5.30.2013

Purity - What's the Point?


Let's go ahead and talk about purity. (I'm being inspired.)

The definition of purity - freedom from immorality especially of a sexual nature. How funny, freedom! We think of freedom as no curfew, doing whatever you please, maybe doing whomever you please. But it has the total opposite effect on you. (I'll talk about that later.)

Anyway.

Purity is freeing us from the one thing we should detest the most - sin. Purity is so beautiful and to strive for purity of the heart, body, soul, and mind is the best way to ever achieve the goal! It's always hard to not fall into the temptations of this world since it is everywhere...

For example, way back in 8th grade my friend came over to sleep at my house and we were watching a cute movie then decided to go outside for a while. We stayed outside till around 8 or 9 (I don't really remember, it was dark) and we wanted to come in and play the Wii. So I turned on the TV and right in front of my very young eyes was PORN. It was only 8 or 9 (my brothers go to bed later than that) and it was the same channel we had on that aired the cute little movie that we watched just a few hours back (which was not porn.) I started thinking about how if my little brothers were to turn on the TV and see that, they would have been more terrified than I was! Now of course, we screamed and started frantically pushing buttons on the TV trying to erase that from our eye sight and memory, so it didn't stay on that channel for long. 

BUT SERIOUSLY? Everywhere you turn there is some type of pornography/porn. Just in commercials for TV shows, ads on the internet, bill boards in the mall, MOVIES. It may not be the full blown porn but certainly has the power to put guys and girls into the state of temptation to lust.






So, what is the point of purity if it is so hard to maintain it?

-First, being pure is not lame. 

My purity is something I treasure, it is something my brothers can look up too, my husband can treasure, and my parents and all those who love me would appreciate. One of my most treasured items is my purity ring. Sometimes I look at it and smile, knowing that Christ has my heart, my everything, and through Christ my purity could not happen. I also think of my husband, my future kids, and all the blessings that will come with saving my virginity until marriage.





 Now just because I am a 'virgin' does not at all mean that I am 'pure'! You can still be labeled a virgin but still have struggles with your purity through your mind and body! Lustful thoughts, porn, oral sex, masturbation, hooking up, whatever else there is without doing the complete action of sex(in terms of pre-marital sex) - are all taking away from the beauty of purity and all that it holds within.  I know - it's hard to stay pure in today's world and to even want to stay pure. 

Even if you are not a virgin or if you are but you are not pure and desire to be pure - look to Jesus and His Resurrection! Jesus is where the healing begins. "BEHOLD, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5). No one is an exception to purity. We are all called to it!







Also, just to throw in there. Even when you are married you are called to be pure! Purity doesn't stop at marriage. 



-Second, it is a sign of respect for God, myself, my husband,  parents, his parents, and anyone else who is in my life or will be. 

We are the temple of God - "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself." (1 Cor. 6:19). So whenever we stay pure in heart, mind, soul, body we are allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in His temple, it's what we were created for! The Holy Spirit was meant for us. (Yay Pentecost!) When we do this out of respect for God, we are also doing it out of respect for all of the above. 

We are respecting our selves enough to realize that we weren't made for this lustful world to overcome us - we were made for MORE. "I have come, so that they may have life, life to the full." (John 10:10). We were all made and created at a price and we should cherish that enough to cherish ourselves and the beautiful gift of our virginity. 


We are respecting our spouse by waiting for them alone! By keeping yourself pure all these years for him/her. I mean in no way am I perfect, but I am so thankful that I have not put myself in a situation that would harm my virginity. How special it will be on that day whenever we get married and exchange rings that I could tell my husband "I am giving myself to you, and only you. No other man before or after you. YOU!" And then let's say you are called to religious life, well PERFECT! You can give EVERYTHING to Christ. No need to throw away your virginity if you are called, better the reason to protect it! How beautiful to enter the gates of heaven a Virgin of Christ!




-Third, purity frees you from sin! 

It is a virtue(chastity) - a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person. God did not create purity to just add to a things we shouldn't do. He created it for our own happiness, our own holiness. St. Augustine said, "Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity." St. Augustine knows just how horrible it is to fall out of purity but how beautiful it is to be freed from those things. When you are pure, you are not bound by the sin of lustful thinking etc. You are freed. I can't explain just how beautiful it is to see the pure goodness in things out of your own purity! 




