Septmeber 10, 2008
Chastity"If you wish to prevent evil thoughts, let your eyes be modestly reserved, and make a league with them never to look upon anything which is not permitted you to desire."St. Gregory of Nyssa
For Reflection: St. Gregory of Nyssa recommends taking "custody of the eyes." What does this mean? To what extent do I take in through the senses that which is morally illicit - especially regarding chastity? How can I best follow St. Gregory's advice?
Custody of the eyes...
I was once given custody of a 14 year old girl. I was her legal guardian for a period of 3-5 months while her mother found suitable living arrangements. I had known her since she was a twinkle in her father's eye. Her mother and I were best friends.
It was my job to make sure she was sheltered, clothed, and fed. I was to protect and care for her just as her mother would have done. I was to make decisions and guide her with the love of her mother. And so I did.
Was it easy? No way! Did we have our times of unrest and disagreements...you betcha! Was she rebellious and stubborn at times! Of course, what teenager isn't?
And so it is with my "eyes" -- my natural inclinations. I have a choice. I can let my "eyes" wander where they will or I can take charge of them and shelter, feed, clothe, guard, and guide them to the ways of the Lord.
It is my choice...Or is it? When I gave my heart and life to Jesus, I became HIS! My life is not my own I belong to HIM. So the choice is not really mine except to turn to the Holy Spirit when I am tempted to stray.
Chastity is a word that we usually use to describe the life of a virgin. But with the Lord we are all virgins and our lives are to be chaste, modest, and totally absorbed in HIM, by our choice. Are we rebellious and stubborn...most of the time for me! But when I do rely on HIM and turn to HIM when I am tempted, HE is always there to take CUSTODY of me.
Praise be to HIS glorious Name!