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Dear Father Angelo,
I too can say that with purity “all the gifts have come to me”.
I did not know the affirmation of St. Dominic “the custody of this virtue makes the servant of God pleasing to Christ and gives Him glory and credit before men”, but it is beautiful, I must remember it!
I can say that, as you have already written, “this intimacy with the Lord (is) favoured by purity” and I really feel it.
I feel that, as the psalm says, “The Lord confides to those who fear Him: He makes His covenant known” (Ps 25,14).
Sometimes the Lord confides in me, tells me something about children, people, situations, etc… He makes me see with His eyes (it seems to me it is the gift of intellect or wisdom, now I don’t remember exactly, in fact with purity, the Spirit dominates in the heart) and tells me how to operate.
Perhaps St. John was the favourite apostle because he was the most similar to a child, in fact he was the youngest (I think a teenager) and as we know children are those who have a pure heart!
I knew the passage from the CCC: “there is a link between purity of heart, body and faith” (CCC 2518). It is one of the most beautiful steps, it is also the one that confirms his thesis: whoever loses faith is most likely one who has lost purity first… However many today are still there wondering why young people and the generation to come grow atheist when the answer is very clear.
Thank you very much…
I wish you well!
Answer from the priest
1. I would like to highlight some of your statements for the benefit of our visitors. The first: “I can truly say that with purity “all the gifts have come to me “”. It is Solomon’s testimony. Indeed it is the witness that God gives through him, because the main author of Sacred Scripture is God.
2. It is worth listening to the testimony of the author of the book of Sirach which is very similar to that of Solomon. He says: “When I was still young, before wandering, I assiduously sought wisdom in my prayer. In front of the temple I prayed for it, and to the end I will seek it” (Sir 51,13-14) It is interesting: wisdom and prayer went hand in hand in him and exercised a beneficial influence among them. Wisdom led him to God in prayer. And prayer made him find true Wisdom, that of God.
3. “With it I made progress; I will honour those who have granted me wisdom. In fact, I have decided to put it into practice, I have been zealous for good and am not ashamed of it” (Sir 51,17). I think of St. Dominic who, having listened to the word of God, immediately applied himself to put it into practice. And so Blessed Jordan could write about him: “growing every day in virtue by virtue, you made constant progress from good to better”. I think of St. Thomas who at the end of his life confides in Brother Reginald that he had learned more in prayer than from reading books.
4. “I turned my soul to it and found it in purity. In it I acquired sense from the beginning, for this reason I will not abandon it. My bowels were moved in seeking it, which is why I made a precious purchase” (Sir 51,20-21). It is logical that he found it in purity because “wisdom does not enter a soul polluted by sin” (Wis 1,4)
5. And then here is the great affirmation of Solomon: “All good things have come to me with her; in his hands it is an incalculable wealth. I rejoiced in all this, because wisdom brings it, but I was unaware that she is the mother of all this” (Wis 7,11-12). Solomon had asked God for wisdom. He had found it in purity. And behold, along with wisdom and purity also came to him riches, power and glory. In a word, all other goods. In his person the word of Jesus occurred in advance: “Seek, first of all, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you in addition” (Mt 6,33).
6. It is pleasing to connect these reflections with what the Holy Father Dominic said on his deathbed: “the custody of this virtue (chastity) makes the servant of God pleasing to Christ and gives him glory and credit before men”. St. Dominic knew what it means to be pleasing Christ: it is the same thing as receiving everything from Him. It seems that Jesus Christ does not know what to do for a soul that keeps its heart free and pure only for Him. He fills him with every good thing to the point that he can say together with the Virgin Mary: “The Almighty has done great things for me” (Lk 1,49). “He explained the power of His arm… He exalted the humble; He has filled the hungry with good things” (Lk 1,51-53).
7. I would like to emphasise that those who keep their hearts pure for the Lord experience every day and in a thousand ways what Our Lady said about herself.
8. You then write: “I can say that as you have already written “this intimacy with the Lord (is) favoured by purity” and I really feel it, I feel that as the psalm says “The Lord confides in those who fear him: he makes them know His covenant” (Ps 25,14). Sometimes the Lord confides in me, He tells me something about children, people, situations, etc… He makes me see with his eyes (it seems to me it is the gift of intellect or wisdom, now I don’t remember exactly, in fact with purity, the Spirit dominates in the heart) and tells me how to operate”. I am not surprised at what you write to me because it is very true that “the Lord trusts those who fear Him: He makes His covenant known” (Ps 25,14). St. Thomas says that “it is proper of friendship that a friend reveals his secrets to his friend, not only but also that he also communicates his possessions, that he converses with his friend, that he delights in his presence, that he is pleased with his words and deeds, that he may find consolation in him in his pain” (Contra Gentes, IV, 21,22). Here St. Thomas is not only talking about friendship in general, but reveals the most beautiful portion of his life, what friendship with Our Lord gave him. He too was made a sharer in the secrets of Jesus, he came into possession of his goods, he felt great satisfaction for his presence, for his words, for the consolation he received from Him.
9. Yes, to a person who keeps himself pure for the Lord, Jesus Christ gives his eyes to see in others, as you say. It is the gift of the Council. According to the teachers of spiritual life, this gift suggests the most appropriate means for dealing with others in relation to God. Some Saints had it to an eminent degree. Thus, for example, St. Antoninus of Florence, a Dominican, also known as “Antoninus of the councils” (Antoninus consiliorum) and St. Catherine of Siena, illiterate, who was the Pope’s right hand and best adviser. So was St. Joan of Arc who was absolutely unaware of strategy and tactics: she drew up plans and directed military operations so difficult that they astounded the most experienced generals. So also St. Teresa of the Child Jesus who very young carried out in the best way the task of Teacher of the novices, so much so that they thought that she enjoyed the gift of reading inside hearts. So also in an incomparable way Father Pio of Pietrelcina.
10. While with the gift of understanding the Lord gives us His eyes to see in Him. And with the gift of wisdom He gives us – one could say – His palate to taste the things of God as God tastes them. It is an anticipated paradise.
11. Finally you write: “Whoever loses faith is most likely one who first lost purity… However, many today are still wondering why young people and the generation to come grow up atheist when the answer is very clear”. I am fully convinced of what you say. One wonders why “many are still there wondering why young people and the generation to come grow up atheist”. You say the answer is clear. It is clear to you because you are clear.
12. But for those who are not pure it is not clear so that they continually flounder in the same way as one groping for an object in a turbid pond without ever finding it. The answer is clear for you, as it was very clear for Father Bosco who for this very reason insisted so much on purity. It is the same answer of the Lord: “the light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness more than the light, because their works were evil. Whoever does evil hates the light and does not come to the light so that his works are not reproved. Instead, he who does the truth comes towards the light, so that it may clearly appear that his works have been done in God” (Jn 3,19-21).
13. May the Lord keep what He has laid in you. May Our Lady guard what she has obtained for you from the Lord.
I assure you of my prayers for all of this and I bless you.
Translated by Rossella Silvestri