Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

Scan 140420001Valentine"Old age risks being a period of redoubled testing because the imagination in an old man is substituted in a horrible way for what nature refuses him" (Francois Mauriac, "What I believe").

Mauriac dismissed most of the arguments in favor of sexual purity he had been taught in his Christian upbringing:

1. "Marriage will cure lust": it did not for Mauriac, as it has not for so many others, because lust involves the attraction of unknown creatures and the taste for adventure and chance meeting.

2. "With self-discipline you can master lust": Mauriac found that sexual desire is like a tidal wave powerful enough to bear away all the best intentions.

3. "True fulfillment can only be found in monogamy":  this may be true, but it certqinly does not seem true to someone who finds no slackening of sexual urges even in monogamy.  Thus he waighed the traditional arguments for purity and found them wanting.

Mauriac concluded that self-discipline, repression, and rational argument are inadequate weapons to use in fighting the impulse toward impurity. In the end, he could find only one reason to be pure, and that is what Jesus presented in the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God". In Mauriac's words, "Impurity separates us from God. The spiritual life obeys laws as verifiable as those of the physical world... Purity is the condition for a higher love - for a possession superior to all possessions: that of God. Yes, this is what is at stake, and nothing less".

The love God holds out to us require that our faculties be cleansed and purified before we can receive a higher love, one attainable in no other way. That is the motive to stay pure. By harboring lust, I limit my own intimacy with God. The pure in heart are truly blessed, for they will see God. It is as simple, and as difficult, as that.

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