God the Teacher of Mankind- Explanation of the Commandments Continued- Vol 4
By: Fr. Michael Muller + Imprimatur 1889
One day a young man spoke to me about one of his companions who had lost his mind. I told him that many a young man nowadays loses his mind on account of self-abuse. He then avowed that he, too, had lost his mind for some time, and was thane to the mad-house; God permitted him to receiver his mind that he might repent. But he soon after relapsed and was again taken to the mad-house. The oversee told one of my friends that two-thirds of the inmates had become insane in consequence of the shameful sin of self-abuse. Such, then, is the physical degradation of the impure man- of the desecrator of his own body. If these will show themselves in proportion as the vice of impurity is practiced.
Not all offenders, it is true, are visited so severely as above described. Perhaps even a small proportion of the whole number die in this manner; yet in this comparatively small minority those who persist in the practice will, sooner or later, surely be included. Let no one delude himself with the false assumption that he can be exempt from the universal law. There can be no possible exemption. Those who persist will surely die the death most horrible of all deaths; while the very individuals who seem to escape are those who most surely carry their punishment for the remainder of their lives, never live to attain old age, and frequently fall victims to some chronic disease, the germs of which they owe to this detestable vice . "Thou hast cast me off behind thy back," says the Lord; "bear thou also thy wickedness and thy fornications." (Ezech. xxiii., 85)
Dr. Tissot relates that a young man from Montepelier, a student of medicine died from excess of the crime of impurity. The idea of his crime so agitated his mind that he died in a kind of despair, believing that he saw hell open at his side to receive him.
L.D., a watchmaker, had been virtuous and healthy until the age of seventeen. At that time he delivered himself to the vice of impurity, which he committed three times a day. In less than one year he began to experience great weakness after each criminal act. This warning was not sufficient to drive him from the danger. His soul, already wholly delivered to sin, was no longer capable of other ideas, and the retention of the crime becomes every day more frequent until he found himself in a condition which led him to be apprehensive of death. Wise too late, the evil had made such progress that he could not be cured. He soon suffered from habitual spasms, which often seized him without apparent cause, and in so violent a manner that, during the paroxysm, which sometimes lasted fifteen hours, and never less than eight, he experienced in the back of the neck such violent paints that he commonly raised, not cries merely, but howls, and it was impossible for him, during all this time to swallow either liquids or solids. His voice became hoarse; he entirely lost his strength. Obliged to abandon his profession, overwhelmed with misery, he languished almost without relief for several months. A trace of memory, which had nearly vanished, only served to remind him incessantly of the causes of his misfortune and to, increase his remorse. He was less a living being than a corpse, groaning upon the straw, emaciated, pale, filthy, exhaling an infectious odor, almost incapable of any movement. Often a pale and water blood issued from the nose, and a constant slime flowed from the mouth. Like a pig, he wallowed in his own abominable filth. Bleared, troubled, and dull, he had no longer the faculty of motion. His pulse saws extremely low and rapid; his breathing very difficult; his emaciation excessive, except at the feet, which commenced to become dropsical. The disorder of his mind was just as frightful. Without memory' incapable of connecting two phrases; without reflection; without inquietude as to his fate; with no other sentiment than that of pain; a being far below the brute; a spectacle of which it is impossible to conceive in horror, one would with difficulty recognize that he has formerly belonged to the man species. He died at the end of some weeks (June 17, 1857), dropsical from head to foot.
What has already been said regards the temporal punishment inflicted in this life on sins against chastity. But what shall the punishment be in the next? You say that God has pity on this sin. But St. Remigious says that few Christian adults are saved, and that the rest are damned for their sins of impurity. And father Segneri says that three-fourths of the reprobates are damned for this vice. The hatred which God bears to sins against purity is great beyond measure. If a lady finds her plate soiled, she is disgusted and cannot eat. Now, with what disgust and indignation must God, who is purity itself, behold the impurities by which his law is violated! HE loves purity with an infinite love, and consequently he bears an infinite hatred to the sensuality which the lewd, voluptuous man calls a small evil. We may rest assured that, as pride has filled hell with fallen angels, so impurity fills it with the souls of men.
