ST. JOSEMARIA ON HOLY PURITY
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? St Paul asks. He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him … Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own.
We need to be vigilant because the world, the devil and the flesh are a band of adventurers who, taking advantage of the weakness of that savage you bear within you, want you to hand over to them, in exchange for the glittering tinsel of a pleasure, which is worth nothing, the pure gold and the pearls and the diamonds and rubies drenched in the living and redeeming blood of your God, which are the price and the treasure of your eternity.
Although God’s grace will always assist us, on our part we have to fight. And now I ask you, how are you facing up to this battle? You know very well that a fight which is kept up from the very beginning is a fight already won. Get away from danger as soon as you are aware of the first sparks of passion, and even before. Also, speak about it at once to the person who directs your soul. Better still, talk about it beforehand if possible, because if you open your heart wide, you will not be defeated. One such act after another leads to the forming of a habit, an inclination, and ends up making things easy. That is why we have to struggle to make this virtue a habit, making mortification a habit so that we do not reject the Love of Loves.
To avoid falls, we need to be alert, not trusting ourselves, nor allowing the fire of the passions to take hold. Don’t be such a coward as to be “brave”: flee! St. Josemaria urged. We must flee from occasions of sin, avoid them, even though they may seem tiny and insignificant. If we do not break off in time, it becomes much more difficult later.
We finish our prayer today by asking Christ to grant us the grace to live the Christian virtue of chastity as a joyful affirmation. We ask this of him through the intercession of our Lady, she who is immaculate purity. Let us turn to her, tota pulchra! – all beautiful! – taking to heart the advice I gave many years ago to those who felt uneasy in their daily struggle to be humble, pure, sincere, cheerful and generous. All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you. Don’t give up hope! On the contrary, call on your holy Mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child. She will bring peace to your soul.
SOURCE: BOOK OF MEDITATIONS (PRIVATE COLLECTION).