithful friend, He accompanies and never disappoints
In his greetings at the end of his General Audience on Wednesday morning, Pope Francis recalled that Jesus is a faithful friend. He said Jesus accompanies us and never disappoints us. In His cross we find “support and comfort in the midst of life’s tribulations,” the Pope said. Therefore, he invited us to entrust ourselves to the intercession of Saint John Paul II, on the eve of the 15th anniversary of his death.
Jesus is the faithful friend “who fills our lives with happiness, even in difficult times,” who “accompanies us and never disappoints.” In Him and with Him we are not alone. In His cross our hearts find “support and comfort in the midst of life’s tribulations.” It was with these words of encouragement that Pope Francis greeted the faithful of different language groups, following his General Audience through various media platforms.
At the beginning of his greeting to the Polish-speaking faithful, the Pope reminded them that today, people are living more and more in fear, “threatened to the very core of their existence.” “I invite you to turn your thoughts to Christ,” the Pope said. “Know that you are not alone. He accompanies you and never disappoints you.” He then invited them at this difficult time to entrust themselves to the “Divine Mercy and the intercession of Saint John Paul II, on the eve of the 15th anniversary of his death,” which falls on April 2.
Looking ahead to Holy Week, Pope Francis invited the Portuguese-speaking faithful to look to the cross on which Jesus died and “endured every tragedy of humanity.” He said that we cannot forget “the tragedies of our days, because the Lord’s Passion continues through the suffering of mankind.” The Pope then said he hoped that through the cross of Christ, their “hearts would find support and comfort in the midst of life’s tribulations; embracing the cross as He did.”
Addressing the German speakers, Pope Francis stressed that in this period of trial we contemplate “the face of the Lord” who died for us. There, he said, we can recognise in His cross, through which He conquered all evil, “the source of true hope and joy.”
Then, in his mother-tongue, the Pope greeted the Spanish-speaking faithful, asking them to discover the providence of the Lord “in the events of daily life.” He invited them, specifically, to remember, in these moments of trial and darkness, “all our brothers and sisters who suffer, and those who help and accompany them with love and generosity.”
Pope Francis’ final greeting went to the Italian-speakers, and in particular, to the groups, who had planned on being “present today.” These, he said, included a group of young people from the Diocese of Milan.
“Dear young people,” said the Pope, addressing them directly, “even though your pilgrimage to Rome is only virtual, I almost feel as though I can perceive your joyful and noisy presence, made tangible also by the many written messages you have sent me.” “You have sent so many,” said the Pope, “and they are beautiful!” He then urged them to “always live faith with enthusiasm and not to lose hope in Jesus, the faithful friend who fills our lives with happiness, even in difficult moments.”
Finally, the Pope urged that these last days of Lent, may foster “an adequate preparation for the celebration of Easter, leading everyone to an even more heartfelt closeness to Christ.”
Vatican News and Francesca Merlo – Pope at Audience: a pure heart sees God
Vatican News and Alessandro di Bussolo – Pope: Jesus is a faithful friend, He accompanies and never disappoints