A young student, a model of piety, and who frequented the sacraments, was one morning going to Mass. He met two of his schoolmates, who invited and forced him to breakfast with them in a saloon. He refused; but he was in a manner forced to consent. He took some wine with them; very little at first, but soon liked it, and took more. It began to rise to his head. AT this moment his eyes fell on one of the waiting girls. He yielded to the temptation, and was stabbed in the very act of sin. His two companions, terrified, quitted the world, and led lives of rigor and penance in a monastery.
About six years ago, a young man came to one of the Redemptorist Fathers in New York, and said: "Father, be kind enough to hear my confession without delay. I have been so unfortunate as to scandalize a young woman. She died in the very act of sin. A while ago she appeared to me all on fire, and said that she was damned, and that I was the cause of her damnation, of her everlasting torments. I tremble all over, and freer I may die in the same manner." The same father was one day called to asset a dying man in a house of ill-fame. But he went in vain. The impure mantas dead and judged. He died in the very act of sin. The same punishment was inflicted about two years ago on some young people in one of the New England States. They were found dead in the corn-field in the act of sin.
One day, the Fathers of the Mission of St. Vincent gave a retreat in their house at Florence to a gentleman who had lived in criminal intercourse with a woman who died before making her peace with God., While this gentleman, in the bitterness of his repentance, was imploring the divine mercy for the companion of his guilt, she appeared to him, and said: "Do not pray for me, I am damned;" after which, to convince him of the reality of her apparition, she placed her hand on the table before which he was kneeling in prayer, and the part which she touched received the burnt impress of her hand. This table is still preserved in Naples. - Life of St. Alphonus
The impure may say that the sin of impurity is but a small evil. But at the hour of death they will not say so. Every sin of impurity shall then show itself such as it really is - a monster of hell. Much less will they say so before the judgment seat of JEsus Christ, who will tell them what his apostle has always told them: "No fornicator or unclean hath inheritance in the kingdom of God." The man who has lived like a brute cannot sit among the angles. Common sense, the voice of conscience, Holy Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, all the saints, even all the devils, tell him so.
From the evil effects thence of impurity, its enormity is clearly shown.
"In no sin," says St. Thomas, "does the devil delight os much as in the sins against chastity." (i. ii. q.73, a 3.) The reason why the devil takes so much delight in this vice is because it is difficult for a person who is addicted to it to be delivered from it. And why? Because this sin so blinds the sinner that he commits it oftener than any other sin. A blasphemer only blasphemes when he is drunk or provoked to anger. The assassin, whose trade is to murder others, does not, at the most, commit more than eight or ten homicides. But the unchaste are built of an unceasing torrent of sins, by thoughts, by words, by looks, by complacencies, and by touches, so that when they go to confession they find it impossible to tell the number of ins they have committed against chastity. Even in their sleep the devil represents to them obscene objects, that on awaking they may take delight in them; and, being the salves of the devil, they obey him, and give consent to his evil suggestions. "There is" says St. Thomas, "no sinner so ready to offend God as the votary of lust is" on every occasion that occurs to him. To other sins, such as blasphemy, muder or slander, men are not prone' but to this vice of impurity nature inclines them, and therefore it is so easy to contract the habit. How many foundlings, abortions, infanticides, may one count every day in our large cities! How few young couples come with pure hearts to the altar! How many lost creatures earn a livelihood by a life of infamy! How many houses of shame? How many so-called fashionable house of assignation in every city - house of infamy not only for the hoary sinners, but even for the young and thoughtless children!
What forms the favorite topic of conversation in company, in the cars, on the boats, in the tavern in the streets, in the market-place, in the ball-room, in the theatre? Is it not the shameful vice of impurity?
What constitutes the interest of the great majority of the novels, magazines, weeklies, that fill our libraries, that are to be found in the hands of every one from the young school Miss to the venerable old maid? Is it not sensual love? Is it not impurity?
Which dances are the most popular? ARe they not the obscene, impure round dances? How many a young girl will tell you that she will not give up these forbidden dance,s even if she had to burn in hell for it!
Which aren the most popular plays in the theatre? What plays are those that always draw crowded house, while the churches are often empty? Are they not the most immodest plays that hell itself could invent - plays wherein lost creatures sell their modesty to make a paltry living?
What class of pictures are to be found in those weekly papers? What kind of photographs and statues in the windows of so many stores? ARe they not usually the most indecent?
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