PRAYERS FOR PURITY
O most pure and ever-immaculate Virgin Mary, Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Eternal Son, and Spouse of the Holy Ghost, august and living temple of the most adorable Trinity, lily of purity and mirror without stain, obtain for me, dear Mother, I beseech thee, from the good Jesus, purity of mind and body, and beg of Him to cause this beautiful virtue to flourish more and more among all classes of the faithful.
By thy Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure, and my soul holy.
To thee, O Virgin Mother, who wast never defiled with the slightest stain of original or actual sin, I commend and entrust the purity of my heart.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
TEMPTATIONS AGAINST PURITY
“ ‘The rebellions of the sensual appetite,’ says the great St. Francis de Sales, in the 9th book of The Love of God, ‘whether it be anger or concupiscence, are left in us for our probation, that we may practise spiritual courage by resisting them.’ ‘The more the gold is tried in the furnace,’ said our Lord to a holy soul, ‘the purer it is: in like manner, the more chastity is tried in the fiery furnace of concupiscence, to which the soul gives no consent, the purer and fairer it becomes.’ These temptations are an alarum, which rouses all the virtues: to wit, humility, patience, submission to the Divine will, love of God, faith, hope, and all the other virtues. Was it not this that made the Apostle say (2 Cor. xii. 10), that he was strong in his weakness? This is why, when a person of great sanctity entreated the most holy Virgin to deliver a soul which was afflicted with temptations against purity, the Mother of God replied, ‘No, I will not; I will not do it; it will be one of the fairest flowers in her crown: there is no victory without conflict; if the temptations were removed, with them would go the occasions of fighting, winning many victories, and gaining as many rewards.’
“... Chastity does not consist in a great insensibility, but in resistance to everything which is contrary to perfect purity: by reason of which, says an eminent prelate, it is compared to a lily growing among thorns.
“If it be asked what ought to be done on such occasions, all spiritual books are full of holy counsels and salutary remedies for gaining the victory in these combats. Here I will only say that we must fly discreetly the occasions of temptation ... We must be watchful to resist the first beginning of bad thoughts. Suppose a burning coal were to fall on your dress: ah! would you delay shaking it off? These thoughts are coals from the fire of hell. St. Ignatius, founder of the Company of Jesus, was accustomed to say that the devil was like a serpent, which insinuates its whole body where once it has passed its head; and St. Pachomius related how the devils were constrained and compelled to avow to him that they stood in much fear of those who resisted their temptations at the first outset, and by whom they were at once vigorously repelled, but that they made sport of others who were negligent.
“However, we must say, with St. Teresa (in the Second Chamber of the Interior Castle), that our Lord often permits bad thoughts to afflict us without our being able to drive them away: at such times we must be neither saddened nor disquieted. It is enough that our will have no part therein. We ought to have recourse to prayer, and cherish devotion to the Blessed Virgin, especially to the mystery of her Immaculate Conception, whence miraculous aids are seen evidently to flow. It is good to bless and praise St. Joachim and St. Anne, saying to them that the most holy Virgin, their blessed daughter, proceeded from them without stain of original sin. A person of admirable virtue received extraordinary assistance in the case of horrible temptations against purity, caused by magicians and sorcerers, by honouring the holy Virgin and her glorious parents in this manner. Devotion to the holy Angels, the friends of the chaste, is also exceedingly efficacious.”
Boudon, Henri Marie, The Holy Ways of the Cross, pp. 125-129.
(Matthew 5:27-30) “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.”
(Romans 6:12) “Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof.”
(Romans 8:13) “For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.”
(Romans 12:1) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.”
(Romans 13:14) “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.”
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) “Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.”
(Galatians 5:16-17) “I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would.”
(Galatians 5:24) “And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.”
(Ephesians 6:11) “Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.”
(James 1:12) “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.”
(James 4:7) “Be subject therefore to God, but resist the devil, and he will fly from you.”
(1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.”