Sometime afterward, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not FEAR, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.
Let us take heart for the word (Christ) appeared to Abram and told him to not to fear the world. Abram was sore afraid because he had just been in battle with four Kings to rescue Lot his nephew and he feared retribution. Christ is our shield against the world (the four kings east, west, north and south) and he has rewarded us the spiritual children of Abram with eternal life. Our shield is our Faith. Do you believe? Do you really believe? Think of a shield it protects the heart from the arrows of the devil-which is doubt. But notice the shield does not protect the eyes and the head unless it is raised. When doubt comes around raise your shield of Faith and after the assault lower the shield and advance using your reason and your head and eyes in faith to make a difference in the world.
Additionally in Proverbs 2 it states that he is a shield to those who walk in integrity; let us resolve to walk resolutely in integrity by using faith and reason in the battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. True integrity is being willing to lay down your life for what you hold fast as the truth without wavering. Having integrity means avoiding the sins of envy and having a true love for God our creator and to love our neighbor as ourselves and our fellow humans treating them with kindness.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift
of the Holy Spirit
The first day of the week
1. In those early Christian times, the weekly rhythm of days was generally not part of life in the regions where the Gospel spread, and the festive days of the Greek and Roman calendars did not coincide with the Christian Sunday. For Christians, therefore, it was very difficult to observe the Lord's Day on a set day each week. This explains why the faithful had to gather before sunrise. Yet fidelity to the weekly rhythm became the norm, since it was based upon the New Testament and was tied to Old Testament revelation. This is eagerly underscored by the Apologists and the Fathers of the Church in their writings and preaching where, in speaking of the Paschal Mystery, they use the same Scriptural texts which, according to the witness of Saint Luke (cf. 24:27, 44-47), the Risen Christ himself would have explained to the disciples. In the light of these texts, the celebration of the day of the Resurrection acquired a doctrinal and symbolic value capable of expressing the entire Christian mystery in all its newness.
Sexagesima-The perils of exile (persecution)
and the fruits of asceticism (the Word being sown into our hearts).
Sexagesima literally means "sixtieth,"
though it only falls 56 days before Easter. During these weeks contemplate the
ways you can build up your fear of the Lord remembering that fear of the Lord
is really a deep abiding love for God.
The Introit of the Mass is taken from the forty-third psalm: Arise; why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end; why turnest Thou Thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? for our soul is humbled down to the dust; our belly cleaveth to the earth. Arise, O Lord, help us, and redeem us for Thy name’s sake. We have heard, O God, with our ears; our fathers have declared to us.
O God, Who seest that we confide in no action of
our own, grant, in Thy mercy, that we may be defended from all evils by the
protection of the Doctor of the gentiles. Amen.
EPISTLE, ii. Cor. xi. 19; xii. 9.
Brethren: You gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonor, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly) I dare also: they are Hebrews, so am I: they are Israelites, so am I: they are the seed of Abraham, so am I: they are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more: in many more labors: in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own nation, in perils from the gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren: in labor and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Farther of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to the visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not, God knoweth), such an one rapt even to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) that he was caught up into paradise: and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. For such an one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, _ snail- not be foolish: for I will say the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or anything he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me: and He said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
By the example of St. Paul, the Church would incite us to work out our salvation by cooperating faithfully with the grace of God. Let us, like this great apostle, be not irritated at temptations, but firmly combat and overcome them by the help of divine grace.
Grant me, O God, Thy grace, that I may in these evil days keep steadily to Thy holy doctrine, and never be seduced from obeying it, either by the allurements of the world, or the reproaches of the wicked. Amen.
GOSPEL. Luke viii. 4-15.
At that time: When a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Him, He spoke by a similitude: The sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside and was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground: and being sprang up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside, are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots: for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away. And that which fell among thorns, are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground: are they who in a good and a very good heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.
Why is the word of God here compared to seed?
Because as good fruits spring from good seed, so do good works from the word of God; and as it is impossible for any soil not sown to produce good fruits, so neither can men produce the fruits of the Spirit without the seed of the divine Word.
