Ask Only for a Pure Heart

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 85

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

–Psalm 51:10 (ESV)

Let others, Lord, ask for all kinds of gifts; let them multiply their words and prayers. As for me, my God, I ask you only for one gift, and I have only this prayer to make: Give me a pure heart!

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

The greatest hindrance on the path of abandonment is your own heart, and the worst thing about this is that you rarely perceive the danger. An impure heart distorts your vision. You cannot see the stumbling block until it is removed, and the way before you becomes clear. Then the logic of abandonment becomes obvious. Such clarity of vision increases with the gift of heart purity. And if you knew that it is indeed a gift, something God gives to those who ask, and if you knew what it could do for you, you would never stop asking for it. You would ask in faith that you do indeed need it, even if, at times, you do not sense the need.

The heart, in the language of the Bible, is the inner person. It is what King David referred to when he said, in Psalm 51:6, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” The heart is the center of perception; it determines how you interpret what is happening to you, and how you decide what to do about it. In your heart there continues a background conversation, a perpetual reasoning. There is a set of motivations that tell you how much people and things are worth to you. All of this gets distorted by self-seeking.

The gift of heart purity silences that interior background noise, and reveals your own motives to you. Blessed are you when you realize your need for a pure heart, and even more blessed are you when you realize how willing God is to give this gift.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.