“MOTHER most pure, Mother most chaste.” These are some of the titles we attribute to our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the litany addressed to her. They tell us to whom we have to go and ask for help in our lifelong search and struggle to live the virtue of chastity.
We cannot deny the fact that this virtue of holy purity and chastity is so tricky and difficult that sometimes we have to have recourse to extraordinary means to be able to live it.
Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, once said in his book “The Way” that “to defend his purity, St. Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, St. Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush, St. Bernard plunged into an icy pond…You…what have you done?” (143)
St. Paul has described to us the naked truth about the difficulty of this virtue: “I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.” (Rom 7,23)
The difficulty cannot be exaggerated. St. Augustine warned us: “Of all the combats in which we are engaged, the most severe are those of chastity. Its battles are of daily occurrence, but victory is rare.”
We have to be humble enough to acknowledge this reality about ourselves. It hardly exempts anyone from it, no matter how saintly we look and behave, or how calm, serene, and strong we are by temperament.
There’s absolutely no use denying it. We are all made of the same stuff that is weak and quite prone to temptations against purity and chastity. We all have feet of clay.
St. John in his first epistle already warns us about this: “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (2,16)
Mary, who with all her divine privileges has lived the virtue of purity and chastity perfectly, is always there to help us. As a mother to us, she takes care of us especially with respect to this virtue. In this, she never grows tired and old. We, on our part, should never be afraid or ashamed to approach her.
We should spend time developing an intimate relationship with Mary our Mother. We should never ignore her for she plays a very important and crucial role in our life. She truly helps us in our struggles. She makes things easy for us.
We should involve her always in all our struggles. She is never scandalized by any dirt we produce in this area of purity. She shows us the way to deal with the many difficulties and mysteries in life that our human powers can hardly cope. She is always quick to respond to our pleas.
A Marian devotee once said that when it is she who leads the way, we are sure to arrive at our destination. When it is she who helps us, we will never get tired.
The most vicious attacks of lust can never find a foothold in us when we are close to her!
With Mary our Mother, it is not just techniques that would enable us to live chastity. It is the spirit of love.
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