Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
As I meditated upon this verse, I decided to google it. I came across this verse as reflected in the Message Bible.
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“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
If I get my inside world right, then I will see God in the outside world!
What is my mind? What is my heart?
I turned to the dictionary for both. The heart is regarded as the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion, capacity for sympathy or generosity, compassion.
The mind is the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers.
Let’s put this together. If I think in terms of love and compassion and act in terms of love and compassion, I will see God in the outside world.
If you think about it, this is what Jesus was all about. The actions of Jesus were filled with love and compassion.
So, if I think in terms of love and compassion, I will see God in my outside world. I will see God because like Jesus, my actions will also be filled with love and compassion. My inside world will be in balance with the outside world.
If I cannot feel love in me, it will be more difficult to see love outside of me. When I no longer see love outside of me, it is time to do an internal check. What are my innermost thoughts? Are they anger, greed, jealousy, rage, frustration, fear?
If so, it is time to focus my mind on love and compassion so they can sink into my heart and become available for action in my outer world.
A contemplative practice such as centering prayer can aid in this process. A contemplative practice slows you down so you can conduct this very important internal check.
Contemplative practices will help you operate from your heart. This is where love and compassion live. This is where God lives.
What do you think?
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. It also works well in group studies.
Listen to Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. Also works well in group studies.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright.
Discover the Context, Content & Production of the New Testament in The Bible- An Introduction to the New Testament by Scott Metz.
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