The world tells you that  if you are a virgin by senior year or more terrifying - if you haven't hooked up with anyone by then, then apparently you  just haven't lived the "life". Which is completely irrelevant to living a good life. I haven't had sex or hooked up with anyone and I DO NOT regret it either. I thank God that I have even more to give to my husband, including my first kiss. Yup, it's true!! And guess what?! I haven't died yet. ;) I am completely free and through my actions ( or no actions) I am not bound to a person who has taken something valuable from me. Through Christ, in Christ, I find my comfort and joy and in Him I am completely satisfied. He guides me to live my life PURELY and through that I am not looking for worldly pleasures. I am free.




- Fourth, Why not stay pure? 

I mean nothing bad could ever come from staying pure. It's one of those things that if you practice it, you lose nothing but are able to gain a hundred fold! That is one reason it's a virtue. Purity bears fruit within it. 


"Purity prepares the soul for love, and love confirms the soul in purity."
 - Cardinal John Henry Newman


And even if you are not in a pure state and haven't been for a while there is always always the chance to dedicate your life and purity back to Christ and to your future husband(like I've stated above). Every new day is a day to live for Christ, and you can always choose to turn away from bad habits. It's hard, certainly, but through Christ nothing is impossible and He desires nothing but the best for you. Desire the best for yourself. You'll come to realize that this kind of freedom is not one easily to be lost when given at such a price. 




I'll give you a few ways that will help protect your purity.
  • Always pray.
  • Don't put yourself in any situation that would most likely end up harming your purity.
  • Girls -Put some clothes on. You are of much of the sin as the guy is who is lusting after you. Guys - just don't go to the mall. (Just kidding) Look away and think about your future wife. Perfect time to pray for her too:) Also, pray for the girl who isn't respecting herself and others.
  • Let it be known to others and yourself. Wear a purity ring if it helps you remember how precious your purity is to Jesus, others, and yourself.
  • Stray away from stupid magazines, tv shows, movies, internet sites - whatever it may be. Think about that person who is advertising themselves as someones daughter or son. Make up a name for them. Like Patrice or Mike? It helps with the realization that they are humans too.


May God bless and Mary protect.








"O Heart infinitely purer than the hearts of angels, the source of all purity,
 imprint on my heart a very special love of purity
 and a vivid horror of all that
 is contrary to it."
Amen
+JMJ.M+


"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me."
- Psalm 51:10








St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

5.11.2013

Do You Think I'm Beautiful?


Do you think I'm beautiful? 

No really, do you honestly think that I am beautiful?? 

^ I struggled with that question for a long time and to be honest, I still do, but I don't think about it as much.  Now this is something I KNOW that every single girl has asked herself as well as others. I know that I have asked my mom and dad that question countless times and even though they always told me yes it was never good enough for me. Even if my friends, a stranger, or some guy told me that I was beautiful it would bring a smile to my face for about 30 seconds but it always went away because I didn't believe them. I couldn't believe them. I couldn't look in the mirror and see my worth and my unique beauty, all I could see was every little thing that was "wrong" with me. I would look at every girl and recognize the beauty that they possessed and believe that somehow, I didn't have what they had. 

Now I'm not saying this to make you pity me but rather to show you how real this issue is between all girls and that you are definitely not going through this problem alone (or didn't go through this alone.. whatever your situation).

In our society we are shown how we should look, act and dress just to be under the category "beautiful" or better yet - "accepted". And the sad part is, is that we actually believe what they say rather then believe in ourselves and what Christ says about us. We try so hard to be skinny enough, to be pretty enough, to have the perfect look, hair, clothes, EVERYTHING. 
-(By the way if you look up beauty on google or any search engine you will find all of these women who have been airbrushed and are advertising make up. Sorry society, you got it all wrong. So sad.)-


Dove understands how messed up "beauty" is.

Why do we try so hard to obtain all of these things and for WHO? is the question. I believe that we think the ONLY way for us to become beautiful is in the eyes of others and then we will start to believe that we are actually beautiful. But that's totally the opposite way around. We first have to look at ourselves as beautiful and worthy - and that's only made possible through the eyes of Christ. Once we acknowledge our unique beauty,  we look at others, and instead of seeking our own beauty in them, we start to find their true beauty and realize how precious they are to Christ, as well as your own self. 

