“Blessed are the pure of heart; they will see God.” Taken from the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5: 8)
The lover of the youth, the great Saint John Bosco, was keenly aware of the effects of Original Sin, concupiscence, and the battle that young people would have to wage to attain mastery over their passions. The saint was keenly aware of this mortal struggle to attain the virtue of purity, or the virtue of chastity. The basic practices that he insisted upon were fervent prayer, the assiduous and frequent reception of the Sacraments—Confession and the Holy Eucharist. He encouraged hard work and an overflowing spirit of joy. Finally of greatest importance, Bosco instilled in his young people a deep, filial, and ardent devotion to Our Lady, Help of Christians. Today our youth confront many more obstacles to attain chastity than ever before. So we have put together a very simple, clear and concrete ten step program to attain the virtue of chastity. This program can easily be applied to adults as well as the young.
Our Lady of Fatima warned the children, as well as the world at large, that the primary reason why souls are lost for all eternity is due to the sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments—both referring to the virtue of purity, in thought and in deed. Our Lady also stated that many fashions would be introduced into the world that would gravely offend God. Still more, our Heavenly Mother stated that many marriages were not pleasing to God. Even though she did not state it explicitly, it could be understood that many marriages are dominated by the spirit of lust, rather than purity and chastity.
TEN STEP PROGRAM TO STRIVE FOR PURITY
- BEG FOR THE GRACE. We cannot live humility, forgiveness or purity without God’s grace. They are supernatural virtues1.
- PERSISTENT PRAYER. (Read Lk. 18: 1-8 The insistent widow.) All things are possible for God with persistent prayer.
- CONTROL YOUR EYES. (Read 2 Samuel Chap. 4 The sin of David who committed adultery with Bathsheba.) The eyes are the mirror of the soul.
- STRICT VIGILANCE OVER USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. (Read Jn. 10: 1-18 The Good Shepherd) This is one of the easiest ways that the wolf (the devil) can get into the flock of sheep (God’s children).
- AVOID LAZINESS. “Idleness is the workshop of the devil.” If we have nothing to do, the devil will give us a lot to do!!!
- FREQUENT CONFESSION. What medicine is to the body, so frequent confession is to the soul. Go as often as possible! Confession serves as curative medicine and preventive medicine as well! If you fall, get up quickly!!! Saint John Bosco was ahead of his time encouraging frequent confession to fortify souls against sinning.
- FREQUENT, FAITH-FILLED, AND FERVENT COMMUNIONS…. Nothing is more efficacious for the body, mind and soul than frequent, faith-filled and fervent Holy Communions. With each Holy Communion, the most pure Blood of Jesus rushes through your heart, mind, soul and every artery of your body. This is a sure remedy to conquer temptations that Saint John Bosco applied to the young!
- GOOD AND SOLID SPIRITUAL READING. Fill your mind with pure, noble and good thoughts through the daily practice of spiritual reading. Remember the proverb: “The thought is the father of the deed!” We end up doing what we have conceived in our mind beforehand! The lives of the saints are efficacious reading for all, but especially the young.
- FRIENDS: GOOD AND WHOLESOME FRIENDSHIPS. We all need friends. Jesus chose the Apostles to be His friends. However, a tried and true friend is one who deepens our friendship with Jesus, who should be our BEST FRIEND!!!
- FILIAL LOVE AND DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. Experience manifests in the lives of the saints—God’s true friends—that a tender, filial love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and a love for the Holy Rosary are very efficacious in attaining virtue, especially the demanding but essential virtue of purity or chastity!
We hope and pray that these ten concrete practices will help all, both young and old, to attain the virtue of purity and live out the Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5: 8) By an ever deepening of our whole person may we contemplate the beauty of the Face of God now and for all eternity! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!