Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » More difficult than chastity

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It is no secret we live in a non-naturalized sex saturated culture. It takes about one evening of watching “Law and Order” to see that. A short survey of commercials would make an alien from Mars think that tooth paste and immodesty together make white teeth. Great things like beer must be advertised with phony photo-shopped faux digitized cartoons that tries to appeal to our unitive/reproductive desires. If only beer companies would put that money into their core competency rather than playing to man’s lust perhaps beer would actually have some taste so that new flavors like beer tea would not be pushed on us.

Chastity is a very difficult virtue to practice no doubt. But there is something more difficult than chastity, something far more seductive than the flawless magazine cover yelling at customers in the grocery store line, something far more dangerous and if left untreated turns a person into a miserable character.

It is so manipulative in fact that deity-incarnate taught us to ask for it and it appears right before our pleading to keep us from temptation and deliverance from evil.

There are many forms of pain. There is physical pain when a person hits another. There is emotional when one loses a close friend or relative. Mental pains of panic or stress are also quite debilitating. Perhaps the great pain is of the spiritual life, despair, a loss of hope when everything seems to be going against you. The message of the Gospel is one of hope.

When a person receives pain, the temptation is strike back and dole out 66 times the just amount. Hate swells and expects its pound of flesh. It is at this moment that the hardest line in the Gospel is heard, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” Not just once, not a couple of times, not threes a company, but 77 times forgiveness. “That is impossible.” Exactly, humanly it is impossible and hence our pleading for mercy to receive the gift to be able to forgive. If we expect to be forgiven, we must ourselves forgive our neighbor and in doing be like God. Perhaps the greatest thing I learned Christian Spirituality course in college was something we memorized, "God's greatest attribute is His mercy."