Monday, November 24, 2008

On Purity by St. John Bosco

I am presently reading a booklet I bought at a Catholic bookstore years ago entitled "The Way to Heaven". It deals with the topic of chastity in the life of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian order. I am amazed how John Bosco practiced this virtue in his lifetime so as to make him more angelic than human. I want to share some pointers from the book on safeguarding chastity, which according to St. John Bosco is a very delicate virtue that makes men like unto angels. He loved this virtue so much so as to make it the hallmark of his congregation just as much as the Franciscans are well known for the virtue of poverty.
Nine Safeguards for the Holy Virtue of Purity
1. Avoid idleness.
I must admit that I am most vulnerable to succumbing to sexual temptations when I am idle and alone.
2. Shun bad companions.
Unfortunately they are all around us - a vexation to the spirit. You don't have to hang out with these people.
3. Associate with good companions.
These are the people you should make friends with. These are the good guys and fortunate are you to find even just one.
4. Go to confession frequently.
If you can't stomach not taking a bath at least once a day, then give your soul a "spiritual bath" at least once a month - that's how Pope John Paul II defined frequent confession - at least once a month. Of course, you can receive it as often and as frequent as you would like but be sure to make each confession a good one.
5. Receive communion often.
Don't you dare receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord if you're conscious of mortal sin. You must have recourse to Confession first before you can receive communion. Receiving communion in a state of mortal sin is sacrilegious; you'll just end up deeper in the pit.
6. Pray to Mary often.
I won't argue with our Protestant brothers about this, but as Catholics we pray to the Blessed Mother because we venerate her and we know how powerful Her intercession is before God. You cannot afford to ignore Mary in working out your salvation because all graces that come from God is dispensed by Her.
7. Hear Mass devoutly.
Don't be contented with attending masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation. If you have free time during the week, attend an extra mass or better yet attend it daily with as much devotion as you can muster. It's all for your own good. Offer masses for the Poor Souls as well coz one day you might end up as one of them and how you would wish that others pray in your behalf.
8. Make up for past faulty confessions.
So, you're going to confession regularly, but you keep falling into the same sins over and over. Perhaps, you don't have a firm purpose of amendment like me. Well, don't lose heart. Make an effort to make every confession as contrite and sincere as possible, and pray hard for the grace to amend your wrong ways and to overcome your weaknesses.
9. In Mary's honor, make small but frequent acts of self-denial.
Offer it all up to Our Lady and She will help you. You see, self-denial is indispensable if you want to live a chaste life because a life of chastity is a life of renunciation, self-discipline, and yes sacrifice too.
On the Virtue of Chastity:
"Where there is chastity, there too are all the other virtues, because chastity attracts them all. Without chastity, all other virtues are nonexistent. Chastity must be the pivot upon which all our actions revolve...nowadays, sterling modesty and chastity are a must. If you love this virtue which is so delicate, and tender, you will be like angels of God. By cherishing this virtue, you will acquire the holy fear of God and peace of heart.
You will have no further anguish or pangs of conscience, but only a fervor in things which pertain to God's worship and a readiness to suffer anything for His sake. Possessing this virtue, we can be sure we are walking along the right path, even our most insignificant actions will be pleasing to God. We shall thus earn countless merits and be certain of one day attaining our immortal reward, the full possession of God in our heavenly home.
Let us therefore make every effort to shun any thought which may dim this virtue ever so slightly, any glance or touch of ourselves or others, for as I again repeat, all other virtues which we may acquire are dependent on chastity. What will help us most to safeguard it jealously is obedience in all things. These two virtues go hand in hand and one who is perfectly obedient can also be sure of possessing the inestimable treasure of purity.
Let us earnestly implore the Lord for it because if He grants us chastity we shall not need anything else. Simply by keeping chaste we shall obtain every good joy from heaven."
- St. John Bosco


mike said...

don bosco thy children on many ashore, shall love and revere thee till time be no more... :)

GoingStraight said...

Thank you for the comment Mike. Are you a Salesian?

mike said...

i'm not a salesian, but i'm a student of a salesian institution; for this reason, you can say that i'm a bosconian. :)

i noticed that most of your entries are based on religion. are you a member of any religious congregation? what are those things that basically inspire you to write about your spiritual thoughts?