Sunday, February 15, 2015



The news has been saturated of late about the release of a sinful film based on a sinful book. And the masses are loving it. I'm sure there are many Catholics who have read this book and will no doubt see the movie. So, here is another teaching moment about the sad state of our society.

In the writings of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) she begins the story of her life (a very good book!) by speaking about her virtuous parents. She tells of her father as being extremely virtuous. Then, not far along in her story she speaks of a bad habit she developed by reading books of chivalry. She had a deep attachment to these stories and was not happy unless she had a new book to read. However, the Holy Spirit gave her light to see the dangers of this attachment. Read on as she explains her plight in her own words:

What I am going to tell about began, it seems to me, to do me much harm. I sometimes reflect on the great damage parents do by not striving that their children might always see virtuous deeds of every kind. For even though my mother, as I said, was so virtuous, I did not, in reaching the age of reason, imitate her good qualities; in fact hardly at all. And the bad ones did me much harm. She loved books of chivalry. But this pastime didn't hurt her the way it did me, for she did not fail to do her duties; and we used to read them together in our free time. Perhaps she did this reading to escape thinking of the great trials she had to bear and to busy her children with something so that they would not turn to other things dangerous to them. Our reading such books was a matter that weighed so much upon my father that we had to be cautioned lest he see us. I began to get the habit of reading these books. And by that little fault, which I saw in my mother, I started to grow cold in my desires and to fail in everything else. I didn't think it was wrong to waste many hours of the day and night in such a useless practice, even though hidden from my father. I was so completely taken up with this reading that I didn't think I could be happy if I didn't have a new book.
The Life, Chap. 2, No. 1

While the books that St. Teresa read were tame adventure stories with a touch of romance, she saw the danger in them. The popular romance novels of today are nothing but soft porn. Addiction to pornography affects an overwhelming number of the population today. Here is what the Catechism says about pornography:

 2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world.It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

The movie that has just been released will be seen by a vast number of young people who will be influenced by this film. It's nothing but a glorification of sexual perversion and fornication. Here is what the Catechism states about this:

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

Thankfully, priests and bishops are coming out to denounce this movie. This is what Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati had to say about the film:

"This movie is in direct contrast to the Christian message of God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy," he continued. "The movie is a direct assault on Christian marriage and on the moral and spiritual strength of God’s people. We need to inform our people about the destructive message of this movie and to highlight the beauty of God’s design for loving relationships between a husband and wife in the bond of marriage." 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have rated the film "O" morally offensive. Here is a link to their review of the movie:

As Catholics and as Secular Carmelites, let us take up and read good books that will feed our soul and help us spiritually. During the upcoming Lenten season we could read the ultimate good book, the Bible. 

Our Lady of Fatima warned us about the sins of the flesh. She told the children that most souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh. She asked the children to pray and offer sacrifices for sinners. They responded in a heroic degree and now their cause for canonization is before the Holy See.

Let us pray for those who are easily tempted, for those who fall into temptation, and for those living in grave mortal sin.  Let us pray for our country, for a return to purity, holiness, and reverence for God and his commandments.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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