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Pure of Heart

  • is the interior freedom that establishes the quality of one’s service
  • was the primary objective of the asceticism of the desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth century

The Pure of Heart is a Beatitude which may also be called the single-hearted, and the “single eye” of the Gospel.

  • FG: 97, 99
  • MC: 50, 103-104
  • BP: 89 

The quality of one’s service does not come from the activity itself, but from the purity of one’s intention. The single eye of the Gospel is the eye of love, which is the desire to please God in all our actions, whatever these may be.

Related Concepts




The Beatitude of the pure of heart corresponds to the Gift of Understanding. The quality of our service of God and neighbor does not come from the activity itself; it comes from the purity of our intention, which is, as St. Therese of Lisieux put it, “to live for God alone and to do nothing for self or for creatures.”

Purity of heart was the primary objective of the practices of the desert Fathers and Mothers. They called contemplation “pure prayer,” meaning prayer that comes from the pure intention of loving God above all things and allowing Him to love us.

We frequently interpret trials as punishments from God. This is a misunderstanding. Nothing in this world is God’s punishment. Trials are opportunities for healing hindrances that inhibit our ability to enter into the fullness of divine life.

Matthew 5: “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.”


 Reflection: Listening

To be pure of heart is to strive to please God in everything.

Reflection: Reflecting

What is a pure intention? How might you recognize when the quality of your intention is being compromised?

Reflection: Responding

Seek to please God in all your actions. Do not mix your service with reliance on self-centered intentions.