Innocent is he whose soul is in its natural purity as it was created, and who makes intercession for all.
St. John Climacus
“The Ladder of Divine Ascent” (Step 24)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

See how well the Saints understand the heart, the Lord’s teachings, and the path to Salvation. By their deeds and words they put into practice the word of the Gospels. Let us examine this closer and look to what is written therein.

In the Gospel of Saint Matthew we read:

“39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Can we be perfect as our Lord is perfect? Though we can not reach to such heights, we continually struggle and strive to become god-like, to return to that blessed state of old, for which man was intended.

Concerning purity and innocency in heart, behold the words of our Savior:
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. ( Matthew 18:3)
Beloved, such are the words we hear each week in the Diving Liturgy in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes bring us to that hillside with the multitude who heard the preaching of the Lord. The Beatitudes teach us that the road that leads to Christ will not be easy. Observe:

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

And then our Lord lifts us up, for He promises a reward to those who are faithful until the end:

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Lord reinforces His teaching to love our neighbors, as hard as that may be at times. This love is a selfless love, without any expectation of receiving something. But again, great is the reward for those who seek after the Lord.