Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

07 July 2012

The Most Beautiful Sound I Ever Heard

On the sixth of July the Church celebrates Saint Maria Goretti, a girl of twelve who got it.

Speaking about those who get it, where else but the Catholic Church is great dignity lavished upon  persons who

  • fend off their aggressor,
  • while alive, pray for their aggressor while warning him of his sin, and
  • while dead, pray for their aggressor into his conversion!
Where else will you find people like Jason and Crystallina Evert, who get it and can speak about it to young people--to those allegedly incapable of receiving and processing anything beyond a sound byte? Where else will people not only get it, but walk the talk and have oodles of fun doing so?

The prophet Amos (8:11-12) spoke of a coming famine--not of food or drink, but of "hearing the word of the Lord."  Alas many pulpits run the risk of becoming empty granaries or kicked kegs!  But the New Evangelization is out to get people who haven't been near a pulpit since they went to a bar that was "converted" (strange use of that word!) from a church, or who aren't old enough to be in a bar.  Hats off to the apostles of the New Evangelization, who know better than I how to reach this audience (of which, demographically, I may still be a member).

I was in the pharmacy the other day when I noticed that one side of aisle 9 featured products for "Incontinence" and for "Family Planning."


If the former were in place, the latter wouldn't be necessary.

Aisle 9 has products for those who are unable or unwilling to "hold it in": to contain themselves, to keep their urges in check, to channel/consecrate their human desires for the right outlet in the right context.  Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, Church Teaching, Divine Grace, and Human Discipline are solutions for the sexually incontinent.

In our time we're not used to hearing that word, "incontinence," with regard to the generative faculty.  It is one of the "fruits of the Holy Spirit", of which Galatians 5 mentions nine and traditional lists sport twelve.  It is the last, for which the best is saved; and never more appropriately so than with the first-fruits, "the best of my love."

While Maria offered her very life in exchange for her purity, many of us do not.  We are relieved to know that, while bodily integrity cannot be recovered, spiritual integrity can be.  Human and divine helps are out there in spades, but, owing to the delicacy of the concern, they are not easy to find.  Your Reverend Blogger and many other priests (who, despite popular notions and increasingly well-publicized activities, are in a position to talk) can point the way to those in need.

May God reward the courage of those who, even in the anonymity of the confessional, take the necessary step of asking for help.  

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us; strengthen our resolve to order our desires according to the heart of Christ.  Help so many of us to believe that such realignment is necessary, desirable, and possible!

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