Friday, July 28, 2017

grace to escape

St Augustine talks to us about purity today in A Year with the Church Fathers. And he knows what he's talking about. Not because he was pure all of his life (like St Therese of Liseux), but because he wasn't.

St Augustine tells us about his sins in The Confessions. Fortunately his saintly mother, Monica, prayed fervently for him for years, and finally interceded successfully for his conversion after he'd spent many years in sexual sin. He had girlfriends with whom he had children, but whom he never married. He was unfaithful to his partners time and again.

Yet God brought him out of that life of slavery (ironic, isn't it? what seems like sexual freedom was actually slavery to sexual pleasure) and into a life of freedom, by being pure of heart.

So many people today are slaves to sexual pleasure. Here is an article that tells you what pornography does to your brain. And in that article is a link to a site that will help anyone who struggles with this addiction to be freed from it.

Besides the things that article talks about, this addiction steals so much from people's lives. One of the most important things it steals is time. The time that could be spent learning to play an instrument, or visiting people in the hospital or in jail, or teaching children how to read, or doing any number of good and worthwhile things, is spent clicking on websites that even disgust the person doing the clicking.

It also steals your self respect. It's hard to act nobly and do the right thing in your daily life when you know that you have a dark secret regarding what sites you visit when you go home. It's difficult to take your life seriously, and expect others to respect you, when you can't look yourself in the face in the mirror due to your bad habits.

Finally, and maybe worst of all, it steals your joy. You find yourself unable to appreciate the beauty of a sunset, or soak in the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, or enjoy the taste of a fresh orange, because all you can think about is either what you just looked at online or thinking about the next time you're going to get online and click again.

If you're struggling with this, please click on the link above and seek out the help that it offers. God wants you to be free of this addiction, so that you can do His will in your life, bringing you so much joy that you'll feel like you're going to burst from it.

And don't forget to pray for others who are struggling with this same thing. You can be the St Monica in someone else's life.

God, thank You for giving us resources to help us out of our self-imposed prisons. Please give us the grace to escape.