'Guard your eyes that they may not look upon anything contrary to purity; your ears, that they may not listen to evil conversation; your mind, by banishing from it all suggestive thoughts; your heart, by stifling impure desires at their very birth.'
St. John Baptist de la Salle"
I don't know about you, but in this day and age of technology, this is an almost impossible task. I guess you would have to be a hermit or in a cloistered situation. Most people have TV of some sort whether local, cable, or satellite. And, of course, where would we be without the internet superhighway!? MP3 players, cell phones...the list goes on.
Noise, noise, noise everywhere. It is almost inescapable. Maybe that is why the Lord tells us to go into our 'closet' and pray! Even then our minds are racing with all the things we have to do, the appointments we must keep, the concerns we have for our loved ones. It is never-ending!
In Psalm 46:10 the Lord bids us; BE STILL and know that I am God. Achieving 'stillness' in our heart and mind takes work. We have to PLAN it into our day. The assaults on our senses have to be silenced and that takes effort on our part. But it is definitely worth it.
On my 'vision board' I have posted FIT CHOICES. This is a list of goals that I try to achieve daily. Now mind you I am not always successful but here is the list:
1. BE STILL
2. Move on purpose -- meaning, don't just sit around on your duff. Get some exercise of some sort. Most days I fall woefully short on this one. hmmm perhaps this would be the day to make this a focus item.
3. Eat 'consciously' - I know that sounds weird, but here's the thing. Most of us are gluttons and we are not aware of it. By glutton I mean, simply overeaters. We don't really pay attention to the food we put in our mouths at all opportunities and occasions. The family dinner table is almost obsolete as we opt for sitting in front of the TV or the computer. That leads to not being aware of what and how much we eat. And so we overeat. So, I have put that on my list of daily goals to remind myself: turn off the computer (we don't have tv), and sit at the table to eat.
4. HAVE FUN! Do something you enjoy doing every day. Laugh. Tickle someone. Read a book. Just do something that makes life enjoyable and not so serious.
And so I know you are wondering...where is she going with this? And what does any of this have to do with purity of heart?
My first goal for each day is to BE STILL. Spend some time with Jesus. My favorite part of the day and the part of the day that ALWAYS gets done. It is the one spiritual goal I have on a daily basis. The rest are temporal and affect the quality of my physical life, but spending time with Jesus is the most important part of my life.
I step all over people's toes, and wound their tender sensibilities most of the time. I don't mean to. It is definitely not intentional. I do this because of the NOISE of the world and it's temptations. I am human and I fall prey to "disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, pride in possession"** just like everyone else.
And so, in the quiet space of my life when I am alone with Jesus, I find strength to be a little more aware of the world and its pleasures. He gives me strength to overcome these earthly sins so that my heart is made more and more pure in HIS eyes. And after all He is who I am living for.
**I John 2:16 New Jerusalem Bible