In this video recording, Archimandrite Athanasios Kakish from Jordan talks about the purity of heart in a digital world as a precondition for seeing God. This is a lecture on deification (theosis) recorded in October 2021 by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan.
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan
Fr. Athanasios Kakish:
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Let’s see what’s the first step: the first step is “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is “the poor in spirit”? It’s humility. So the first stage of heart purification is humility. And humility is the garment of divinity as saint Isaac the Syrian says. To put on God i.e to be like God and to gain the virtue in which Christ who made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant. (Philippians 2:7) Christ overcame death through humility so you should get deified through humility. Christ humbled himself and became man in order to deify us. So we should humble ourselves in order for Christ to deify us. So the first virtue Christ gave us is humility. What is humility? For the heart to break. What does this means? It is to know who you are and what are your sins. To enter into your heart. You should enter into your heart.
In the 21st century, mobile phones don’t give us time for ourselves. We are on Facebook then we go to WhatsApp then to Instagram. When we finish from Instagram we go to Snapchat and when we finish it, there are new messages on WhatsApp… etc. And there’s also Tiktok. So the devil’s war in the 21st century is to not allow human to sit with himself. And this is what happened with the prodigal son who “came to himself”. The devil fears that human sits this one minute with himself. Because when human sits with himself he will remember what he has lost. Where he was and where he is now.
So the first stage is for man to enter into his heart and there he starts seeing his true identity there he shall be naked in front of himself spiritually in front of Christ’s commandments. Then man starts to know what he has lost and what are the sins that captivate him. After this we come to “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) When you know your sins and start crying over them ”blessed are those who mourn” you hear Christ saying to you “for you shall be comforted”. When you start crying over your sins through humility and repentance, the grace of God starts running in you in order to give you comfort and divine grace through the forgiveness of your sins and through pulling you out from the depth of sins and from the lap of the devil to the lap of Christ. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted” The third one is: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6) When you mourn over your sins along with humility, you become wanting to know God more and the more you love God and want to read about Him and pray to Him. The more God will fill you and grant you to know Him more. The more you get to know Him, the more you hunger for Christ. The more you hunger for Christ, the more he says: “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Your heart becomes merciful. You gain mercy. Your heart becomes a loving heart. Because mercy comes from love. You start having this love, this mercy and this generosity. Your heart turns from hardened to merciful. And when it becomes merciful it becomes pure: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). There are steps for human to reach the stage of purity.