“Keep away from sexual immorality. All other sins that people may commit are done outside the body; but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?
You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God.” — 1 Cor. 6:18-20 New Jerusalem (emphasis mine)
I’ve often heard exorcists and other spiritual warfare experts talk about how sins against purity especially, along with occult-related sins, leave a person vulnerable to demonic harassment more than other sins. In vampire stories (where the vampires are clearly meant to represent the demonic enemies of our salvation), the creatures are warded off with garlic (an ancient symbol of purity) along with sacramentals. Purity is obviously very important to God and critical to the protection of our souls, but how come? This Scripture seems to offer some insight into that. St. Paul explains that while other sins are outside the body, sexual sin is a violation of one’s body which is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:43-45, is traditionally interpreted to mean that the empty sanctuary is a vulnerable one, no matter how otherwise clean. When we drive the Spirit from His temple and desecrate it, it makes sense that such an action creates a greater vulnerability than other sins. In the stories, others agree that it is not so much about the garlic itself but the virtue represented by it. We must keep our temples pure in order for the Holy Spirit to remain our protector from evil. Perhaps this is why demons are so afraid of St. Philomena, patroness of purity, in exorcisms and why devotion to her is subject to special attacks of the evil one. Let us ask her intercession to preserve or restore this most precious virtue in our hearts and lives: St. Philomena, pray for us! St. Philomena, always defend us!
St. John Berchmans composed the Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception for the protection of Holy Purity.
I composed this reparation prayer for sins against purity. It can be said for yourself, for others, and the world: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love You with my whole heart and soul! It grieves me deeply to think of all the pain it must cause You when Your beloved creatures sin against Your most cherished virtue of Holy Chastity. I offer You — and the Father through You — Your own spotless purity, the immaculate innocence of Your Blessed Mother, my own efforts to live chastely, and the sorrow that fills my heart when I see this priceless virtue violated and I ask You to accept and take comfort in this little offering of reparation for these violations. I love You, my Jesus, and long for the day when all shall strive to please You with pure love and holy lives! St. Philomena, Patroness of Purity, increase the virtue of chastity in our world today! Amen.
other symbols of purity: the color white, lambs, white doves, white Easter style lilies, white roses, white daisies, purity rings, cord of St. Joseph, cord of St. Philomena, water and rain, white or clear crystal, white diamonds, white pearls, ice, the metal silver, clouds and sky, snow, light, the moon, fire, veils.
“Wait. We need to arm up for the big bad. Garlic, symbol of purity, good for the blood, great on pizzas. Dracula hates the stuff…. You get the anointed water, Jen, but toss it only when you’re close enough to get a direct hit. It hurts Drac as much as sunlight. And Skaar, a dagger of pure silver. The bane of supernatural creatures according to Monsterpedia….” — A-Bomb (Rick Jones, Marvel superhero), preparing his team to face Dracula in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 2 Episode 21 “Days of Future Smash, Part 3 — Dracula”
2 thoughts on “Purity and Spiritual Warfare”
Hi grace. I usually avoid reading posts on chastity because I have so often violated my body several times. I seem to deliberately enjoy being used ,only to regret it later. I do not know why I do the things I do, my struggle with purity is really messed up,I can’t even begin to narrate to you the shameful things I’ve done. I wonder if Jesus will look at me with eyes of love and not with anger, I hope he can wash the stain off my soul, I’m scared of the long years I may stay in purgatory, I don’t think I would love for my sins to be shown to me during my judgement, how hideous it really is. I feel like I can’t fight this battle alone. Whenever I fall, I would promise not to go back to it, but later I would give in to temptation even deliberately. What you said about being vulnerable to demonic assault is true. All my life I’ve never dated a good guy, the good guys I like don’t like me back, but only the ones that want me for sex. I’m beginning to think that it could be some sort of demonic affliction. I’ve had men tell me upfront that they want to sleep with me to my face. I do want a genuine and true relationship, but I somehow fail myself by falling into the same pattern over and over again. I don’t think I can fight this battle on my own again. I told Jesus to take this sin away from me once and for all, I wish I could erase the memories of what I’ve done. Sorry for my long post, I just wanted to pour my heart here after seeing this post. God bless you.
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it is no easy thing you are struggling with. St. Paul himself said “I don’t know why I do the things I do….. I do what I hate to do” and St. Peter denied the Lord right after promising he wouldn’t. I will pray for you, as I do not claim to know the answer to your situation, but I do have two recommendations which can only help. First: EVEN MORE important than resisting sin and temptation — however ugly the sin may be — NEVER doubt God’s love and delight in you! You are His precious image of His own self, His child He sent His Son to die for and would do it again even for just you. If you can, please order the book “I Believe in Love” by Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbee and also listen to this homily https://themodernpsalmist.com/homily/may-12th-2019-fr-frankie-english/
Second: the blessed thing about being a Catholic is you NEVER have to fight your battles alone. you have all the resources of the Holy Catholic Church at your disposal. Thousands of Religious communities around the world are offering prayers and sacrifices for souls (including yours) at every moment, all of Heaven and Purgatory are able to pray for you too if you only ask, the Sacraments and sacramentals are there to strengthen you. Most especially, Confession is your best friend. Find yourself a priest you can make a regular confessor of yours, and he can examine your case with you and help you identify causes and solutions. Whether your plight turns out to be vice, scruples, or spiritual harassment, or all of the above, your confessor can guide you in what you need to do.
Be patient with yourself, love yourself, and keep trying, because the Father and Son and Spirit are Themselves loving you at every moment — even your darkest moments.