Purifying the Virtues

How imperfect we find ourselves as we try to live a good Christian life! Imperfections, weaknesses, and failures can dishearten and extinguish joy. If the heart is willing to persevere in learning to live God’s ways, His grace will provide more than enough strength to gradually purify the heart and prepare it to live the Christian life in joy.

Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97.11)


When love’s tainted with selfishness,
Expecting something in return,
Love’s left bereft of true kindness —
Where is the joy amidst this churn?

Faith which dallies with disbelief,
Ignores the truth and goes astray;
The Lord’s power, lost to this thief,
Dissipates in the disarray.

Hope that allows doubt or despair,
Denies the Lord’s power and grace
To move the heart or to draw near,
And hold the soul in His embrace.

Faith, hope, and love, in their pure form,
Yield joy which wells eternally.
For the Christian, joy is the norm
In triumph and in tragedy.

Virtues are gifts of grace which cleanse
The heart’s weakness as it transcends.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51.10-12)

Lord, may my heart’s intentions be purified, so that the gifts of Your virtues may not be compromised in my love for You and humankind. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2009