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Wonders of the Small Church

The small church has incredible importance and value, although it may not carry the pomp of churches in Europe and elsewhere. I have one particular small church in mind: ours.

St. Philip
St. Philip
St. Philip

The most essential characteristic for spiritual sight is a pure heart.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

A pure heart is one that is free from self, that is able to mourn, that sees and embraces all that we are given as God's gift, necessary for our salvation. We often see what we are, and so we are constantly encouraged to see things in a different light, to see how God originally intended for them to be.

Yet while we are always looking to see things differently, the far greater challenge is to transform ourselves, so that we others look at us, the see God's handiwork. What do others see when they look at us?

As weeks pass, the bright light of the Resurrection continues to grow dim. But how has that night without end truly changed us?

At the beginning of Lent, Philip invites Nathaniel to "come and see." To see that the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, sinners are forgiven, the dead are raised, and that the blind see.

The need to continually purify our hearts permits us to see God. Constant repentance and turning from sin is the time-tested formula to cure spiritual blindness. Pure hearts just don't happen; it takes hard work and much prayer.

Dying to ourselves, dying to the world and everything which makes it so cold and cruel, is the first step for spiritual sight. Taking these difficult steps will finally allow us to see God more clearly. And when that happens, everything about us begins to change.

God didn't send his Son into the world to simply cure a few bad habits that need to be broken. He came to save us, and to grant us eternal life in his Kingdom. He gave us physical sight at our birth, yet the need for spiritual sight is on-going and is directly related to having a pure heart.

- Fr Marc

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