Admonition16: Of Cleanliness of Heart.1
“Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) They are clean of heart who despise earthly things and always seek those of heaven, and who never cease to adore and contemplate the Lord God Living and True, with a pure heart and mind.
In the ancient world especially the Greek and Hebrew world the heart was the seat of wisdom and therefore the place where thought took place.
“”Heart” (Hebrew lebab/leb [b’bel], Gk. kardia [kardiva]) occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture. It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing…….Ancient people, however, understood the heart’s physical function differently than moderns. From their viewpoint the heart was the central organ that moved the rest of the body. Ancients ate to strengthen the heart and so revive the body. Abraham offers his weary guests food so that they might “sustain their hearts” and then go on their way ( Gen 18:5 ). Since moderns understand the anatomy differently than the ancients, the English versions gloss the Hebrew to accommodate it to a more scientific viewpoint. “2.
“They are clean of heart who despise earthly things and always seek those of heaven,”
The balance is in the degree of despite we pay our work- a -day- life and in the measure of our time spent in Practicing the Presence of Christ. The Apostle Paul exhorts us to “pray unceasingly”( I Thess. 5:17).
And prayer is our via media between the world and the heart that brings us to the purity of mind of which Francis speaks. Why switch to mind- because the Wisdom of the Heart when cleansed by right living and fed on the Word of God with Prayer and contemplation of heavenly things will purify our minds.
When my mind is confused and fractured it does indeed appear that sense comes from another place, that the calmer voice comes perhaps from the Heartland within the voice that knows against the ones that won’t listen.
- 1.Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, newly translated into English with an Introduction and Notes by Father Paschal Robinson (Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press, 1906). 24/9/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#lf0535_label_144
- 2.Heart – Definition and Meaning, Bible Dictionary. 2015. Heart – Definition and Meaning, Bible Dictionary. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/heart/. [Accessed 23 September 2015].