Once, But Now…

“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
     and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51.6, 10)

“Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
     Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
     For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
     Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
     Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
     For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord;
     Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,

     And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth

     To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Psalm 24.4-10)

Notice the link, in these Psalms, between purification and illumination. God reveals the truth – our condition and His love. He grants us grace to see the truth and respond to Him in repentance (embrace the truth as life-giving and be embraced by the fire of His love). We are purified. We see more deeply. Once we were blind but now we see. Once we were deluded, but no longer. Ignorance becomes knowledge and then wisdom.

Once I was blind but know I see. Once I dwelt in ignorance but now I know. Once I was dead but now I live. I invite you to look up the passages that these sentences are triggering. For example, John 9.)

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…If, therefore, you wash by a good life the filth that has been stuck on your heartl like plaster, the divine beauty will again shine forth in you. It is the same as happens in the case of iron. If freed from rust by a whetstone, that which but a moment ago was black will shine and glisten brightly in the sun. So it is also with the inner man, which the Lord calls “the heart”. When he has scraped off the rustlike dirt which dank decay has caused to appear on his form, he will once more recover the likeness of the archetype (Gn 1,27) and be good. For what is like to the Good is certainly itself good.

Hence, if a man who is pure of heart sees himself, he sees in himself what he desires; and thus he becomes blessed, because when he looks at his own purity, he sees the archetype in the image.
To give an example. Though men who see the sun in a mirror do not gaze at the sky itself, yet they see the sun in the reflection of the mirror no less than those who look at its very orb: So, he says, it is also with you. Even though you are too weak to perceive the light itself, ye if you but return to the grace of the image with which you were informed from the beginning, you will have all you seek in yourselves.

…For the godhead is purity, freedom from passion, and separation from all evil. If therefore these things be in you, God is indeed in you. Hence, if your thought is without any alloy of evil, free from passion, arid alien from all stain, you are blessed because you are clear of sight. Source: Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395), Homélie 6 sur les Béatitudes

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God be praised for the mercy He has shown upon and poured within me a sinner.

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