Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Prayers for Purity of Heart

What do you do in moments when your heart is tempted by lust? Would you repress the feeling or indulge in it?

Most of us think we only have those two options. According to Christopher West, and according to the Theology of the Body, there is actually a third option: Acknowledge the sexual feeling and embrace it as a gift from God. Mr. West expressed it beautifully in this prayer:

Lord, thank you for the beauty of this person whom you made to be loved -- never to be treated as a thing for my gratification. I renounce any tendency within me to use this person for my own pleasure, and I ask you to set my desires aright. Amen.

Our sexuality is God's gift to us. Things go wrong when we distort it or misuse it (Obsession with it leads to perversion, for example). Sex is such a beautiful gift because it allows the couple to express their love for one another physically. It is an instrument that allows the non-visible mystery of Love to be communicated, expressed, and shared into the visible language of sex. But it becomes legitimate only in the context of marital union.

Lord, I praise you and thank you for the gift of my sexual desires. By the power of your death and resurrection, untwist in me what sin has twisted so that I might know and experience sexual desire as you created it to be -- as the desire to love freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. Amen.

Love -- real, authentic love -- is the giving of oneself to the other freely and totally, the same way Christ gave himself totally to the cross for love of us. That is the meaning of love that must define our relationship with our love ones: with our family and friends, and even with strangers, we must give unconditional love; and with our spouse, we must give ourselves totally for his or her welfare and for his or her growth as a person.

Lord, help me to accept and receive my sexuality as a gift from you. Grant me the grace to resist the many lies that distort this divine gift and help me to live my sexuality according to the truth of self-giving love. Grant me purity of heart so that I might see the image of your glory in the beauty of others, and one day see you face to face. Amen.

So, sexual attraction is a normal thing. What's not normal is when we allow that feeling to be transformed into lust, because lust reduces the person to a mere object. The wise thing to do, therefore, is to arrest that feeling before it turns ugly. We can call on God to guide our thoughts. We can thank Him for our sexual desires, and ask Him to help us express our sexuality the right way. And we can thank Him for the beauty of His creation, reflected, physically or non-physically, in the persons we meet in our day to day lives.


Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! » » »

Anonymous said...

Very nice site! Thinking career interior design duck jerky in the oven Buy bontril online c o Define tramadol

eXTReMe Tracker