Still Struggling?

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  - Mt. 5:8

So, I’ve got the whole modesty and dancing thing down but let’s face it.  Sure, I shouldn’t unveil what should remain hidden.  I should be careful with my choice of clothing and with the way I act around others, especially those of the opposite sex.  All of this is true, but it’s just the first step. 

Let’s talk about purity.  It may be a beautiful virtue but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to live.  Let’s face it, you can revise your entire wardrobe and get rid of everything indecent you have and still struggle with purity. 

The plus side of all this is that as long as there is a struggle, you’re more than likely on the right track.  If there’s no struggle, there’s no victory.   So don’t despair.  Purity is not impossible. 

One thing is clear: purity is a battle that can’t be won on your own.  God is more than willing to come to your aid.  It’s a team effort.  You, for your part, will need a few weapons:
1 – The virtue and gift of chastity.  This will require your own personal effort but also God’s grace.  Ask for it and you will be able to love with a sincere and undivided heart. 

2 – Purity of intention.  Be authentic, not fake.  As the Book of Wisdom puts it: “Appearance arouses yearning in fools” (Wis. 15:5) If you want to find and fulfill God’s will in everything, this is the only way to go. 

3 – Purity of vision, external and internal.  The gateway to impurity often begins with your eyes but it doesn’t stop there.  If you don’t learn how to control what you see, your feelings and imagination will also take over.  Start with your gaze and you’ll see how it changes your heart.

4 – Prayer.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it alone.  Purity of heart is achieved first through union with God in prayer.  Here’s what St. Augustine has to say about it:
“I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself.  I was foolish enough not to know… that no one can be continent unless you grant it.  For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.”

So, that’s it.  If you want purity, get your weapons ready and fight.