Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

"Families need to take a firm stance in safeguarding the threshold of their homes, in defending the dignity of each person. Guard your families against pornography, which nowadays under various forms affects people's minds, especially those of children and young people. Defend the purity of morals in your homes and in society. ... The purer families are, the healthier the nation will be."
- POPE JOHN PAUL II, Sandomierz, Poland, June 12, 1999

When my two boys were small, we gave them little Fisher-Price cassette players and fifteen years later, in my mind, I can still hear the refrains of the songs they played.

"Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
There's a Father up above, looking down in tender love,
So be careful little eyes, what you see."

The ability to keep our hearts pure is so important. We can be forgiven by Christ for our sins of impurity (adultery actually) but the temporal consequences often don't fade so easily. Scientists say that the images of pornography are "burned" into our brain in our "flash memory" and often these images can come back decades later at the most inopportune times.
( Moments before receiving Christ in the Eucharist is one the enemy's favorite times for accessing these images.)

This upcoming week is Pornography Awareness Week which is promoted by the interfaith venture known as Morality in the Media. Let your pastors know there are resources available for sermons. We can create community awareness by wearing a white ribbon next week, October 29-November 3rd.

I am convinced that internet pornography in particular is the "invisible elephant" in the room for both Catholic and Protestant believers and we need to come clean before our Lord and families. I encourage you to download accountability software so that your closest confidant knows where "your little eyes" have been on the net. Time to "uncloak" the elephant and get him back to the zoo where he belongs!

Here is some prayers that I hope will assist you in the goal of purity.
(From Pure Intimacy, a ministry of Focus on the Family)

Prayer for Purity of Heart
Lord, help me to accept and receive my sexuality as a gift from you. Grant me the grace to resist the many lies that distort this divine gift and help me to live my sexuality according to the truth of self-giving love. Grant me purity of heart so that I might see the image of your glory in the beauty of others, and one day see you face to face. Amen.

Prayer for the Redemption of Sexual Desire
Lord, I praise you and thank you for the gift of my sexual desires. By the power of your death and resurrection, untwist in me what sin has twisted so that I might know and experience sexual desire as you created it to be as the desire to love freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. Amen.

Prayer in a Moment of Temptation to Lust
Lord, thank you for the beauty of this person whom you made to be loved,never to be treated as a thing for my gratification. I renounce any tendency within me to use this person for my own pleasure, and I ask you to set my desires aright. Amen.

Prayer for Restoring God's Design
Lord, I confess my mind and conscience is corrupted. I claim to know you, but, by my actions, I deny you. Lord, I am unfit for your kingdom as I am. The Psalmist said, "Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved." I ask you, Lord, to restore me to the kind of life I was meant to live, including using my body in a way that is holy and honorable. Amen.

Prayer for Transformation of Sinful Desire
Lord, I number myself with those of your ancient Church in Corinth, which consisted, in part, of the sexually immoral, adulterers, male prostitutes, and homosexual offenders. But you are a God of Hope and transformation, for you told these Corinthians, "And such were some of you." I, too, have been washed and set aside for you, made whole by the redemptive actions of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. My identity is no longer captive only to my sexual focus or orientation; my identity is in your Son, Jesus Christ. You say, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." Lord, wash away my old, sinful self and renew me in your Spirit to be a new creation. Amen.

Prayer for Purity of Body, Mind, and Soul
Lord, this physical body is a member of your Son,your temple, your dwelling place. It is not my own to do as I please. You have bought me with the high-priced passion of your Son. When I unite myself with you, I am one with you in spirit. Help me to concentrate on your holiness, peace, faith, a love that permeates all things, and to be in union with those who call on you with pure minds. Amen.


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