Till Christ Be Formed in Every Heart



Posts in Theology
Day Five: Joy of Love

When Jesus said, “pure of heart” he was drawing attention away from the obsession with external purification rituals of the Pharisees. He focuses on the heart, but their external approach kept their hearts from being truly pure. Jesus even called them “white-washed tombs” that are pretty on the outside, but inside, they are full of dead men’s bones!

This was the difference b/t Christ’s attitude to sinners and that of the Pharisees. Jesus associated with sinners in order to radiate upon them and their faults the merciful purity of the love of God, and so to heal them, while the Pharisees feared contamination. (Servais Pinckaers, O.P., Sources of Christian Ethics)

Purity means freedom from compromise, especially with sin. The only way you can do that is by building of the habit of consistently choosing God above all other things, even if it comes at a great personal cost.

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Day Four: Joy of Compassion

Introduction to the Joy of Compassion

The next two Beatitudes are built upon the previous three. In humility, repentance, and meekness, the Christian is being cultivated to serve and love his neighbor. The Commandments might have outlined in a negative way the bear minimum of what justice demands, but the radical love of Jesus Christ pushes us further still.

The love of Jesus Christ moves us to compassion as it moved Him to the compassion of the cross and resurrection. Compassion is another interesting word that comes to us from the Latin. Cum means with, and passio, means to suffer. To experience compassion for someone else is not to feel sorry for their pain, but to suffer with them.

These two Beatitudes- hunger and thirst for justice, and being merciful- are not contradictory. Justice and mercy are not at odds with each other, but in the Person and example of Jesus Christ, they form the Joy of Compassion.

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Day Three: Joy of Humility

Introduction to the Beatitudes

The rest of this week is going to be focusing on the face of Christ revealed in the Eight Beatitudes, taking a few at a time in order to really understand them.

Christian morality is about following Jesus Christ. Too often, however, when we hear about “Christian” morality, all we hear is the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament. The Commandments tell us what to do/not do. The Beatitudes tell us who we should be, what type of disciple Christ wants of us. We ought to start morality with the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount and not just on the Commandments. They come second, because Identity and Destiny come first, which is what the Beatitudes unfold for us.

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Day Two: Joy of Eternity

Introduction to Our Joyful Eternity

No one normal ever really likes talking about Hell. It’s unpleasant, sad, negative and is hard to deal with. But what’s really odd is that no one is really talking about Heaven either! Imagine a whole bunch of people on a bus talking to each other about their journey, but no one mentions the destination. They go on and on about the trip, about how hard it is, funny things that happened along the way, why they are on the trip to begin with, without ever mentioning the point of getting on the bus in the first place, the destination. Yet, that is what happens when we don’t think about, speak about, and desire Heaven.

However, when we stop and think about Heaven, about the promises and rewards that Jesus Christ pledges to those who love him and have faith in him, then how could our hearts not be overwhelmed with joy? We do not deserve this Heaven. It is freely given by the God Who is Love.

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