Sense of Life. Articles in English. “I Set Before You Life or Death!”.
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“I Set Before You Life or Death!”

His Holiness John Paul II often reminded us that,
“we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between god and evil, death and life,
the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life’”
(Evangelium vitae, 28)

The “culture of death” rejects the Ten Commandments and the teaching of Jesus Christ by promoting unlimited consumerism, premarital and extramarital sex, indulgence in sexual pleasure of every description, pornography, prostitution, homosexualism, divorce, contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. Living by the norms of the culture of death always ends in man’s spiritual, mental, and physical corruption, and ultimately in his self-destruction. History is replete with examples of this. The last thirty years have seen the unspeakable slaughter of some one billion unborn children on the altar of unlimited sensual pleasure. We have only to consult the data of the World Health Organization. In thirty-one countries of the European Union the present birth rate amounts to 1.38 children per family. A fertility rate of 2.11 is required to sustain a culture. If Europe does not return to her Christian values and persists in her present birth rate for another twenty-five years, the total extinction of European nations is a foregone conclusion. As the old Polish proverb has it: the Devil has plenty of sugar and he makes sin sweet. These are the “sweet” fruits of the culture of death. But its most dire effects are felt on the individual level, since it affects man’s eternal prospects by leading him into absolute selfishness; that is, into the eternity of hell. God Himself warns us in the Holy Scriptures: “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6: 9b-10).

The devil lays the seeds of his culture of death by ensnaring man in sins of impurity. “Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2396). In the Holy Scriptures, Jesus constantly appeals to our conscience: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry” (Col 3: 5); for “[t]his is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who (also) gives his holy Spirit to you” (1 Thes 4: 3-8).

Clinic of Pure Hearts

Let us not allow ourselves to be duped and enslaved by the all-pervasive propaganda of sexual license. Let us not be ensnared by the publicity of the pornography industry. Only Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14: 6). In Jesus is found the answer to every question about the meaning of life, love, and happiness. His love is stronger than any power of evil. Burdened as we are by of our sins, we have only to cling to Him with great trust; place ourselves every day at His disposal, that He may free us from slavery to sin and teach us to love with a pure heart. Every day we must undertake the labor of living in accordance with His will and courageously swim against the current of the culture of death and brutal selfishness. To do this, we need to practice self-discipline and organize our day in such a way as to include time for prayer, solid work, rest, and physical exercise. Regular confession and frequent reception of the Eucharist are vital to the spiritual therapy of the MPH community. MPH is a “clinic of chaste hearts” to which Christ invites all without exception. “Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery, which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy” (CCC, 2339). Self-mastery and a pure heart are achieved through hard spiritual work in union with Jesus who serves as our physician, teacher, and guide.

Jesus tells us that only pure-hearted people are happy, since only they are capable of loving God and their neighbor. For such people the sacrament of matrimony brings more than mere sensual pleasure; it is a source of sanctification, an experience of mutual love within the love of God. The ultimate meaning of our life is union with God, Who is Love. It is therefore our chief task in life to grow in love, to acquire the gift of a pure heart by confiding ourselves totally to Jesus, so that in His “clinic” He may heal all our spiritual wounds, free us from our slavery to evil, and teach us to love as He loved us. The course of treatment in Christ’s clinic consists in growing in pure and unselfish love. There He calls us to embark on life’s greatest and most exhilarating adventure — to scale that most arduous of spiritual peaks called Love. 

Who can join the Movement of Pure Hearts? Anyone who desires to offer his wounded heart to Jesus and learn from Him how to love as He loves us. What are the expectations? A genuine desire to fulfill all the promises contained in the Prayer of Consecration. In particular, MPH members pledge to pray daily, to seek the sanctifying grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation the moment they fall into serious sin, and to work on themselves systematically by drafting and carrying out a daily plan, which provides for prayer, solid study, work, and recreation. When and how do I join the Movement of Pure Hearts? Anytime at all! Go first to Confession; then after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, offer your heart to Him by praying the 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!”

Say this prayer every morning, that you may remember your vows, incorporate them into your life, never lose heart, and avail yourself 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. Jesus invites you to write to us and send us your testimonies. Share your experiences of faith with others. Jesus will use them to reach many lost souls, that they may open the hearts and accept the treasure of faith.

Every day the entire LOA staff prays for the intentions of their readers. At seven in the morning we say a mystery of the rosary and at three in the afternoon we pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. We request that all members of MPH pray for one another daily. There is enormous divine power in this spiritual community of prayer. We all stand in great need of it in our daily struggle with the powers of evil.“ In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones” (Eph 6: 16-18). All my blessings!

Fr. Mieczysław Piotrowski SChr & the entire LOA staff

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The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in August 2016.

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