Hi, I'm sneaking a late night cup of cappuccino after putting the kids to bed, thanks for joining me..you're up late, too, it seems....it's so quiet right now.....sometimes this quiet late night time is a "catch 22" because as much as I love it, I am tired and should be going to sleep....what to do?! :P I'll share a few thoughts as we sip.....let me know what you think......
I was just thinking about something....purity. Flipping through TV stations, I am overwhelmed by sex and sexy-sexy "lust". "Why do they PUSH this stuff down our throats?" I wonder.
Our society is "opposite" of purity (so to speak and to be very general about it). God is purity....purity is truth...God is truth. Society rebels against God and anything that reminds them (guilt factor?) of "Him"...like Lady Purity.
Ever notice purity is even MOCKED? If you calmly think about it (even if not a big fan of purity but an "honest just" thinker)....why mock something that is "good?" (And, I'm not talking kids here, but adults...adults in the media industry...from movies to news). I would think if I were steeped in porn and that free-sex lifestyle...when I'd meet up against someone who is pure or for purity...I would not want to destroy their purity or mock them for making a "good" choice. I would think (if I were living opposite of purity), "Man! That's one difficult choice! I can't believe they are choosing that over awesome sex, but that's their choice and I respect them for it because it seems like the most difficult noble choice. I respect them (him/her) for that!"
Remember that movie: "The 40 year old Virgin?" I didn't see it, obviously, but just the previews and all the "actors" giving big laughing interviews about what a geek this guy is because he's over 40 and a virgin and also how laughable it is because "like that really exists" and a big laugh over that.
Now, anyone can understand that having free sex with whoever you are attracted to whenever you want may "feel good"....duh. As we say, "No S*&#T, Sherlock." It is as if those who are steeped in the free sex lifestyle think we "don't get it." I wonder why their thought process doesn't go a little deeper and figure out that anyone gets that....but, obviously, the choice goes much deeper. The choice not to live that playboy lifestyle: it's not that we don't understand a sexual feeling, etc. Do they ever think that perhaps we see man(kind) as noble beings (above the animal species) created in God's image...beautiful with such dignity? We cannot act like animals as that would be an insult to our Creator...Purity itself. He gave us sex for His own intended purposes. We don't make our own purposes up. We bow to our King. We surrender to His loving desires for us. He tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made and noble...have such dignity! This is why Satan hates purity. He sees us doing something that is contrary to what those who live "in the world do"....it feels good to act like animals....why don't those (us who are practicing Christians) fall for it?? Why don't they submit to the temptations/lures? He can't figure it out because he loves impurity and is the father of it.
Why is it that society says it is embarrassing to be a celibate single? (All singles are called to that, not just priests, nuns, and religious!). Why is embarrassing to be faithful? Why is it embarrassing to be married to only one person for your entire life? Why is all this "a pity" and those who practice such kind of thought of as "nutty?" :P
I think it comes down to society is so under Satan's influence (esp. our media) that they lost their relationship with their Creator. He's the only thing holding morality in tact. Satan is the father of lies and murder and confusion and we could go on and on with a nasty list. Only a dead fish floats downstream. That's easy.
So, where we see this big "free sex" being pushed....you know there is not "God" there...no big deep relationship with God. A "god" perhaps of their own coloring....one they make up, which is really their inner selves...but not the One True God who spoke out against "adultery" and the like....anyone ruining the purity of a young person He said "Woe!" to and how it's better to tie a noose around your neck with a stone attached and into the ocean! Eeks. God even said if a man (person) even LOOKS at another lustfully, that adultery has already been committed! EEkerooo. That is so difficult in our times...esp. (I would think) for men. Everywhere you look...even a toothpaste ad!!...it is SEX SEXY SEX being pushed. Driving down the street, you see it in ads, billboards,etc. On TV, magazines, etc. It's blatant. And, it's quit something. You really do start to feel "odd man out" for trying to live the chaste lifestyle that God wants of his children.
Which brings me to.....
I say 'trying' because everyone has good intentions who is trying to be a practicing Christian.
But, you know that time will come when you may perhaps fall. And, don't have pride and say, "Who me? Nahhhhh." and make a holier than thou face :P (see St Peter) because that is the person who will have a very hard time getting up. Pride is the worst thing per the Bible. God is truth and Satan is pride. So, at least be open to the fact that *drum roll* you may fall into sin sometime...maybe. Maybe not...but maybe.
I think Jesus fell the 3 times to show us..."keep getting up, man! Keep getting up!"
I can only imagine how utterly exhausted He felt getting up that third time....pure utter exhaustion...yet, he struggled TO get up....and He got up and kept walking....carrying the Cross...and leaving bloody footprints for us to follow. (And, sometimes it does indeed feel like we are leaving bloody footprints following Jesus' Way....and that would be what some call "dry martyrdom" and some say our century has many many martyrs....just to be an average Catholic requires much in our times...to be devout, perhaps a dry martyrdom of sorts....)
If you fall (or fell)....you must NEVER give up and lay there in the mud all dirty! Get courage and get up, no matter how hard (look at your model) and keep going...even if you are so weak you know you may fall again....get up and keep on carrying your Cross to the finish line...TRY.
