BATTLE FOR PURITY (PART II)



Saint Augustine, Saint Mary Magdalene, Saint Margaret of Cortona (known as the “second Magdalene”) all had this in common—an addiction to the desires of the flesh and slavery to sexuality.

The slavery was so over-powering in the life of Augustine that he actually prayed as such:  “Lord, grant me the virtue of purity, but not yet!”

It does not take a rocket-scientist or the genius of an Einstein to know that the biggest addiction in the modern world is to some form of sexual aberration. Fornication, masturbation and pornography, adultery leading to divorce, the rampant legalization and practice of homosexuality are becoming so widely pervasive that many are becoming desensitized to what is right and to what is wrong!

WORD OF GOD AND COMMANDMENTS.  Even though modern society promotes a false sense of liberty which is truly licentiousness, the Word of God and the Ten Commandments are still viable and will be until the end of time.

Two of the Ten Commandments refer explicitly to the all-important virtue of purity: the sixth and the ninth.   The sixth is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  The ninth is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”

In an earlier blog-article we highlighted five concrete practices to undertake in our combat and struggle to attain the virtue of purity.   We would like to offer another five for your spiritual strategy and game-plan!

1.    THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST.   By far the most efficacious means to attain any virtue whatsoever, but especially the virtue of purity, is the frequent, fervent, and faith-filled reception of the greatest of all the Sacraments, the most Holy Eucharist. In all truth the Eucharist is truly and substantially the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In concrete, when we receive the Eucharist, the Precious and most pure Blood of Jesus circulates and rushes though our veins, arteries and rushes into our very heart. In all truth, every Holy Communion we receive a “Heart-Transplant”. Jesus willingly donates His loving and pure heart to our heart. The Heart-transplant is complete!  Saint John Bosco highly recommended to his young boys to receive the most Holy Eucharist as often as possible, of course with the best of dispositions!  The Eucharist serves to extinguish concupiscence and the fiery lustful passions!

2.    HARD WORK—THE WORK ETHIC.  “Idleness is the workshop of the devil.”  If we have nothing to do then the devil will give us plenty to do, and especially in the realm of impurity.   St. Bonaventure commented: “When we are working one devil can go after us; but when we have nothing to do then an army is ready to assault us.”  St. John Bosco mortally feared vacations for his young men. The reason?   Too much free time in those summer months!  The saint actually said that vacations were the harvest-grounds of the devil. In other words, young men and free time and the devil overly active could easily lead to many sins and sins against purity. One hundred and fifty years later Internet Porn raises its ugly head especially with young people, (older people, too) when there is too much free time and liberty!

3.    JOYFUL HEART.   After sin itself, St. Francis de Sales and many saints agree that the worst thing is sadness and depression.  St. Ignatius of Loyola warns us that when the soul is in a state of desolation—feeling sad, depressed, discouraged, low in spiritual energy—then the devil is ready to attack.  Frequently we should beg the Holy Spirit to fill us with joy; that we would radiate a joyful countenance emanating from a joyful heart. Actually God commands us to have a joyful heart and disposition.   Recall the words of St. Paul to the Philippians:  “Rejoice in the Lord; I say it again: rejoice in the Lord.” (Phil. 4:4)   A joyful heart catapults the devils of impurity into the fiery furnace.

4.     SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION.  The Bible reminds us that even the just man falls seven times a day.  If we fall into a sin against the virtue of purity we should never give in to despair, but immediately repent and trust all the more in the mercy of God. According to Blessed Pope John Paul II and Saint Faustina Kowalska, the greatest attribute/virtue in the Sacred Heart of Jesus is His infinite MERCY!  The whole purpose of Jesus’ coming, suffering, dying and rising from the dead was to save the whole world and all of us individually from the reality of sin.  The Sacrament of Confession heals the soul of impurity and infuses in the soul grace to fight the good fight and run the race so as to win the immortal crown of victory.  The devil strives to discourage us to give up. The Holy Spirit encourages us to get up and keep trying, as we see so beautifully displayed in the Parable of the e Prodigal son, or, if you like the Merciful Father.

5.     READING THE WORD OR GOD.    Viewing bad images leave an ugly residue and poisonous effect on the mind. These images cannot always be erased over-night.   We are all the epitome of weakness, but God is omnipotent, all-powerful in all times and all places.   The well-known convert Steve Wood, who has written, spoken and labored strenuously for the family, the sanctification of men and against addiction to pornography insists on the importance of reading, meditating and even memorizing the Word of God. An analogy for you!   What chlorine is for your swimming pool, so is the Bible, the Word of God, for the mind.  As chlorine purifies and kills the bacteria and poison floating in the pool; likewise the Word of God has a powerful effect to help to surface the bad images left by pornography and burn them out of the mind. St. Paul compares the Word of God to a two-edged sword that separates marrow from bone. It can serve to cut away and eliminate the presence of the bad image!  May Our Lady, the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary, come to our assistance to live out the virtue of purity.   “Blessed are the pure of heart; for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8)