By Bridie Vail, Staff Writer
This word is spoken every single day.
We answer “I would love to go!” in response to an invitation. We hear, “What is love?” when we are jamming out to the 90’s throwback by Haddaway, and most commonly, we say “I love you” when we are expressing a sentiment to someone.
Songs portray love, movies portray love and we as humans portray love.
We have so many examples of this, but are we witnessing love in its entirety and fullness? Are we expressing love to one another without reserve?
The words above are taken from the Purity Prayer that Pure in Heart chapters pray internationally at each and every meeting. This first stanza of the prayer says everything we need to know about love:
Jesus, help us to love as you do.
Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
Jesus’ death on the cross exercised the truest and most exemplary form of love. He laid down His life for not only His friends, but all of human creation. We are the witnesses to this love at every Mass we attend. Having this witness stirs in us the grace and desire to love as He loves.
How can we love as He loves? It's important to remember that Jesus not only loved us while going through His Passion, but that this call to love started with a “yes." First and foremost, Jesus loved us in His submission to God’s Will. He had to die to Himself before ever dying on that Cross. What radical love!
At a General Audience in 2012, then Pope Benedict XVI explained:
“In Jesus’ prayer to the Father on that terrible and marvelous night in Gethsemane…his human will, shaken by fear and anguish, was taken up by his divine will in such a way that God’s Will was done on earth. And this is also important in our own prayers: we must learn to entrust ourselves more to divine Providence, to ask God for the strength to come out of ourselves to renew our 'yes' to him, to say to him 'thy will be done,' so as to conform our will to his.”
Living a pure life in body, mind and heart is the radical love of this day and age. Committing ourselves to willing the good of another person, maybe even at the expense of our desires, is answering “yes” to God.
“Our Lord wants us to live fully integrated lives of purity. This includes being pure in mind, body and intention. Purity is a virtue obtained through personal effort. It is also a gift of the Holy Spirit to which we must open ourselves. We cannot achieve it on our own” -Debbie Staresinic (TOB Rosary Mediations)
The Pure in Heart Purity Prayer teaches us that before we can do anything we need to learn to love. We must learn to love in the pure, selfless and sacrificial way of Jesus. Pope St. John Paul II at the 16th World Youth Day said, “When the Cross is embraced it becomes a sign of love and of total self-giving. To carry it behind Christ means to be united with him in offering the greatest proof of love.”
Pure in Heart America, let us unify our thoughts, words and deeds to strive together to take up our crosses and love as Jesus loves. Let us plead with Him to make us pure of body, pure of mind and pure of heart, that we might see God and enjoy His plan for us.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” -Matthew 5:8