God at the very least asks you to TRY. Make every effort...that is all He can ask and does ask. Aim for perfection and to "be holy as I am holy"...AIM and try to make every effort you can with as much force as you can...and pray the rest for strength you are lacking....His grace will provide what is lacking. He knows He made weak creatures, who since Adam, are bent towards sinning...but that is not to be an excuse! And, we know that. We have grace available for the taking.
If you fall, do not let society say, "See?! What a HYPOCRITE! Preaching how he/she doesn't believe in free sex then going and get caught doing it himself/herself".....(A pet peeve of mine!) that's just Satan's taunt so you stay in his lair, his trap.....he's going for your pride...ignore him!
There is a huge difference in sincerely trying to live a Christan lifestyle and NOT trying whatsoever!!! God sees the heart. He knows one who struggles and one who could not care less. He knows the one who almost hates himself inside for his failings because he knows better...and one who revels in sin...almost tooting his own horn proudly. No, you are not the same and don't let Satan and "his" society of followers out there make you feel you are one and the same.
Remember Peter denied Christ 3 times and would have (felt like it!) killed himself had he not faith....in faith, he surrendered his pride and humbly accepted his failing and went to Christ and asked his forgiveness and was renewed....and didn't dwell on the past. Get up and move on! Judas, on the other hand, was full of pride and decided to end it himself on a tree. It was hopeless, he failed God and was a loser.....his thoughts. God didn't see him as a loser. God is always there loving and ready to forgive. He knows our weaknesses. He didn't put together the sexuality package and was a big dunce about it and shocked when people sometimes fall. Nothing separates us from God....save ourselves if we want that...but nothing can...not even our fall....unless we do not wish to ask for forgiveness and are not sorry one bit. Then, we are creating our own separation deliberately.
St Therese of Liesieux wrote how Satan takes away your shame when you are committing a sin, but then heaps it back (in spades!) when you are sorry and wish to confess....so you do NOT confess and change. Then, you are not only living in sin, but in guilt...and having a yucky life hating yourself or reliving the past over and over and beating yourself up (this is just pride: "How dare I fall?" That's pride. A saint would say, "I certainly can't believe I didn't fall sooner, I'm such a sinner." and then go to the Lord's feet in confession and ask humbly (and it is humbling) forgiveness. It's hard to mouth the words "I did xxxx" when "xxx" is really "triple X" rated!! :P ) But, hey, you have to "take the hit" in the pride department. Toss that shame back in Satan's face and just say your sincere confession. This is a war....a real soldier "takes the hit" when needed. Take it. Get a purple heart! :)))
When we sin, we, Christs' bride so to speak, hide ourselves from His eyes. We feel unfit to keep Him intimate company. But, His constant thoughts are upon us. He cannot forget us as we "hide." He cannot be quiet until He looks upon us again. He calls us forth with the most wooing words:
"O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me See thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." (Song 2:14)
He entices us from our hiding place. Inasmuch as we come forth trembling, and bashfully hide our faces with our veil, He asks us to uncover our faces, to let our Spouse gaze upon us. We are ashamed to do so, for we are black in our own eyes...and therefore He insists that we are BEAUTIFUL to Him. And, He is the one who matters most. He is not content with merely looking, either. He must feed his ears as well as His eyes, so He entreats us to let Him hear our voice. See how truly our Lord rejoices in us! Is this not unparalleled love? We have heard of a prince be smitten by the beauty of a peasant's daughter, but what of that? Here is the Son of God, doting upon a worm!...looking with eyes of admiration upon a poor child of Adam and listening with joy to the lispings of poor flesh and blood. Should we not be exceedingly charmed by such matchless condescension? And, should not our hearts as much delights in Him as He does in us? Oh, surprising truth! Christ Jesus rejoices over His poor, tempted, tried, and erring people. :))))
"Thou art mine" (Isa. 43:1) He seems to powerfully and nobly and authoritatively and sweetly and gently and lovingly say from the Most Holy Eucharist.
"O man, greatly beloved..." (Dan 10:19)
He has kissed us with the kisses of His love (Song 1:2), and He has killed our doubts by the closeness of His embrace. We felt we could sing, "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand does embrace me" (Song 8:3).
"Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair." (Song 4:1) We say over and over as we see His image upon the Crucifix with arms wide open and His words: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do..." If you cannot trust THIS God man as being "fair" and absolutely way more than that to words us....who can you trust? :))
"Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Ps 51:7) And, He does.
"I sat down under His shadow with great delight...His fruit was Sweet to my taste..." Sit, overpowered by delight, needing to sit still under the load of bliss....bliss that comes from forgiveness.
"I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.." (John 14:18) He doesn't want to be absent from your life regardless of what you sinned. His delight is to be with you in relationship. Confess your sins sincerely, and He will come to you as if it never happened. People here on earth forgive but don't forget....Jesus forgets what He forgives....as if it never happened! Such is his great love.
"Come, Eat, my friend, and drink abundantly." He smiles at you....