Advent 2011: Live Anew

Written by Br.  Gabriel Torretta, OP

The world tears us in a thousand different directions, and gives us a million different opinions about every subject, most of which contradict. Marketing, newspapers, blogs, and the like churn out a constant stream of facts and emotions that can be hard to make sense of, and even harder to sort by importance: Is Caribou Coffee better than Starbucks? Is global warming real? Is Facebook’s new look better than the old one? Is faith really opposed to reason? Does my mom want a Kindle or a Nook for Christmas? Should I marry my girlfriend? How can we answer any of these questions?

There is a solution to all this chaos in a surprising place: the sixth beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The pure of heart are those whose lives are totally integrated, who live with one goal in mind: God. The pure of heart see God in every person and in every deed, no matter how small; St. Therese of Lisieux spoke about how she wanted to praise God when she picked up a pin.

Advent is especially a time to pray for purity of heart, because in this season we prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Word of God, in whom God says everything there is to say about himself. Jesus is the Truth—not part of the truth, not one truth among many, but the Truth. The welter of the world’s questions finds its answer in the Truth, in Jesus Christ.

To the pure, the infinite good and bad questions of the world are only interesting insofar as they show us the face of God, in whatever surprising or familiar way. Sometimes the truth about a question is that it doesn’t matter much, even when it feels like it does; at other times, the issue might matter a lot, even when it feels trivial. Jesus’ invitation to purity of heart is the invitation to see the world around us with God’s eyes, and to trust him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Today’s meditation: Give God all your desires. Ask him to purify your mind, so that you might desire everything for his sake.