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St. Jerome said…. February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.

…..”it is rare to find a heretic that loves chastity.”  St. Thomas Aquinas said something similar.  Luther took a wife after dumping his vow of chastity and leaving the Church – in fact, his inability to remain chaste was a major reason for the formulation of his novel theology.  Calvin and Zwingli did the same.  Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor, when a nasty snaggletoothed old man and asked what the benefits of his religion were, had his nubile 16  year old mistress brought in and said “this!” 

Coincidence, or is there a general truth in St. Jerome’s claims?  Lust is a powerful driver, one of the most powerful.  In this culture of out of control sexuality – where almost every single thing, no matter how innocent, often has sexual connotations applied to it – lust is quite possibly the number one driver in many people’s behaviors, at least on a micro-level.  So, in facing down the issue of contraception – which so greatly facilitates lust – the Church has its hands full.

The only way we’re going to be able to start to turn the culture around is by the witness of faithful Catholics.  And that witness must start with prayer and fasting on a personal level, prayer for the conversion of the culture, yes, but also our own conversion, so that we can carry a much greater practice of the virtues into the culture, and, with God’s Grace, start winning hearts to the Truth.  Christ said that the most pernicious evils can only be overcome by prayer and fasting.  I need to be alot better at the latter. 

Lent’s about to start.  There is so much worth praying and fasting over right now.  So many Catholics are confused and lost, awash in the mores of the culture and cut off from the Truth that Christ has given His Church.  So many think life is about pleasure and convenience, not sacrifice and self-denial.  Our Lord did not say “get your party on and follow me,” or “do what feels good and follow me,” He said “take up your cross and follow me.”  As I quoted Fr. Wathen saying, how do we know we’re following Jesus – by adhering to those Truths he has revealed through His Church.  That is the start.  Once we’ve bent our mind to accepting what the Church believes, then we must bend our will to the practice of the virtues, the chief of which is charity, glorious Charity.  A firm witness to the Faith coupled with prayer, mortification, and a great practice of charity will win souls over time.  It’s work we all must do – we can’t wait for a magic wand to be waved, or for the bishops to do something, anything finally – we must do the hard work of winning souls, because that is our calling.  That’s why we’re Catholics, born at this time and in this place.  We have a mission. We’ve got to live it.  Not for ourselves, not even for others, but for Him. 

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