Just say no.

These days it seems as if more and more men (and the women who conspire with them) are falling from grace into shame and regret due to basic issues:  lack of control, the inability to say ‘no’, foolishness in their thinking and hardness of heart.  Some say they are ‘powerful’ people.  But in fact who among us is ‘powerful’?  Who among us are immune to slavish temptations and bondage to flesh which can control us?  Former Mr. Olympia strong men are are weak in the face of their unbridled passions and powerless, for their god resides in their selfish self-satisfaction. However  I’m afraid that these stories of powerful men engaging in  illicit  immoral relationships with women other than their wives, has been going on for quite some time, and let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that this is a sudden new trend in culture.  But with the invasive and pervasive tentacles of mass media, it appears that these gross sins of selfish pleasure at the expense of spouses and children occurs almost daily.  And it’s not just the powerful men, the men of wealth and status that fall into the sludge of remorse and shame… it’s the average ordinary ‘Joe’ the common man who stumbles equally as badly as he surfs quietly, ‘anonymously in the midst of the shadows of darkness at night’,  the  so-called world-wide web for fleshly images of fantasy, of women, who ‘offer’ themselves to eyes and hearts – and are not free, never for free – because sin is never without a cost.  It is the poor man’s mistress: web pornography.  Indeed, how prophetic “the world-wide web…”  a web that spins temptations and engulfs slowly strangling so many people….famous and ordinary.

So what’s a man to do?  What’s a culture to do, that is so steeped in provocative and illicit imagery which leads to senseless and mindless acts of immorality?

Say ‘no’.   Run.

Like Joseph who fled the advances of the seductive Egyptian socialite – Pothiphar’s wife.  Run and crucify your flesh, die to the momentary and fleeting sensations of pleasure – for what 30 second, 1 minute, or 1 hour momentary pleasure can be compared to an endless eternity of joy in paradise to come?  Christ implores us to lose an eye, or an arm, if that is causing us to sin, so as not to forfeit eternal life, for it is better to lose and eye or a hand than to enter the fires of hades with both intact.

Here is some timely  advice for all of us living in an insanely sexual saturated society:

Abba Poemen said of Abba John the Dwarf that he had prayed God to take his passions away from him so that he might become free from care. He went and told an old man this: “I find myself in peace, without an enemy,” he said. The old man said to him, “Go, beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warfare that the soul makes progress.”  So he besought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said, “Lord, give me strength for the fight.”

The old man also said this to a certain brother about the soul, which wishes to be converted, “There was in a city a courtesan who had many lovers. One of the governors approached her, saying, “Promise me you will be good, and I will marry you.” She promised this and he took her and brought her to his house. Her lovers, seeking her again, said to one another, “That lord has taken her with him to his house, so if we go to his house and he learns of it, he will condemn us. But let us go to the back, and whistle to her. Then, when she recognizes the sound of the whistle she will come down to us; as for us, we shall be unassailable.”

 When she heard the whistle, the woman stopped her ears and withdrew to the inner chamber and shut the doors.”

The old man said that this courtesan is our soul, that her lovers are the passions and other men; that the lord is Christ; that the inner chamber is the eternal dwelling; those who whistle are the evil demons, but the soul always takes refuge in the Lord.”

 

So run – say no.  Close your eyes, stop your ears, withdraw to the inner chamber and remain with the Lord.   For He is a far better lover than any man or woman on earth.

+Anaphora!

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