Thursday, October 8, 2020

Impurity blunts faith

THAT can easily be surmised from what Christ said in the gospel of St. Matthew. “Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.’ He said to them in reply, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” (Mt 12,38-39) 

 Here, Christ is practically saying that impurity, which is what makes a generation deserve the description, ‘adulterous’, can make us unfaithful to God and to others and to whatever commitments we have, as well as blind and deaf to the truths of our faith. 

 Impurity would make us blind to the superabundant signs of the existence, goodness, mercy of God and of all the other attributes God has. No amount of the signs of God’s existence can convince them. As St. Thomas Aquinas would put it, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” 

 Impurity would make us so dominated by the concupiscence of the flesh and the world, so welcoming to the tricks of the devil, so captivated by the deceptive pleasures of sensuality, that whatever comes from God, whatever spiritual and supernatural truths of our faith, cannot enter into our mind and heart. 

 Thus, Christ once lamented about this predicament of ours. “This people’s heart,” he said, “has become calloused. They hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes.” (Mt 13,15) The most that people can do, they who still have traces of faith but are yet enslaved by impurity, is to go into the ways of pretensions and hypocrisy. 

 We have to be most guarded against this clear and strong tendency of ours to ignore, if not deny, the truths of our faith whose signs and manifestations are quite plenty and easy to see. W

e really need to develop a strong and vibrant spiritual life, one that involves all aspects of our life—from the material to the spiritual, from the natural to the supernatural—for us to nourish and develop our faith to its maturity and fullness. 

 And the virtue of holy purity plays a crucial role in this. This virtue brings our bodily dimension, especially our human sexuality, to the very dynamic of divine love which is the source, pattern, power and end of our human love. 

 As a consequence, our faith and hope are bolstered. Even if we have not yet reached our final destination, even if the truths of faith are not yet directly seen, somehow our virtue of holy purity would enable us to see them or at least to have some feel of them. 

 How important therefore it is to do everything to develop this virtue of holy purity! To discipline the often rebellious instincts of our flesh, we should strengthen our desire to look for God in everything that we do. It’s by looking for him that we can find him, and finding him, we for sure would be motivated to serve him. That is the usual way to be with God and to fall in love with him and to be able to live holy purity. 

 Of course, God can come to us in some dramatic fashion even if we are not looking for him. In that case, let’s be like St. Paul in his conversion moment. He immediately corresponded to God’s call properly. 

Though St. Paul continued to be bothered by what he called the “thorn of the flesh,” (cfr. 2 Cor 17,7) he converted it as a way to keep him from being conceited and to spur him to get closer to God. 

 Holy purity will always involve a lifelong struggle that in itself will nourish our faith. Let’s do a rigorous war against impurity!

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