Why do we even bother to maintain all of those vain things anyway? I mean just look at the religious sisters!!! They are completely gorgeous and they don't even try! They don't wear make-up, their habits are not revealing (other than revealing their true identity), the only man they rely on is Christ, and they can light up a whole auditorium with just a smile. The only approval they seek is that of Christ and they find it and are completely satisfied. They are filled with Christ-like beauty and joy, which is contagious, and which you can also obtain. 




Now this is just crazy. I went to Imagine Sisters Facebook page to look for pictures of sisters and I was like, PERFECT, A picture with true beauty. AND LOOK WHO IS IN THE PICTURE! If I'm not mistaken, the one in the middle is Sr. Fleur de Carmel. WHAT?!?






So here it is girls, the perfect example of true feminine beauty - MARY. There are many ways as to why but the one aspect of Mary I always strive for is her 'yes'. Just to give everything totally and completely to God and trust in Him is beauty beyond compare. When you do that, you understand your worth and beauty in Him and don't need any reason to look further. 






If only we could see ourselves the way Christ sees us. (I couldn't imagine…) 

I encourage all women to look upon the gifts they have been given and not on the flaws. I saw this quote about how we are all beautifully flawed, and it's true. Our flaws are what makes every individual unique, therefore beautiful and their own. We should cherish that and rejoice because of God's unique way to love us individually. 







Maybe you would take this more to heart if a guy wrote this, I know I probably would, but a guy didn't. I mean all of this with my heart and soul. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Go no further, Christ thinks you are beautiful:) Just look:



"Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." - Proverbs 31:30


"Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." - Psalm 43:5

"He has made everything beautiful in it's time." - Ecclesiastes 3:11


I know it is hard to live a modest, beautiful, and becoming life in this society but Jesus has overcome the world and so can you. Something I'm personally doing to help myself see beauty is stop wearing make-up. I only wore mascara but it's crazy just how much I relied on that tube of black gunk to make me pretty. Don't get me wrong, I'm still trying to get accompanied with it and it's hard. I feel like I'm naked when I go out in public when I don't have my make-up on. Maybe its weird to you, but I believe that doing this will help me look at MYSELF in the mirror and see beauty (not with the help of make-up).  Maybe I look like the ferocious beast or maybe I look like cute little Maggie (get it?) but at this point in time, I don't really care. I know that Christ has made me beautiful, as with all women/girls/young ladies, you just have to accept it. ;)







I just found this video today while searching for things to put on this post and found it very appropriate to share. She also has a blog called True Beauty if you go search for it. She has video documents on matters such as these, also. Her name is Lisa Chan and is trying to get the world to identify themselves in Christ. So glad she is doing something about this :)




May God bless you abundantly and may you find rest and peace in Him.

+JMJ.T+

5.01.2013

Lord, I need You

I have been dwelling, lately, on my neediness for Christ and how much I fail to give everything to Him.  Even though I pray those words of self-giving I never feel that my heart is truly able to accept the fact and is unwilling to go through with the prayer. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" sort of deal. During the day my life is so not focused around Christ and what He desires of me. It's always my will during the day and at night when I reflect upon those things I get frustrated at my lack of love and trust towards God. I know everyone, or most everyone, may go through this so I will share my prayer of neediness in Christ in my life to you all. Feel free to pray this whenever you need. May God bless you so much!!






Dear LORD,
     Thank You so much for all of the blessings and miracles You have given me throughout this life, including all of the people You have blessed me with. I don't and can't thank You enough for being so good to me. I love You so much and I wish to only find my hope and love in You. Help me not to look towards worldly goods as my comforts, but only to You, Oh Jesus. My heart really does long to love others and to love You as You have so loved me. Even though I will fail time and time again, help me to not lose courage and faith. I wish to please only You and do only whatever You will me to do. Help me grow in love and humility towards others and give me words only You wish to be spoken through me. Help me not to judge others- but only love them and pray for them. Help me to control my anger and grow tremendously in patience. LORD, help me and guide me in the path my soul was destined to take. I pray that I will be radiantly willing to accept whatever you ask of me and through that only to glorify You, Oh GOD. Help me to maintain silence, peace, and simplicity within my heart so that my actions, thoughts, and words will not be in vain and of my own. Look upon your daughter/son with love, mercy, and understanding. Keep me safe in Your Most Sacred Heart and Mary, dear Mother hear my prayer and intercede through my prayer to your most Beloved Son, Jesus. Give me strength, willingness, and passion to go on. I wish to only love You. Amen.

Your Beloved
-Zoë Jumonville-







-Blessed Virgin, pray for us!-