NOTHING FROM OUTSIDE CAN DEFILE US


”When he had called all the multitude to himself, he said to them, ‘Hear me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!’ When he had entered a house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. So he said to them, ‘Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?’ And he said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders…’” (Mk 7: 14-20)

…Lest I think that I must be a “victim” of those things that “enter” me “from outside.” No, I only fall prey to the “bad” things that I sometimes “eat,” be they certain foods, – or indeed words, or images, or melodies, – if I embrace them in my heart, with a heartfelt attachment to them, and hence re-produce them from there, letting them “come out” of me, in my own actions and words.

But let me guard my heart today, by re-connecting with God in some heartfelt prayer. Similarly to the “bad” things, which can “defile” me only if I embrace them in my heart, so does the “good” thing of God’s grace elevate and enlighten me, when I let it into my heart. “Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!”

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