Why did Our Savior cry out, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear?”
To declare the necessity of heeding the word of God, since without the instruction in our holy religion which we derive from that word we cannot know what we must do to please God, and save our souls.
then, does it happen that, notwithstanding the excellence of the divine word,
there are so many bad Christians?
The fault is with men, who, though they hear the word of God, hear, read, and meditate superficially. The divine seed finds no moisture or root in their hearts; they are overgrown with the piercing thorns of cares, riches, and sensual lusts, so that the seed of the divine word is choked up, and can neither grow nor bear fruit.
What is the effect of the word of God when heeded?
To wash away sin, implant virtue, and create the world anew. Jeremias says: “Are not My words as a fire” (Jer. xxiii. 29) which bursts out from within, consuming the vapors of sin, drying up the marshes of vice, and killing the deep roots of bad habits? Again, it is “a hammer,” breaking in pieces the rocks of hardened hearts. St. Paul says: “It is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword: reaching into the division of the soul and spirit, of the joints also and the marrow” (Heb. iv. 12) that is, cutting away from the spirit sensual lusts. St. James calls it a mirror, in which a man beholding himself and his sins becomes ashamed, and tries to get free from them (James i. 23). It is, finally, the good seed, which, falling upon good ground, yields fruit a hundredfold.
What must we do BEFORE a sermon?
St. Chrysostom asks, “Who pours a precious liquid into an unclean vessel, before he has washed it?” We should, therefore, cleanse our hearts before a sermon by contrition, for wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul (Wis. i. 4). As the ground to be sown must first be prepared, so must our hearts be cleansed, and made ready by a holy desire of learning what is good.
What must we do DURING a sermon?
We must listen attentively and respectfully, for it is God Who speaks to us through the preacher: “He that heareth you, heareth Me” (Luke x. 16). If an ambassador reading the letters of his king is listened to with great attention, quiet, and respect, says St. Chrysostom, how much greater veneration should we not pay to the minister of God announcing His holy will? Be careful, therefore, not to show contempt for the preacher, for that will reach back to God, Who has said, “He that despiseth you, despiseth Me” (Luke x. 16). Be careful not to apply what is said in the sermon to others, but rather take heed to thyself (i. Tim. iv. 16). If you are free from those sins which the sermon points at, thank God, arid pray that you may not fall into them.
What must we do AFTER a sermon?
We must endeavor to practice what we have heard; for God justifies, not the hearers of the law, but only the doers (Rom. ii. 13) of it. In order to practice what we hear in the sermon it is necessary, in the first place, to keep it in our minds, to ponder it carefully and remember it. Christ, therefore, blesses those who hear the word of God and keep it (Luke xi. 28). The seed cannot bring forth fruit if not well covered with good ground, warmed by the sun, moistened by the rain and dew, and cared for in other ways. Finally, pray often to God, that He may keep alive in you the divine truths which you have heard.
O my God, I am
covered with shame, because the seed of Thy divine word, which Thou hast so
abundantly sown in my heart, has brought forth so little fruit. Have mercy, O
Lord, and change my heart, that it may become good ground, in which Thy word
may take root, thrive, grow, and finally bring forth the fruit of salvation,
which Thou requirest of me. Amen.
Novena to the Holy Face
To prepare ourselves for union with God; I recommend we start a Novena to the Holy Face of Christ. I try to do this yearly in preparation for lent.
Novena will end on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the day that Judas
went to the Sanhedrin to betray Christ.
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
The Golden Arrow
(as dictated by Our Lord to Sister Marie of St. Peter)
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the dying. Amen.
All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to My Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God.
1. Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My
2. By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
3. By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God, and draw down mercy on sinners.
4. As in a kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the King's effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of My Holy Face.
5. Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
6. They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven.
7. I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.
Novena in Honor
the Most Holy Face of Jesus
"I firmly wish that my face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honored! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
"All those who, attracted by my love, and venerating my countenance, shall receive, by virtue of my humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of my divinity. This splendor shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features with my divine countenance." (Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Gertrude)
(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer)
Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults; wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.
