“.. man’s value before God is estimated by the dispositions of his heart, its uprightness, its charity, the purity of its intention, and not by keenness of intellect or extent of knowledge.” – – St. Anne Catherine Emmerick, [1774-1824] Germany.
Purity Of Intention
2019-Dec-12 . . . By: ncdm
In almost all the teachings of the Saints, I always come across this phrase: “purity of intention”. Obviously, it’s a very important part of their saintly comportment.
“.. let three virtues adorn you in a particular way: humility, purity of intention, and love.” – – St. Faustina, Diary #1779.
“.. in everything you do, there have to be always more honesty of intention, more precision, more punctuality, more generosity in serving our Lord, then you will be what the Lord wants you to be.” – Padre Pio.
So what is this animal? Let me give my one peso dissection of that anatomy, but though its just one peso, it’s indeed pure in intention. Other words for intention are motive, aim, objective, and purpose. When you say 100% purity, it means, in theory at least, homogeneity or singularity of an element or a material, i.e., it’s free of other elements. In the context of spirituality and the Divine, a pure intention runs straightly parallel with the intention or the Will of God, no deviation or distortion whatsoever. It’s free from any speck of malice, treachery, greed, or whatever, and the direction of that goodness is outward and not inward, meaning it is unselfish – not for self glorification. The intention first and foremost must please God, though may not necessarily please people.
“for the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” – – 1 Samuel 16:7
However, when the intention is joined or mixed with other intentions often not in accord with the initial intention, then its godliness is destroyed, and everything becomes a hypocrisy.
“when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do, to be honored by others; . . . and when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” – – Matthew 6:2
So when you see politicians personally giving goods to the poor and needy, with their pictures and names boldly on the plastic bags, they are actually “trumpeting their impure intentions.”
“but when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret; then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – – Matthew 6:3
Other intentions can go subconciously impure like when a sexy woman dresses immodestly as to display her beauty, to be the stand-out and catch all the attention. Surely, man’s sinful eyes lust for beauty, and that causes him “to stumble.” And in our daily grind of life, we see corruption everywhere. The corruptors are as guilty as the corrupt; the bribers are as sinful as the bribed. Indeed, people who corrupt other people are instruments of Satan to provoke and bring about sins.
“Whoever causes my little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” – – Mark 9:42
“The sins of men have multiplied beyond measure: irreverence in Church, sinful pride committed in sham religious activities, lack of true brotherly love, indecency in dress especially at summer seasons… The world is filled with iniquity.” – – Padre Pio, the revelations on the Three Days of Darkness given by Our Lord, 1950-February.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
The life of Mother Teresa is an excellent illustration of what purity of intention is. In 1946, Sister Teresa, an Albanian nun and teacher in a Catholic school in Calcutta, experienced her “calling” to devote herself to caring for the sick and poor. She moved into the slums, then founded her order in 1948, the Missionaries of Charity, and established Nirmal Hriday (“Place for the Pure of Heart”), a hospice where the terminally ill could die with dignity. They also opened numerous centres serving the blind, the aged, and the disabled, and a leper colony.
“the poor are the ones who have nothing to prove or to protect; no posing, no posturing before people or before God. When all you’ve got is all you’ve got, all that is left is to be yourself and you can only receive. That is why the poor are blessed; they know what really matters.” Mother Teresa.
In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work. She died in 1997-September as poor as the people around her, after dedicating, with the purest intention, the last fifty years of her life for the sick and the poor.
In contrast, you can see these preachers of today roaming the whole country, and even across the seas, spreading their brand of ministry, and at the end of the day bringing home tons of money. You can see their intentions, and the product of their intentions – they are now super-rich, multi-millionaires and billionaires like Mike Velarde, Apollo Quibuloy, Bo Sanchez, Brother Eli Soriano, etc… They profess their unassailable godliness but on the contrary its obvious they are worldly. If indeed their intention is to be in union with Jesus Christ, at least in some ways they should be like Jesus who owned nothing and have denied the world. Indeed, their intention is simply to fill their bank accounts with tons of money. They are hoarding money as if the world is not ending anytime soon – they are wrong!!!
“I saw the pains of Hell and of Purgatory, which are so great that no tongue of man is able to declare them. I saw also the bliss of Heaven and the glory of my Divine Spouse, which only to think of fills my soul with a loathing for all things that are in the world.” St. Catherine of Siena, The 33 Doctors of the Church, p. 403.