“We wish to look through unclouded eyes”

How beautiful is holy purity! But it is not holy, nor pleasing to God, if we separate it from charity. Charity is the seed that will grow and yield rich fruit under the fertile rain of purity. Without charity, purity is barren, and its sterile waters turn the soul into a swamp, into a cesspool from which rises the stench of pride. (The Way, 119)

We know full well that theological charity is the highest virtue. But chastity is a means sine qua non, an indispensable condition if we are to establish an intimate dialogue with God. When people do not keep to it, when they give up the fight, they end up becoming blind. They can no longer see anything, because 'the animal man cannot perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God' [1].

We, however, wish to look through unclouded eyes, encouraged as we are by Our Lord's teaching: 'Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God' [2]. The Church has always understood these words as an invitation to chastity. As St John Chrysostom writes, 'Those who love chastity, whose consciences are completely clear, keep their hearts pure. No other virtue is so necessary in order to see God' [3]. (Friends of God, 175)

[1] 1 Cor 2:14

[2] Matt 5:8

[3] St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum homiliae, 15,4 (PG 57,227)

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