Monday 6 July 2015

St. Maria Goretti: "No, it is a sin, you will go to hell:" ~ a teacher and prophet for our times

"It is impossible for anyone who leads an impure life not to grow weak in the Faith"
St, John Chrysostom, Sermon 1. De Verbis Apost. 

Today, the Church celebrates the virgin-martyr, St. Maria Goretti. Surrounded as we are, by a world drowning in filth and licentious sin, we would do well to meditate upon her life. Today, while most in the world - including Catholics - are off indulging in impurity, we should resolve to commit even more strongly to Christian purity. While most of the world - including Catholics - are compromising (at minimum) with indecency - we should even more strongly oppose indecency. Today, while most of the world - including Catholics - approve of fornication and other sexual sins - we should even more strongly repeat the words of our saint: "no, it is a sin, you will go to hell". Yes, hell exists and unrepentant sinners go there. 

A teacher of purity for our times:

St. Maria truly is a teacher by her life. Consider her incredible maturity! Maria, even as a young girl was able to help raise the family after her father's death. She may not have had an "education", not superficially glanced through - under duress - a copy of a Shakespeare play, or studied elementary calculus, nor spent 12 years studying "sex education", or wear grossly immodest short skirts and tight tops to "Catholic" high school, exposing herself to all and sundry; nor indulge in foolishness, and filthy, suggestive language, as do so, so many "Catholic" school girls... 

"Catholic" school girls, and indeed young women, would do well to take Maria as their model, instead of females who, not a few years ago, would cause a harlot to blush with shame. Such has our "civilization" changed. They would do well to re-educate themselves in the way of holy virginity and purity. 

A prophet of purity for our times: 

Our saint came from a time and place when "peasant common sense" still was a reality, not the virtual reality cesspool that out youth dwell in today. Maria was therefore able to assist in raising the family with a maturity that would shame the vast majority of women of today, even three times her age! No, we have not "progressed" as a society, but regressed dramatically. Therefore, it was still in this Catholic Italian milieu (albeit already undermined by decades of masonic attacks against the Church) that Maria was taught and developed her precious Faith. The praying (note praying, not just "mindless babbling" as Pere Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene warns us about!) of the Rosary fortified Maria's purity, and prepared her for martyrdom. 

She realized how special and holy was her virginity. Her preservation of her virginity, even unto death, is a profound rebuke to the first and second sexual revolutions (the "Roaring Twenties" and "Swinging Sixties", respectively). Maria's refusal to engage in fornication, incongruous to our sexually obsessed world, remains a direct challenge to the wave of impurity and immorality that surrounds us. 

Maria's decision to die for virginity and purity is a direct challenge to Catholics: do we really believe in the beauty of virginity and purity? If we do, we need to prove it. It is not enough to merely abstain from fornicating; but to deal with the small sins and imperfections. If a Catholic wages spiritual warfare against the small sins, the big ones will take care of themselves, so to speak. If a school girl refuses to dress immodestly, speak vulgarly, her behaviour will naturally change; she will be a truly beautiful virgin. If a school boy refuses to go along with other school boys in looking at pornography, in responding to the sexual provocations of the girls, he may well be mocked, but he will shine as an example of holy purity. Great will the reward in Heaven be for the youth who retain their virtue. 

St. Maria's life is a challenge to what today is considered "normal" and "decent", when in fact it is abnormal and indecent. It is time for Catholics to start to behave like Catholics.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us. 


Anonymous said...

Overall good post, but one small quibble. You write: "She realized how special and holy was her virginity....Maria's refusal to engage in fornication..." Wasn't she killed in an attempted rape? Even if the rape actually happened, it would hardly qualify as "fornication."

Barona said...

Her rapist tried to induce her to fornicate. She refused, he tried to rape her; she resisted; he stabbed her 14 times. She died a virgin-martyr.

Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

I just read a story of the 17-year-old Christian girl who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, escaped and is pregnant. She initially resisted becoming "wife" to any of them, but they beheaded three men in front of her, and told her the same thing would happen to her. So she gave in, but lived to fight another day. She says if her "husband" finds her, he will kill her.

