‘I pray that you would know…His incomparably great power toward those who believe’ (Eph. 1: 18, 19).
Not a big surprise that sexual temptation has increased in the pandemic. But this Easter, with Pentecost right around the bend, I am fighting for a ‘yes’ to chastity that surpasses concession to moral sloppiness. Might our God-breathed resolve rise! Like a prayer, may our authority for purity resound and empower fellow strugglers around the world.
Doesn’t matter the season; we choose today who we will serve. This is what Catholics call self-mastery, taking charge over our own temples. God makes the way and invites us to walk in it. St. Paul couldn’t be clearer—Jesus bought our bodies with His blood and filled them with the Spirit that raised His dead body. Now we can act decisively and ‘honor God’ in our passions (1 Cor. 6).
Harder than it sounds. One cannot underestimate the depth of disordered desires, the divides that define and deride us. We invest more in porn than chastity; we think like Christians but worship at pagan altars. Our common enemy mocks our ‘yes’ to Jesus when we bow the knee to sexy idols. No wonder we’ve little appetite for real people. Shame and self-reproach are closest companions.
No good waiting for magic—the experience that changes everything. We admit powerlessness and we cry out for mercy; we activate the authority He has already given us. In the sexual realm, we act like our own exorcist, or master house cleaner. In the Spirit of Jesus, we cast counterfeits out of the temple. We let them in. Expel them, in the Name of Jesus. Use your authority: ‘GET OUT!’
Countless times, under the sway of temptation, I have simply chosen Him. I cling, His right hand upholds me. With one hand I embrace Him; with the other I wield the sword and decapitate snakes. Simple. Intimate authority that resounds throughout the universe.
All this is impossible without help, without Church. We MUST be known to a handful of persons who share our struggle and our commitment to chastity. Jesus in our friends is stronger than Jesus in our weakness. No other way than through the broken body of Christ—real members who fall, get back up, help us stand.
We are winning because He won already. That win is deeper in us today than it was yesterday. Our ‘yes’ to Him is far more powerful than the grip of sin. Every time we forego lust through our ‘yes’ to Jesus, holiness resounds and strengthens a host of struggling hearts.
Instead of lamenting the influence of charming idolaters, let us exercise our authority. We have power to unite the divided with robust chastity.