Author: ks. MieczysЕ‚aw Piotrowski TChr,
"Love One Another!" 14/2009 → True Love Waits - Pure Hearts
Since we love each other, why can’t we live together before getting married? Why does the Catholic Church insist that masturbation, petting, oral sex, homosexual practice, and contraception are serious sins?
One cannot be an authentic Christian without accepting the truth about human sexuality as revealed to us by God. Sex and sexuality are areas in which God desires to be especially present. God willed sex to be a privileged domain in which the married couple experience not only their own love for each other, but also the love and presence of their Creator. The powers of evil, on the other hand, strive, by way of intense temptation, to exploit the selfishness and tendency toward evil inherent in fallen human nature to turn human sexuality into a place of rebellion and strife with God.
It is the strategy of the evil spirits to distort the truth and turn sins of impurity into a supremely attractive means of achieving freedom, joy, and happiness. Throughout the first five years of his pontificate, Servant of God John Paul II used his Wednesday catechetical sessions (September 9, 1979 – November 11, 1984) to teach the theology of the human body. In these sessions he explained the truth revealed to us by the Holy Spirit concerning human sex, sexuality, and the sacrament of matrimony. In the process, he unmasked the lies concerning human sexuality as propagated by the powers of evil.
In creating man in His own image, God inscribed in our hearts a desire for an indestructible love. Only such a love can satisfy our human yearning for happiness. That is why God calls us to learn to love one another as He loves us. In a special way, this love is realized in the intimate love between a man and a woman, which God marks with the sign of the sacrament of marriage. As a sacrament, marriage becomes an image and icon of the Blessed Trinity. Sexual intimacy is intended to reveal in the mutual love of the spouses the unseen mystery of Divine love. It is intended to be a participation in very life and love of the Trinity. In God’s design, sexual intimacy is always meant to express the unselfish gift of a person’s entire spiritual and physical substance to his or her spouse — forever, and in union with Jesus Christ. When the fullness of this gift is expressed in this way, sexual intimacy not only becomes an experience of great sensual pleasure, but even more so, a spiritual and bodily banquet, an experience of mutual love in the love of God, a source of sanctifying grace, a wondrous, splendid act, and a seal of the sacrament of holy matrimony. Such an experience of sexual intimacy is only possible within the sacramental bond of marriage; when the spouses abide in a state of sanctifying grace; that is, when they are pure in heart and capable of loving. In God’s pedagogy, love is always of paramount importance, while sexual pleasure and the affective states are subordinated to the law of love as expressed in the Ten Commandments. Seen in this context, it understandable why premarital and extramarital sex as well as every conscious and deliberate arousal of sexual pleasure through masturbation, petting, oral sex, homosexual acts, pornography, etc. are serious sins. These acts break God’s commandments, since they are a denial of the disinterested gift of the self, a focusing on the self, which in turn leads to the hell of egoism and outright addiction to sex. They are sins because they destroy the gift of a pure heart, ravage our humanity, and lead to spiritual death and enslavement by the powers of evil.
Let us guard against that most insidious and pernicious of messages propagated by the mass media: namely, that love is essentially about feelings and sexual pleasure and that therefore everything should be ordered towards them. Sins of impurity, sexually transmitted diseases, marital infidelity, divorce, contraception, abortion — these are the bitter fruits found on the altar of the god of sex. By contrast, Christians should offer up all their emotions, feelings, and their entire sexuality to the One True God, that He might heal and free them from their selfish lusts and order their emotions toward the logic of the One Love that never dies. A sexuality driven by selfishness aspires to nothing short of the total control over, and enslavement of, the beloved person. This is not love, but selfishness in disguise. Only those who obey the logic of love are able to love; that is, they desire and strive with all their strength to make the beloved person perfectly happy so that he or she may belong to God. Only then will the lover be able to possess the beloved forever. Feelings and desire do not entitle us to enjoy sex outside of marriage. Sexual intimacy is sacred, and only Christ gives us the right to enjoy it — and this in the sacrament of marriage.
And so, with great solicitude, Jesus appeals to us: “The body…is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!.... Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:13-19).
We are all tainted by the consequences of original sin. By ourselves we are incapable of mastering our selfishness or ordering our feelings and sexual desires to the logic of love. That is why Jesus invites all of us to join the community of the Movement of Pure Hearts. In this way, we entrust to Him our wounded and selfish hearts, so that He may heal them and make them capable of pure love. So let us once and for all cast off all fear, make a sacramental confession and, after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, say the following prayer of consecration:
“Lord Jesus, I am thankful that You love me with a love that rights the greatest wrongs and heals the most hurtful wounds. I offer You my memory, my mind, my soul, my body, my sexuality. I vow not to engage in sexual acts until I am united with my spouse in the Sacrament of Marriage. From this day forth, I will not read, buy, or watch pornographic materials. [Here, girls may wish to add: I vow to dress modestly and in no way to arouse lustful thoughts or desires in others.] I solemnly promise to meet You every day in prayer, scriptural meditation, frequent reception of Holy Communion, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I also pledge to avail myself regularly of the Sacrament of Penance, not to give in to discouragement, and to pick myself up promptly every time I fall into sin. Dear Jesus, teach me the practice of self-discipline and to control my sexual desires and feelings. Give me the courage to resist the easy way in my daily walk through life. Help me to avoid everything that weakens and enslaves the will: nicotine, alcohol, and drugs. Teach me to place love at the very center of my life.
Mary, my Mother, guide me in my journey of faith. Lead me to the very source of Love — to Jesus, that I may trust and believe in Him alone. After the example of Servant of God, John Paul II, I desire to entrust myself entirely to you: Totus Tuus, Mary! Blessed Caroline, procure for me the gift of a pure heart. Amen!”
Let us say this prayer every morning, that we may remember our vows, incorporate them into our lives, never lose heart, and avail ourselves of sacramental confession every time we fall into sin. We invite you to inform us of your decision to join us in this movement. We in turn will enroll you in the Book of Pure Hearts and send you some formational materials along with our special blessing. We urge all MPH members to undertake the daily task of walking with Jesus in faith. Take His hand, place all your trust in Him, and express this child-like trust in daily persevering prayer. Do not take your passing moods and feelings too seriously. You will need to draw up your own daily schedule allocating times for prayer, work, study, and rest. Strive to realize it every day and do not give in to discouragement and apathy. Be demanding of yourself. Do some morning stretches. Get lots of fresh air and, if possible, take up some regular sport, for this is the best form of rest. Do not waste your valuable time by watching too much TV and mindlessly surfing the net.
To meet your daily goals you will need perseverance and self-discipline. This is the only way Jesus will be able to heal your wounded heart and forge your character into one of steel. Admittedly, the way of faith by which Jesus leads us is not easy, but, when embarked on every day, it takes on the aspect of high adventure. It is the only way to love and perfect happiness in heaven.
Write to us and send us your testimonies. Share your experiences of faith with others. Let us remember one another in our daily prayers, especially while saying the rosary and chaplet of divine mercy. All my blessings!