“Create in me, a clean heart, O Lord!”
I sang the line with gusto at our Ash Wednesday mass (too much gusto, my daughter would say) and prayed it with sincerity. And then I thought, what exactly does that mean? Am I to scrub my heart clean, and if so, how? Is a clean heart akin to a “pure” heart, which Jesus suggested, in the Beatitudes, was a prerequisite for those who see God?
I’d been reading Prayers of the Cosmos by Neil Douglas-Klotz. In it he recovers Jesus’ original language, Aramaic, a language so rich in interpretation I can’t help but think we’ve been missing out.
Here are a couple of possible translations of the Aramaic that have certainly broadened my understanding of “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God”:
“Aligned with the One are those whose lives radiate from a core of love; they shall
see God everywhere,”
“Resisting corruption are those whose natural reaction is sympathy and friendship;
they shall be illuminated by a flash of lightning: the Source of the soul’s movement
in all creatures.”
Love – Sympathy – Friendship. Now, those are words my “heart” can grasp and move toward making its own!
“Create in me, O Holy One, a loving, sympathetic and friendly heart. Then I will see You everywhere.”