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home : features : features April 30, 2016

2/21/2014 6:01:00 AM
Faith Column: Purity, chastity essential to having God within you
The Rev. Matthew Krempel
Faith Columnist

The impure then cannot love God; and those who are without love of God, cannot really be pure." Thus preached Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman in 1849.

"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

This beatitude is the only one among the eight we find in chapter 5 of the Gospel of Jesus according to St. Matthew, which promises the Beatific Vision of God.

The pure of heart are like little children. Little children focus on learning about life. They entertain themselves with thousands of creative images.

Unlike the adult man or woman, they think pure thoughts. They are virgins in conscience, soul and body.

Jesus is very clear in defending the purity and virginity of little children.

"And calling to Him a child, Jesus put him in the midst of them, and said: 'Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:2-4)

In this same chapter 18, Jesus lances His doctrine with piercing words: "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin. For is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom temptations come!"

In chapter 7, verse 6 of the Gospel of Jesus according to St. Matthew, Jesus admonishes: "Do not give to dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you."

What is holy is our virginity. The pearls of a holy, virginal life are chastity and a clean conscience with total love of God.

How many youth so unfortunately hasten to lose their virginity, as though virginity were a vice or virus? Yet, the impure of heart cannot see God. They have no love. (I paraphrase Blessed Cardinal Newman.)

In chapter 7 of the book of Revelation, St. John describes the 12,000 servants of God from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. There are 144,000 servants. These 144,000 come from the Jewish nation and not from the Gentiles, non-Jewish people.

We non-Jewish people, we Gentiles, have a chance to be saved and sealed, however, with the holy and the pure presence of God as well.

Even more, we are invited to have a more intimate relationship with God in heaven. For in chapter 14 of the same Book of Revelation, St. John describes the vision of the Lamb of God, and with Him 144,000 "who had His Name and His Father's Name written on their foreheads."

And "they sing a new song before the throne. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. And in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless." (Revelation 14: 1-5)

The pure of heart, the truly chaste and wise virgins (male or female) are few but chosen. Their pure virginity reflects the virgin Lamb of God, most holy, because He is most chaste.

He Who is Truth loves them more than all the saints in heaven. In their mouths is only the true Word of God, which keeps them spotless.

To be pure of heart is to be holy as God is holy. To be pure of heart is to be love itself, for "God is love, and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him." (1 John 4:16)

God is pure of heart. Those who abide in purity of heart, abide in God and God in him.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord let His Face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord look upon you kindly, and grant you His peace.

(Numbers 6:24-26)

The Rev. Matthew Krempel is with Kingman's Saint Mary Roman Catholic Church.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014
Article comment by: Eye of Needle

I have only met two people in all my years who I would bet were "pure of heart" . They were neither mentally challenged nor teachers, although I can easily understand that good teachers would most likely fit this description. When I have been around these two people I mentioned, I felt love emanating from them, much like Jesus must have shown towards the people of His time. One had children neither were pastors or priests or atheists. Never did I hear either of them speak in anger or try to judge anyone else. I think they were given special gifts that most of us were not given. I wonder if those two are among the 144,000?

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Article comment by: not a virgin but a Catholic

Oh dear Father, are only Virgins welcomed into the kingdom of God? How sad to reduce such a beautiful beatitude to "sex" by thought or deed. Following the Greek usage of this word "pure" and also "see" one can open up a whole other understanding of the "pure of heart" beyond celibates. Truly the pure of heart are those who carry no predjudice or malice. Those whose relationship with God can recognize goodness even in the worse of sinners. Because of the purity of their heart they RECOGNIZE God in creation, people and activities that you and I so easily miss. I have known such people. Rarely amoung celibates who horde self righteousness. No, I've seen them in the mentally challenged and the magnificent teachers who see potential where others see failure. Oh yes, these are are pure of heart who see God.

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

I sent in an initial reply after dinner last night, but now that it's digested we can confront this Catholic argument. Well, my friend, you may have noticed that God made us all different, so what ever gave you (or Cardinal Newman, or any of the scandal-ridden Popes of history)the idea that the only form of religious expression pleasing to God is Roman Catholicism? Even leaving common sense aside - no sin here at the Daily Miner - you do have the Bible's teachings, which should be a point of reference for those claiming to be its adherents. When those bishops from North Africa, the Near East, and Mediterranean anointed the Bishop of Rome as head of the church a few dozen years after collaborating at Nicaea on what constituted canonical scripture, they somehow left out and misinterpreted a few things. Among these was God's grace, and a certain amnesia with regards to Jesus' prediction of a bloated and corrupted church (parable of the mustard seed). I have probably outraged your Christian sensibilities, and postponed my lunch hour today, so please feel free to speak up - just no burning at the stake in the 21st century, not even for the One True Church, OK?

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

@Catholic of the more distressing biblical misinterpretations of recent years - held by leading Evangelicals - is that Ezekiel chapter 38's prophecy applies to today. It doesn't take a Divinity degree to see that present-day Israel is not ruled by Messiah, and that there is no near-term prospect of a massive invasion of that country by armies on horseback. I realise this statement does not address very well your Catholic-centric concerns. But this is the Kingman Daily Miner, and a full-fledged debate on the contrasting views of Protestantism and Catholicism won't fit within their word limit, and would probably ruin the dinner I just ate.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Article comment by: Catholic Man

Hey pl .....
It must be great being you. How do the rest of us check with you as to what is right, and what "we got wrong'?

I think I will stick with giants such as John Cardinal Henry Newman, and his colleagues. They must know what they are doing....... they compiled the Bible.

Self interpretations like yours and Martin Luther's have the dubious legacy of 30,000 plus churches...... I mean ecclesial communities.

There is only 1 Church.

Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

Proverbs 22, verse 15 ..... "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him". A number of years ago, I devoted a little time to figuring out why clergy kept getting things wrong, and I concluded that they spend most of their time with each other.

Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014
Article comment by: Population Control

You might try speaking to people in words they can better understand and give reasonable hope they can attain this perfection to be pleasing to God. BTW, the redeemed 144,000 apparently came from non-virgins, so they must also have their place in God's plan.

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