WE everyday go through the routine of cleaning ourselves frequently. We take a shower upon waking up. We wash our hands before taking our meals. We wash up every time we come from outside. Theyâ€™re so common and automatic that we hardly give these things a thought.
But has it occurred to us that more than just our physical cleanliness, we have to be more concerned about our spiritual and moral purification? We cannot deny that itâ€™s in the spiritual and moral aspects of our life that a more dangerous kind of dirt can enter and bother us more than in our physical aspect.
Letâ€™s remind ourselves about our need for purification. Letâ€™s not fool ourselves and remain in a state of denial with respect to this need.
We are practically wallowing nowadays in a mud hole of impurities. We have all kinds of scandals, the screaming ones and the hushed-up type, those that involve not only celebrities and politicians but also among men of the cloth who are supposed to be the preachers, guardians and models of chastity.
These scandals are not anymore confined in some restricted places and environments. They are published in vivid details on broadsheets, broadcast over radio, shown and talked about on TV, and going viral in the Internet.
I really pity those who are still young and innocent, who still donâ€™t have the proper criteria for judging, much less the proper attitude and relevant skills to handle the situation. Obviously, there are also those who may not be young and innocent anymore but are helplessly trapped in this web of moral dirt just the same.
But even without doing anything scandalous, just the passage of time and the exposure to the daily usual things would be enough for us to accumulate dirt not so much on the physical side as on the spiritual and moral aspects.
We are prone to make rash judgments, uncharitable thoughts and remarks. Our mind can easily get entangled with elements of lust, envy, greed. Our imagination can go wild, and our tongue, even wilder.
Our heart, the center and engine of our life, cannot help but gather some dust, in amounts big or small, as we go along in life. We need to clean it up, tune it up and hopefully put it in tiptop condition.
We cannot actually be casual about this issue anymore. We are living in very complicated times and environment. Gone now are the pristine air of our grandparents in the provinces. The pollution upon us today is much more harmful, much more treacherous, much more inescapable.
The media, the Internet, the billboards, etc., seem to produce a lot more of moral dirt and smog collateral to their legitimate purposes. We need to study this issue more thoroughly and systematically and act accordingly.
Thatâ€™s why we all need to remind ourselves of this abiding need for purification. The way things are now, no one can claim that he is exempted from the wave of grime that we have around. The attack is indiscriminate, much like those natural calamities we have had. Pornography is just a click away. If not looked for, it just pops up, and if the viewer has no means to resist, then he gets it.
We actually should not be surprised by this phenomenon anymore. We just have to acknowledge the reality the way it is now. But we also need to realize that no matter how grave the situation, there is always hope. Not only that, we can also derive a greater good from a graver evil that we now have to confront.
We have to learn to routinely purify our senses, memory, imagination, thoughts, desires, etc. For this, we need both spiritual and material techniques, human and supernatural means.
We have to learn how to use our time well, how to fill up our mind and heart with good things, avoiding idleness and laziness, how to pray, how to make acts of contrition, go to confession regularly, how to appreciate the value of self-denial, the sacraments, etc.
We have to realize that we also need to form some kind of network, with everyone working together in solidarity, to clean up our environment. We have to do something to tame the dangerous aspects of the Internet. A massive campaign of education and formation about chastity has to be done systematically.
We should not be naive anymore to think that things will just fall into their places one way or another. We have to move! (By Fr. Roy Cimagala)