The two cases aren't the same. Maria Goretti wanted to be the bride of Christ. This girl might have wanted to marry and have children. Also I don't believe she was Catholic (the 17-year-old African woman).

Funny, the same thing happened to a good friend of mine, a Mexican woman. In her youth she was kidnapped by a Mexican bandit and taken to the mountains. She felt like she was living in sin. So she forced the bandit off the mountain, and made him marry her in the Church. Luckily some time later she got away. But then she met her husband, and she had the worst time getting the Catholic Church to annul her first marriage to the bandit.

But Maria Goretti is the gold standard for how to behave in that situation. Like all the saints she lived the virtue of chastity, purity and forgiveness to a heroic degree. She converted her near rapist as a result. Allesandro deeply regretted what he had done to the end of his days. And someday he may be canonized as well.

But God has mercy and works with those who choose a less perfect route. In the end, my Mexican Catholic friend also lived a life of heroic virtue as wife and mother. But what happened to the soul of her bandit kidnapper? Susan Fox

Luciano said...

This your comment for such a great post..what are you thinking??

Anonymous said...

My point was that being raped is not "fornication." To be a sin, an action has to be freely chosen. Being forced into something by someone larger and stronger than you who is physically overpowering you is not something sinful.

Barona said...

Anonymous please read my reply. The attempted rape transpired after numerous attempts by this poor, young man to induce Maria to fornicate. Maria's life prepared her for martyrdom: in defense of virginity and purity. Maria stands as a shining example for not only children, but teenagers and young adults to live pure lives.

Barona said...

Pope Pius XII at her canonization explicitly stated that Maria died in defense of her virginity; holding her up as an example of purity to follow.

Anonymous said...

There are three conditions required for an action to be sinful: it has to be wrong, one has to know it is wrong, and it has to be voluntarily chosen.

Lawrence and Susan Fox said: "Maria Goretti is the gold standard for how to behave in that situation." But one is not always able to fight a rapist to the death.

Suppose that instead of stabbing her, Allesandro simply overpowered her (larger size, greater physical strength), or perhaps knocked her unconcious and then raped her, she would have (technically speaking) "lost her virginity." It seems that everyone here is saying that she would have been guilty of some sin in that case. But this can hardly be. Sin has to be something voluntarily chosen. One who is rendered unconscious or simply overpowered is not a sin. That is my point. If an action is not chosen voluntarily, it cannot be sinful.

To imply that rape victims who fought back but survived have sinned is simply outrageous.

Antonio said...

St. Maria Goretti's example of holiness and purity is a wonderful model to learn from.

I do have a small bone to pick. The author says, "No, we have not "progressed" as a society, but regressed dramatically".

A study of human history reveals that impurity is pretty much a constant and regular occurrence and that purity, a state we are all called to, is an uncommon, precious and extraordinary phenomenon in this world. The implication that the world has just been going to hell in a hand-basket is depressing, not entirely accurate and lacking in a sense of hope.

We have the power in Christ to change the world through prayer, purity and sacrificial love.
Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.

Barona said...

Anonymous 13:13, my friend, you have totally misread this post and the various comments. THis is not what we are saying, nor what Pius XII said.

Barona said...

Antonio, people have and will always sin. However, sins such as abortion. homosexuality, formication, adultery etc. yes, they were all practiced, but never have these sins been extolled as something to aspire to, as they are now. Sadly, yes, these are depressing times. But Christ is still in total control; nonetheless, it seems that He is allowing this near universal total collapse as a punishment for the infidelity of His Church. So our hope is in Him and that He continues to draw good out of evil. Just as He drew good out of evil with the martyrdom of St. Maria.

Freyr said...

He is risen. He is present in your lives. He is especially present in the tabernacles of your churches. He loves you and is able to forgive and heal any sin and failing you may have. Those who reduce this marvelous news to opposing indecency are only preaching a small part of the gospel. We avoid sin out of love for our Lord because he first loved us.