Posted by: fvbcdm | July 7, 2017

Feast of Saint Maria Goretti (6 July 2017)

Some saints are more relevant to their age than others.  Each year on July 6th the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, who died in 1902—at the very beginning of the twentieth century.  She was killed by an infuriated farmhand from the neighboring farm who wished to seduce her.  When she resisted his advances, he tried to rape her.  And when she resisted that also, he plunged a kitchen knife into her heart.  She was 11 years old at the time.  Before she died, she was able to say to him, “Alessandro, I forgive you.”  She is relevant to this age precisely because of her love relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, her esteem for her own virginity and purity, her courage to face death rather than dishonor, and her love, even for her murderer, so that she could forgive him as she lay dying.  These are remarkable virtues in the life of an eleven-year-old peasant child, with very little formal education.

Contrast these beautiful character traits of hers with the tragic character flaws of so many young people in our society today.  They have all kinds of advantages that Maria Goretti lacked—education, affluence, an active social life—and yet some of them adopt entertainment figures as their models rather than saints.  They care not a whit for God, for the moral law, for the integrity of their own bodies and souls, for honor, for their eternal salvation.  On the contrary, they see virginity as something to be joked about and to be got rid of as soon as possible.  Much of their clothing, their hairstyle, their makeup, and the way they carry themselves is meant to be sexy, as if green nail polish is going to attract men or a three-day growth of beard is going to attract women.

The great tragedy of all this is the opposition of the spirit and the flesh.  Those who are primarily interested in sexual pleasure and the attractiveness of the body alone are not interested in God, and thus they commit spiritual suicide.  Their main concerns are diametrically opposed to the purpose for which they were created—an eternity of joy with God based upon a life of sanctity.  Our society and especially our youth need lots of help in this regard.  They need good role models.  They need, above all, to know and understand the answer to the all-important question which occurs in the first lesson of the Catechism—Why did God make me?  Thank you for allowing God to love you, God bless you.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

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