118 Holy purity is given by God when it is asked for with humility.
How beautiful is holy purity I But it is not holy, nor pleasing to God, if we separate it from charity.
Charity is the seed that will grow and yield rich fruit under the fertile rain of purity.
Without charity, purity is barren, and its sterile waters turn the soul into a swamp, into a cesspool from which rises the stench of pride.
‘Purity?’ they ask. And they smile. They are the very people who approach marriage with worn-out bodies and disillusioned minds.
I promise you a book — if God helps me — which perhaps I will call: ‘Celibacy, Marriage and Purity.’
There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and undo the savage work of those who think that man is a beast.
And that crusade is a matter for you.
Many live like angels in the midst of the world. Why not you…?
When you resolve firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden for you: it will be a triumphal crown.
You, a doctor, an apostle, write to me: ‘We all know by experience that we can be chaste, living vigilantly, frequenting the sacraments and stamping out the first sparks of passion before the fire can spread. And it so happens that among the chaste are found the finest men in every way. And among the lustful predominate the timid, the selfish, the treacherous and the cruel — characters of little manliness.’
How I would like — you told me — the young apostle, John, would take me into his confidence and give me advice: and encourage me to acquire purity of heart.
If you really would like it, tell him so: and you will feel encouraged, and you will receive advice.
Over-eating is the forerunner of impurity.
Don’t try to reason with concupiscence: scorn it.
Decorum and modesty are younger brothers of purity.
Without holy purity one cannot persevere in the apostolate.
Remove, Jesus, that filthy crust of sensual corruption which covers my heart, so that I can feel and readily follow the touches of the Paraclete on my soul.
Never speak of impure things or events, not even to lament them. Remember that such matter is stickier than pitch. Change the subject or, if that is not possible, continue with it, speaking of the need and the beauty of purity — a virtue of men who know the value of their souls.
Don’t show the cowardice of being ‘brave’; take to your heels!
The saints were not abnormal beings: cases to be studied by a ‘modernistic’ doctor. They were — they are — normal: of flesh, like yours. And they won.
‘The flesh though dressed in silk’… This is my only comment when I see you waver before the temptation that hides its impurity under pretexts of art, of science…, of charity!
This is my only comment set in the words of an old proverb: ‘The flesh is flesh though dressed in silk.’
If you only knew what you are worth!… It is Saint Paul who tells you: you have been bought ‘at a great price’. And he adds: ‘That is why you should use your body for the glory of God’.
When you have sought the company of a sensual satisfaction, what loneliness afterwards!
And to think that for the satisfaction of a moment, which left in you dregs of bitterness, you have lost ‘the way’!
‘What a wretched man am I! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?’ The cry is Saint Paul’s. — Courage: he too had to fight.
At the time of temptation think of the Love that awaits you in heaven: foster the virtue of hope — this is not a lack of generosity.
Whatever happens, there is no need to worry as long as you don’t consent. For only the will can open the door of the heart and let that corruption in.
You seem to hear a voice within you saying. ‘That religious prejudice!’ And then the eloquent defence of all the weaknesses of our poor fallen flesh: ‘Its rights!’
When this happens, tell the enemy that there is a natural law and a law of God… and God! And also hell.
‘Domine! — Lord — si vis, potes me mundare, — if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.’
What a beautiful prayer for you to say often, with the faith of the poor leper, when there happens to you what God and you and I know! You will not have to wait long to hear the Master’s reply: ‘Volo, mundare! I will: be thou made clean!’
To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond… You…, what have you done?
The spotless purity of John’s whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains.
Don’t forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character.
The battle front. A group of some twenty officers, singing together in gay and noble comradeship. The songs come quickly, one after another.
That young lieutenant with the brown moustache only heard the first:
‘I have no use
for divided hearts:
I give mine whole,
and not in parts.’
‘What reluctance to give my whole heart!’ And his prayer rose up in a broad and peaceful flow.