Good morning!

Last night Rayne and I watched the life story of Saint Maria Goretti, an extremely inspiring story about the grace of God and the call to sexual purity.

Maria was only 11 when a 19 year old young man tried to rape her and when she refused he brutally stabbed her to death.

On her death bed she forgave him and only a short time later she visited him in a dream when he was in prison and handed him 14 white lilies, one for each stabbing. He immediately converted his heart and turned his life to God and spent the rest of his life in prayer.

On his death bed he wrote “avoid immoral images and occasions of sin”.

Presumably he had watched immortal material as a young boy which in turn led him to wanting to put it into practice with Maria. The seeds of lust had been sown and the temptation overtook him. I can only imagine how he must have been tortured for the rest of his life for his mistake and yet imagine the happiness in heaven where both he and Maria were reunited. The power of Jesus.

This movie and story once again reminds us of the place of sexual purity on the journey of holiness. Maria shouted at Alessandro as he tried to rape her “God does not want this”. Although she was very young, her thoughts were crystal clear.

Shortly after her death people flocked to her grave for prayer and miracles began to happen. Heaven was indeed validating the holiness of Maria and the call to sexual purity.

As I contrasted this to today’s society and church I felt sad. Sad that sexual impurity has become so normalised that to say as Maria said “God does not want this” can get you into trouble.

“You can’t know what God wants”, “you can’t judge”….are just some of the things people say when one speaks of purity….

Recently I had an encounter with a very well educated elderly priest, in my experience the most dangerous type as their age and education almost demand a certain respect and submission despite their obvious lack of holiness and prayer.

He inquired about my sex life first with Rayne and he seemed most troubled that we were living a life of chastity and prayer to the best of our ability. He seemed horrified that we were torturing ourselves in this way and he seemed to be on a mission to free us and tell us that gay sex was ok!

As I’ve said many times, mercy for some people doesn’t involve helping others to carry their cross but rather cutting up the cross and telling them to swim in sin.

Well meaning and yet irritated that an ‘intelligent fellow like me’ could be torturing myself by living a life of purity he tried another angle!

“It’s only a sin if you think that it’s a sin”.

“Not this rubbish I thought” to myself as he gleamed with joy.

Can we really trick God? Aren’t we supposed to educate people who are unaware of their sin?

And if a soul in purgatory were to come back do you think that they would make such a cunning and twisted statement?

Even the catechism is crystal clear that a sin is a sin even if a person doesn’t know that it’s a sin. Certainly they’ll be judged less severely because of their ignorance but the effects will still need to be purified before the soul goes to heaven.

In my experience holiness is like a language and when a foreigner for example makes a grammar mistake in ignorance, we don’t go crazy and condemn them but we don’t rewrite the grammar book either and suddenly proclaim that they speak perfectly!!

Our Lady in Medjugorje speaks of the call to holiness and the 5 stones which include mass, prayer, confession, fasting and reading the bible.

All the saints spoke of daily prayer, attending mass as frequently as possible and doing a daily examination of conscious.

In summary, holiness requires a massive effort and any type of evangelisation that fails to explain this to people is not evangelisation.

Certainly in today’s society people do not want to hear about sin or morality or conversion and they long to hear about a God that loves them and loves everything that they do.

But this God doesn’t exist and anyone who promotes such an attitude has become a mouthpiece of Satan whether they realise it or not!

Satan is a seducer, a flatterer, a deceiver, a liar and a fraud. He appeals to the senses rather than the intelligence as he desperately tries to derail people from the path of prayer and holiness.

Satan despises the Holy Spirit, he despises prayer, he despises sexual purity and chastity and most of all he despises confession.

Why? Simple! Because when we walk in the light of Jesus, we have power, protection and authority over him while when we don’t, he has authority over us.

He feeds off chaos, off hatred, off division, off lust…..He is a monster!

And so today as I give thanks to God for the extraordinary life of Maria Goretti, I pray sincerely for our priests that they will fiercely take up the war for holiness and prayer, that they will not be afraid to call a sin a sin and especially in this area of sexual purity, that they will hold fast to the teachings of the church and to the examples and teachings of countless saints.

I also pray for the conversion of heart of those priests who have been deceived and now unwittingly spread the deception to others. May they be touched by the firm and merciful hand of Our Lady and may they be brought back onto the narrow path of picking up the cross and following Jesus.

Here is a link to the story of Maria Gorerti: https://youtu.be/dKr0qJAtI48

Have a beautiful day and thanks for reading!

Michael