Monday, November 16, 2009

Blessed are the Pure of Heart (Mt. 5:8)

Amid the temptations of our world today, the worldliness, the pornographic propaganda in the internet, film and other media sources, we know of so many dangers to purity of heart, to the preservation of pristine virginity. In all these, God calls us to conversion, to a higher dimension of the world we see around us. Yes, God is offering us His insistent call to conversion, as we look to the eminentlives of the Saints that, by God’s grace, a fruit of prayer, God’s word, and the Sacraments, rose from the mire of sin and worldliness to the pedestal of true love and justice. Look to the example of the repentant St. Peter, the first pope, St. Mary Magdalene to whom the Risen Lord made His first appearances, a St. Augustine whose deep theological and philosophical insights have pervaded through centuries.

Purity of heart means a new supernatural dimension to life, based on God’s word. That’s the basis because “man lives by the words that come from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). That conversion and higher dimension regarding sexual relationships is clearly defined by the Catholic Church, as expressed in an address by John Paul II to the bishops of the United States of America :

“With the frankness of the Gospel, the compassion of Pastors and with the charity of Christ, you have dealt with the question of the indissolubility of marriage, correctly stating: ‘The Covenant between a man and a woman united in Christian marriage is as indissoluble and irrevocable as is the love of God for his people and the love of Christ for his Church.’

Exalting the beauty of marriage, you have rightly taken a position against both the theory of contraception and contraceptive practice, as did the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae. I myself, today, with the same conviction as Paul VI, ratify the teaching of that encyclical issued by my Predecessor ‘in virtue of the mandate confided us by Christ.’

Describing the sexual union between husband and wife as a special expression of their covenant of love, you have correctly said: ‘The sexual relationship is a human and moral good only within the sphere of marriage: outside marriage it is immoral.’

As men who speak with words of truth and the power of God’ (2 Cor. 6,7), as authentic teachers of the law of God and as compassionate pastors, you have correctly said: ‘Homosexual practice (which is to be distinguished from homosexual orientation) is morally deceitful.

“…Both the Church’s teaching, according to its constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have stated without any hesitation that masturbation is a practice grievously and intrinsically disordered” (Declaration of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning certain questions of sexual ethics, 12-29-75, no. 9).

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