05-13-2018 The Ninth Commandment: Purity of Heart

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
May 13, 2018 - The Ascension of the Lord
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT: PRACTICE PURITY OF HEART*
When and how do you find it difficult to exercise self-control over your thoughts, emotions, or bodily desires?

“The heart is the seat of moral personality: ‘Out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication’ (Mt 15:19). The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing temperance” (CCC, no. 2517). As Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28).

The Ninth Commandment warns against lust or carnal concupiscence (CCC, nos. 2528-2529). “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Dt 5:21). Concupiscence is “the disorder in our human appetites and desires as the result of Original Sin. These effects remain even after Baptism and produce an inclination to sin.” (USCCA, p. 507)

Many of us are struggling with certain psychological, emotional, or physical desires that can lead to sin. This does not mean we despise our body because it, together with the soul, constitute our nature. However, this struggle causes us to realize that we need to acquire virtues to help us obey the saving action of the Holy Spirit to overcome any vices that may cause us to resist this action.

Although our Baptism purifies us from sins, the tendency to succumb to our disordered desires still remains. We struggle against these desires by practicing purity of heart, mind, and body with continuing vigilance. To do this we reflect on our motives and acts, and seek to discipline our heart, mind, feelings, imagination, and body so as to seek to do the will of God. Since purity is a gift from God, we need to desire it and pray for it.

Modesty is a virtue necessary for purity that flows from the virtues of temperance [moderation or self-restraint], chastity, and self-control. “Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships…It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.” (CCC, no. 2522).

This attitude of modesty is difficult to maintain in cultures that foster unhealthy sexual curiosity, permissiveness, and exploitation. These type of cultures challenge persons of faith to choose modesty as a way of life. Freedom is the right to choose what we morally should do, not just to choose whatever we want to do. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the witness of virtuous lives, we can begin to transform these cultures into those that promote Gospel values of abundant life, love, human dignity, peace, justice, joy, healing, forgiveness, compassion, and salvation.

* U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 33.
 Reflect on Your Experience
What thoughts or emotions cause you to lose self-control?

What practices could help you exercise self-control over your thoughts, emotions, and bodily desires?
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  
Videos
"The Ninth Commandment" (Fr. Dan O'Reilly)

Is Chastity Humanly Possible"

"Modesty"
Music
"May the Road Rise to Meet You"

"The Blessing" (Celtic Woman)

"O God, You Search Me"
Rites, Symbols, & Practices
"Catholic Commentary: The Ninth Commandment"

The Sixth and Ninth Commandments (Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.)
Reflection
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