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Catechism of the Catholic Church

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  • PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
    • SECTION TWO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
      • CHAPTER TWO YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
        • Article 9 THE NINTH COMMANDMENT
          • I. Purification of the Heart
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I. Purification of the Heart

2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication...."304 The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance:

Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who do not know the evil that destroys man's life.305

2518 The sixth beatitude proclaims, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."306 "Pure in heart" refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity;307 chastity or sexual rectitude;308 love of truth and orthodoxy of faith.309 There is a connection between purity of heart, of body, and of faith:

The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed "so that by believing they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe."310

2519 The "pure in heart" are promised that they will see God face to face and be like him.311 Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as "neighbors"; it lets us perceive the human body - ours and our neighbor's - as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.




304 Mt 15:19.


305 Pastor Hermae, Mandate 2, 1: PG 2, 916.


306 Mt 5:8.


307 Cf. 1 Tim 4:3-9; 2 Tim 2:22.


308 Cf. 1 Thess 4:7; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19.


309 Cf. Titus 1:15; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 2 Tim 2:23-26.


310 St. Augustine, Defide et symbolo 10, 25: PL 40, 196.


311 Cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2.





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