Thought for the Day – 28 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How to Guard Holy Purity
“Because it is so difficult to preserve the angelic purity of the soul. it is absolutely essential to make good use of the measures favoured for this purpose, by the masters of the spiritual life.
The first of these is prayer – the spirit of prayer will keep us close to God.
If our minds and hearts are united to God in the performance of every action, we will never allow ourselves to be separated from Him by impurity.
This spirit of prayer must be based on humility and the consciousness of our continual need of God and, must be kept alive, by love for Him.
The second measure is, to avoid the occasions of sin.
“Sensuality is best conquered by flight.” St Thomas Aquinas advises us (Summa Theologiae I-II, q 35).
“He who loves danger will perish in it” (Ecclus 3:25).
Battles like this, said St Francis de Sales, are won by the soldiers who retreat.
As soon as an impure thought or image intrudes itself, drive it away as if a serpent were attacking you.
It is fatal to allow the thought or image to gain ground, for at this stage, victory becomes extremely difficult!
Thirdly, it often helps to occupy the mind and imagination immediately with things in which we are interested.
The greatest danger of all in these moments of temptation is idleness.
So let us examine our conscience now and we shall perceive, that everytime we have fallen in any way, it was always because we did not put into practice, the remedies suggested.”