Wisdom of the Saints….about purity (part 2)

If you wish to prevent all evil thoughts, let your eyes be modestly reserved, and make a league with them never to look upon anything which it is not permitted you to desire.” St. Gregory of Nyssa (4th century)

As water extinguishes fire, so prayer extinguishes the heat of the passions.” St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“Don’t say that you have a chaste mind if you have unchaste eyes, because an unchaste eye is the messenger of an unchaste heart.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

Chastity, or cleanness of heart, holds a glorious and distinguished place among the virtues, because she alone enables man to see God; hence Truth Itself said: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’.St. Augustine of Hippo

Morally, if anyone desires to attain unto the glory of eternity, he must study to be a child – to be pure in three things. Firstly, in the heart…secondly, in the mouth…thirdly, in deed.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)

An evil thought defiles the soul when it is deliberate and is consented to. Our Lord placed evil thoughts at the head of all crimes, because they are their principle and source.” St. John Baptist de la Salle (17th-18th centuries)

The pure soul is a beautiful rose, and the Three Divine Persons descend from Heaven to inhale its fragrance.” St. John Vianney (18th-19th centuries)

Purity is a precious jewel, and the owner of a precious stone would never dream of making a display of his riches in the presence of thieves.” St. John Bosco (19th century)

All prayer implies an act of the will, a desire for growth, a willingness to sacrifice on our own part; for prayer is not passive, but is a very active collaboration between the soul and God. If the will is inoperative, our prayers are merely a list of things we would like God to give us, without ever asking us to pay the price they cost in effort and a willingness to change. Prayer is dynamic, but only when we cooperate with God through surrender. The man who decides to pray for release from slavery of carnal pleasures must be prepared, in every part of his being, to utilize the strength which God will give him and to work unreservedly for a complete freedom from the sin. In dealing with other men it is possible to have one’s cake and eat it, but with God that is impossible.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)

The world makes the mistake of assuming that virginity is opposed to love, as poverty is opposed to wealth. Rather, virginity is related to love as a university education is related to a grammar-school education. Virginity is the mountain peak of love, as marriage is its hill. Simply because virginity is often associated with asceticism and penance, it is thought to mean only the giving up of something. The true picture is that asceticism is only the fence around the garden of virginity. A guard must always be stationed around the Crown Jewels of England, not because England loves soldiers but because it needs them to protect the jewels. So the more precious the love, the greater the precautions to guard it. Since no love is more precious than that of a soul in love with God, the soul must ever be on the watch against lions who would overrun its green pastures. The grating in a Carmelite monastery is not to keep the sisters in but to keep the world out.” Ven. Fulton Sheen

Lift up your heart: the search for pleasure is a sign of emptiness which the Divine alone can fill. Everyone who is not in love with Love is hunting for an artificial paradise; and would he look so hard for Heaven if he were not intended for Heaven? Inside his heart is a terrible void. Every sin he commits is an attempt to fill that void. All lovers without God are disappointed lovers.” Ven. Fulton Sheen

In the Christian view, chastity by no means signifies rejection of human sexuality or lack of esteem for it: rather it signifies spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it towards its full realization.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)