O most Holy Face of Jesus, look with tenderness on us who are sinners. You are a merciful God, full of love and compassion. Keep us pure of heart, so that we may see Thee always. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us; Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer to Our Almighty Father
Almighty Father come into our hearts, and so fill us with your love that forsaking all evil desires, we may embrace you, our only good. Show us, O Lord our God, what you are to us. Say to our souls, I am your salvation, speak so that we may hear. Our hearts are before you; open our ears; let us hasten after your voice. Hide not your Face from us, we beseech you, O Lord. Open our hearts so that you may enter in. Repair the ruined mansions, that you may dwell therein. Hear us, O Heavenly Father, for the sake of your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, (3)
Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be,
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
of the Master
In 1913 the renowned Harry Emerich Fosdick wrote a 12-week study on the Manhood of Jesus Christ. Fosdick writes, “This work is not a portrait of the life of the Master or a study of his teaching. It is an endeavor to understand and appreciate the quality of his character. Neither this this work an attempted to contribution to the theology; it is an endeavor, rather, to get back behind the thoughts of the centuries about him, and to see the Man Christ Jesus himself as he lives in the pages of the gospels.
During the Lenten period we will utilize the work to come closer to Christ’s manhood using this source as fruit for a study of Christ. Hopefully our study will help us rise with Christ and become true sons of Mary and the Church.
The Super Bowl is the season final championship game of National Football League (NFL) in the United States of America. The matchup for this game is the winning teams of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). Super Bowl 1 was held in February of 1967. The 2016 game was Super Bowl 50. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the United States. Nielsen Media Research, in had over 114.4 million viewers in 2015.
Super Bowl Facts
· Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year - after Thanksgiving. According to the National Chicken Council, in 2015 a total of 1.25 million chicken wings were eaten during the game.
· The winner receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Vince Lombardi was the coach for the Green Bay Packers who won the first two Super Bowls back-to-back.
· The record for the most points scored by a single team during a Super Bowl, is held by San Francisco. San Francisco scored a total of 55 points against Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.
Super Bowl Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend the Super Bowl. You can purchase second-hand tickets through various online marketplaces. According to Seat Geek, the average price for a ticket in 2015 was $2,670.
· Have a Super Bowl party with friends and family.
· Organize or purchase boxes in a football pool. A football pool is a table that contains all of the score combinations based on the last digit of each team’s score. The score numbers are drawn at random after all boxes are assigned. Because of this, the odds of winning are the same regardless of each participant’s knowledge of the game.
· Watch the Super Bowl commercials. Commercials for the big game are the most expensive on TV and for many, more entertaining than the game.
Make guacamole. This is the
quintessential (and healthy!) super bowl dip.
Lincoln's Birthday (1809) celebrates the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, one of the most popular presidents in United States history. It is a state holiday in some states on or around February 12. It's also known as Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, Abraham Lincoln Day or Lincoln Day.
“Character is Destiny”  is a book written by John McCain in it he highlights the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, of the United States as an example of a man who demonstrates for us the characteristic of RESILIENCE. Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.
Abraham Lincoln had known loss and grief all his life yet rather that than succumb to defeat; he somehow, always found a way to rise back up. He was inarguably a man of action. Although he was known to have chronic depression he never yielded and, in some way, resurrected from his melancholic states thinking, “To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better.” Lincoln rose to the highest office in the land after surviving a hard and poor childhood in the Indiana wilderness, a harsh father, little education, and deep loneliness. He survived the death of his brother, a sister, his mother, his first sweetheart, and his own children and his marriage to Mary Todd was troubled. As president he was considered dismal by most. How did Lincoln persist? He willed it. He was neither swift nor brilliant at work, but he was exhaustive; he continued. His resilience sprang from his deep conviction that America was, “the last, best hope of earth.” In the end he paid for his devotion with his life; so that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Darwin Day commemorates the achievements and the life of the scientist Charles Darwin. Names like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Charles Darwin are among the most historic names in science. Darwin’s most famous achievement is the development of the Theory of Natural Selection. The celebration occurs every year on Darwin’s birthday, February 12th.
