The Bishop of San Sebastián (Spain), Mons. José Ignacio Munilla, explained what the Catholic Church says about the importance of maintaining purity of heart and how it is possible to achieve it.
Through his YouTube channel En ti Confio, Mons. Munilla reflects on and explains in a simple way topics contained in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On this occasion, the Prelate commented on number 529 of the Compendium of the Catechism, which is entitled: How do you reach purity of heart?
“The baptized person, with the grace of God and fighting against inordinate desires, attains purity of heart through the virtue and gift of chastity, purity of intention, purity of external and internal gaze, discipline of feelings and of the imagination, and with prayer”, points out the Catechism.
Referring to the text of the Catechism, Bishop Munilla recalled that “every baptized person is called to the fullness of holiness”, and explained that the sacrament of “Baptism is what gives us the seed so that it can develop into a whole tree of holiness”. ”.
In this sense, he explained that for a person to achieve purity of heart, they need to integrate mysticism into their life, which is the “gift” or gift of God, and asceticism, which is the “moral battle” or the work and effort human daily morality to achieve this goal. How? Bishop Munilla assured that it can be achieved through the following four practices:
1. Live the virtue of chastity
Bishop Munilla said that first of all one must live “the virtue of chastity”, which consists of “loving with a straight heart, with an undivided heart, loving without confusing ‘loving’ with ‘using'”.
The Prelate pointed out that “many people have not known how to distinguish between the two things: to love or to use”, especially the youngest. “How many adolescents open their experience to sexual life with a type of throwaway relationship, and then they are aware that they are used, and it is a very sad, very hard feeling,” he said.
He pointed out that sometimes they tend to think like this: “Well, they used me, now I’m going to use others too”; and then “those first experiences in sexual life often cause them to confuse loving with using”.
Instead, one experiences great joy when he loves with a pure heart, undivided, gratuitously, deeply lost. By living chastity “one teaches to fight against impurity, because it is worth loving and being loved like that. That model of love is worth it,” he said.
That is why to achieve purity of heart, one must live chastity, because “the best way to avoid evil is to learn to enjoy good.” So, “when one enjoys loving righteously, this gives him a very great resource to be able to reject the temptations he may have, because he knows the joy and joy that comes from loving in chastity,” he added.
two. Preserve purity of intention
The Prelate pointed out that “in addition to feeding ourselves with those models of pure love”, we must “take seriously the inner battle of righteousness for purity of intention”.
The Prelate explained that people should strive to purify their intentions in their relationship with others, because “second or third intentions easily get into us.” That is to say, although at the beginning “I have a good wish”, then “other wishes that are not clean” can be mixed.
To explain it, Bishop Munilla quoted the biblical text of Romans 12:2, which states the following: “Do not accommodate yourself to this world, on the contrary, transform yourselves internally with a new mentality, to discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This means that “don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t settle for what isn’t purity in love, don’t take as a point of reference what the majority of others do. That your criterion of morality is not the lowest common denominator of what is lived in your environment, ”he explained.
On the contrary, it encouraged to question what is authentic and true? And then, set as a goal to purify the heart “of everything that is not a love in authenticity” in all circumstances. “We have to be examining ourselves, to see when we have deviated and we have to purify the rectitude of intention with which we proceed,” she pointed out.
For example, if you start “a conversation with good intentions”, but you realize that you are diverting and leading this person to use or take advantage of him, or if you suddenly start “asking him things out of curiosity or unhealthy curiosity”, then stop and “purify your rectitude of intention,” he said.
3. Educates the exterior and interior gaze
Bishop Munilla pointed out that in order to achieve purity of heart “it is necessary to educate the purity of the look. Yes, the look has to be educated, both the external look [como la interior]”.
Regarding the external gaze, he explained that “the way of looking at people is totally different if someone is looking at their face and seeing their personality in it, than if they are almost despising their face and are looking at certain parts of the body in which they feel an incitement”.
On the inner gaze, the Prelate recalled that we must reject “fostering imaginations, a whole series of daydreams that obviously do not do good.” So, “educating the look” often implies saying “no” to the way we look and think.
Bishop Munilla assured that it is also important to purify “what we see on television, on the internet” and question “what helps me to be purer?, what prevents me from being purer?”.
In conclusion, “it is about taking care of your gaze, because it is the window of the heart. We say that the heart is like the biblical image of the interiority of man, but the heart has a window and that window is the senses and, to a large extent, sight”.
Four. Pray and ask for the grace to live in purity
Finally, Msgr. Munilla pointed out that “prayer is very important on this path of purification”, because by praying “one learns to rest in God, to rest one’s sensitivity, to know that only in God can one find peace”.
He recalled that it is important that our affectivity or affections rest in the Lord, for this reason, he encouraged that during personal prayer God be asked “like a beggar” for the gift of purity. How? Tell God: “Lord, be you my purity, be you my joy,” he said.
The Prelate said that Saint Augustine of Hippo talks about that great battle for purity in chapter 6 of his famous book Confessions, which says the following:
“I believed that continence depended on my own forces, which I did not feel in myself. Being so foolish that he did not understand what was written: that no one can be continent if You do not give him grace. And it is certain that You would give it to me if with an interior groan I called to your ears and with solid faith I cast my care on you”, wrote the saint.
“Saint Augustine realizes that continence is a gift of grace and that it has to be requested, desired, prayed for, like a beggar who asks God: ‘Lord, give me the grace to integrate into my divided interior world and to learn to live in purity’”, concluded the Prelate.