But above all, to acquire the virtue
of chastity prayer
is necessary: it is necessary to pray, and to pray continually. It has already been said that chastity
can neither be acquired nor preserved unless God
grant His aid to preserve it; but this aid He gives only to those who ask it.
We should then, says St. Cyprian, instantly resist the first carnal solicitations with which the devil
assails us, and not permit the serpent, that is, the temptation, to grow strong. St. Jerome
gives this same advice: "You must not permit bad thoughts to grow in your mind; no, kill the enemy when he is small." It is easy to kill a lion when he is small, but not when his has grown to his full size.
Let us guard against reasoning with temptations contrary to chastity: let us endeavor instantly to banish them. And, as the spiritual masters teach, the best means of banishing such temptations is not to combat them directly face to face, by making contrary acts
of the will, but to get rid of them indirectly by acts
of the love of God, or of contrition, or at least by turning the mind
to other things.
But the means in which we should place the greatest confidence is prayer, and recommending ourselves to God. It is useful, as soon as we perceive the first motion of impurity, to renew our purpose to suffer death rather than consent to sin, and immediately after to have recourse to the wounds of Jesus Christ
It is also very useful to make the sign of the cross
on the breast, and to have recourse to our angel
guardian and our holy patron. But above all, it is useful to have recourse to Jesus Christ
and the divine Mother by instantly invoking their most holy names, and by continuing to invoke them until the temptation
is beaten down. Oh! how powerful are the most holy names of Jesus
against the attacks of impurity!
Devotion to the holy Virgin, who is called "the Mother of fair love, and the guardian of virginity," is a most useful devotion for the preservation of chastity. And to recite, at rising in the morning and going to bed at night, three "Hail Mary's," in honor of the purity of Mary, is a devotion that has singular efficacy in obtaining the gift of continence.
O Jesus, Who has said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened," through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, Who has said, "All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He ... continue reading
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