Character is Destiny
John McCain pointed out in his book entitled, “Character is Destiny” that an understanding heart must be generous (Oseola McCarty), forgiving (Nelson Mandela), tolerant (Four Chaplains), full of mercy (Mother Antonia), faithful (Christian Guard at Hua Lo prison) and compassionate (Maximilian Kolbe). John now suggests for us that adding to our understanding heart we must strive to have a creative mind. A creative mind must be built on a thirst or curiosity in the mysteries of creation. John points out as an example of curiosity the renowned Charles Darwin.
McCain says of Darwin:
His curiosity and courage helped him to discover the history of nature and start an argument that has continued for 150 years. A curious thing about the father of the theory of evolution is that he himself was an avowed agnostic, keeping to his scientific methods.
The evolution of all life on earth, including man, was and still is, in some quarters, considered an affront to the belief that the progress of the human race over time bears the unmistakable sign of the divine spark in our nature. But why can we not be content in our faith with the understanding that God’s divine intelligence, which exists beyond time and space, and has left us to choose by the exercise of our free will whether to accept His grace or reject it, could have left nature to work its physical changes upon us? We have a second nature, a moral nature, that is not determined by ecological change but by the workings of our conscience. Is not our conscience and its effect upon our will enough confirmation for the believer that God, the Creator, has endowed us with the divine spark of His love to improve, if we so choose, our second nature in service to Him? It is enough, I believe, for anyone who can see in our struggle to be good a divine purpose, as we may still glimpse in the wonders of nature the divine intelligence that created it and set it all in motion.
To believe and follow God is our choice. Not all will follow. Our principal belief is in our salvation not in this life but the next. Man, and nature, even at their cruelest, cannot deny us that, nor the gloriousness of His creation, a gloriousness that human qualities like curiosity have led us to appreciate with humility and awe. Time and the laws of nature do not expose the absence of God, whose proofs are a matter for the heart to contemplate, a matter of faith.
Evolution and the Catholic Church
Early contributions to biology were made by Catholic scientists such as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and the Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel. Since the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859, the attitude of the Catholic Church on the theory of evolution has slowly been refined.
For nearly a century, the papacy offered no authoritative pronouncement on Darwin's theories. In the 1950 encyclical Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that God created all things and that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.
Today, the Church supports theistic evolution(ism), also known as evolutionary creation, although Catholics are free not to believe in any part of evolutionary theory.
The Catholic Church holds no official position on the theory of creation or evolution, leaving the specifics of either theistic evolution or literal creationism to the individual within certain parameters established by the Church. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, any believer may accept either literal or special creation within the period of an actual six-day, twenty-four-hour period, or they may accept the belief that the earth evolved over time under the guidance of God. Catholicism holds that God initiated and continued the process of his evolutionary creation and that all humans, whether specially created or evolved, have and have always had specially created souls for each individual.
Catholic schools in the United States and other countries teach evolution as part of their science curriculum. They teach the fact that evolution occurs and the modern evolutionary synthesis, which is the scientific theory that explains how evolution proceeds.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Chapter 2 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Article 6-THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
II. The Vocation to Chastity
2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.
The integrity of the person
2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.
2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. the alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."
2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity."
2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.
2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life. The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.
2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. "Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth."
2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society." Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.
2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort. The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.
The integrality of the gift of self
2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.
2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows
the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his
friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate
in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.
The various forms of chastity
2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. the Christian has "put on Christ," The model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.
2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single." Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:
There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others.... This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.
2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.
Offenses against chastity
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.
2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate
stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure.
"Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant
tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have
firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered
action." "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever
reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For
here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which
is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual
self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability.
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.
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.
2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. the one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.
2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Priests, Consecrated, & Religious
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York