Oftentimes it is life’s greatest blessings that we take for granted. Rarely do we think about our heart’s ability to beat, our brainwaves directing every thought and action or our lungs filling with air. We surely would notice immediately should any of these functions be taken away! One of these faculties that many live without is the ability to see. It is hard to fathom never having seen a sunset, a child’s face or a breathtaking cathedral. However, not only is this gift of sight often overlooked, it can even be used for evil. This shameful reality gives power to Jesus’ statement, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matthew 18:9).
In the spiritual life, sin is a cause for blindness. In a very real and terrifying way, sin affects our ability to see, know and understand principles of our faith. Sin clouds our vision by darkening the intellect and weakening the will. A darkened intellect results in the inability to comprehend the truths of our faith. As St. John tells us, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot comprehend it” (John 1:5). A weakened will makes us prone to further sin. It is easy to see how this path leads us further away from God and deeper into frustration. Eventually, we can become blind to the truth, as we wonder why we cannot hear, feel or see the work of God in our own personal lives.
However, many of us can say, “I was blind but now I see.” Light overcomes the darkness, and purity overcomes sinfulness. Where purity abides, clarity thrives. It is only through this purity of heart that one can truly see. Jesus proclaims, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5: 8). Truly, St. Joseph looked upon the face of God every day for thirty years. Joseph personifies the model of purity, of true vision and clarity. They say that the eye is the window to the soul, but it works in the opposite direction as well. Purity of heart allows the soul to bring light to all that surrounds us.
Enveloped by a world bombarded with impurity, it is clear why many feel that God has gone silent. Some ask if God has forgotten us, or if he was ever there to begin with. On the other hand, many witness a magnificent sunrise or face of a child and find themselves moved with conviction stating emphatically, “How could anyone not believe in God? They must be blind.”
Imagine how Christ rubbed the eyes of the blind man, and as his eyes were opened, the first sight he ever saw was the face of the Savior. Now recall the times in your own life when you were blinded by your own sinfulness and how Christ came to set you free. Christ longs to show you his face. He longs to heal you from anything that is blocking or distorting your image of him. The surest path is your purity. In our day, purity takes effort because the Devil never sleeps. Temptation is right around the corner. Maybe even more appropriately stated for modern times, temptation is always one click away.
Christ taught us “every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Allow him to set you free, and you will see the world with a new perspective.
Heavenly Father, the deepest desire of my heart is to see your face. Nothing else will satisfy. Help me strive towards an authentic purity of heart in all of my thoughts and actions. Like St. Joseph, help me see your hand and hear your voice so that I may follow you wherever you lead me.
St. Joseph, unveil for me the love of the Holy Spirit present in my spouse. Amen.