St. Aloysius Consecrates His Virginity to Jesus and Mary
During the course of my demonic experience in Los Angeles, I was asked by the university counseling office to attend regular therapy sessions in the city. I was assigned a Freudian psychoanalyst who had actually known Freud and mostly worked with celebrities like Rosemary Clooney. I went to his office on Wilshire Boulevard, several blocks away from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), several times a week.
We would sit in his office with the shades pulled down. Due to the weak lights he used, I could only see his gigantic face and bifocals as well as the suits he wore. The office was sparse except for the awards he received from various benevolent associations. We discussed many things including my experiences.
The psychoanalyst believed that my demonic experiences could be directly attributed to events that had happened to me as a child. He felt that the words spoken by the apparition were meaningless unless they were tied to a repressed sexuality. He asked me if I had ever had any homosexual encounters as a child or young adult and I answered in the negative. Although I had questioned my sexuality, I had never believed myself to be anything other than a straight white male.
From a spiritual perspective, demons can say whatever they want about a person. The fact that some of it is true only makes the experience of demonic oppression that much more difficult to bear. I was once told that the devil gets the highest grades on dogmatic theology exams. I don’t doubt it and yet I also believe that the devil knows much more about us than we ourselves do.
One of the things that disturbed me about my psychoanalysis was its emphasis on sex. In Eastern Europe, sex and sexual doings are never discussed. Such matters fall under a category of subjects that are labeled “taboo.” Discussion of sicknesses, death, and spousal abuse are passed over in silence. Indeed, anything that happens within the privacy of one’s own home is not mentioned. Rather, it is a known truth that is understood by all within the family circle.
Generally speaking, matters related to the facts of life are left for the young people to discover on their own. This discovery creates a great deal of shame and an inability to discuss what one feels. In my own life, I have also felt these emotions since my parents never felt a need to talk about these matters with me. Rather, my school gave me the sex ed classes so that I would understand myself. To make matters worse, those sex ed classes only made me hate myself even more.
In American society today, sex is something that one finds almost everywhere. From the clothes worn by young people to the shows on our televisions and the internet, our world is saturated with it. People are taught from a relatively young age that there is nothing wrong with being active and that the act itself is a meaningless activity with no resulting complications. It is merely something that all people do and it is normal.
Last night, for example, I was watching the latest episode of Gossip Girl. The main dilemma for one of the protagonists, Blair Waldorf, was that her main man had not been able to articulate his love for her. Blair believed that if she stripped for him that it would force him to say those words and that is exactly what she did. She took off her dress and asked Chuck what he thought about it. He replied, “I adore it.” So the scene went on for an excruciating five minutes. While it was clear that Chuck was chomping at the bit, he could not say those words.
A young woman stripping to make a man say that he loves her is perhaps one of the lewdest tactics in the book. Love, whether feigned or real, is not something that one can force on another person. Like many other things, it is either there or it is not. Clearly, no Victorian novelist would come up with such a travesty. Even if Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina suffered in her marriage, she would never go to the extremes of Blair Waldorf.
In this same episode, another character named Jenny has a gay friend named Eric. Eric is a stereotypically effeminate young man. Although his mother threw him into a mental institution for his orientation, she has clearly come to grips with it and accepted him. It is also clear from the series that Jenny and other characters also accept him and his boyfriend.
I point out this last example to show you, my dear readers, how much homosexuality has become something approved of by our society. The entire point of the gay agenda, if such a thing exists, is to allow us to accept them and their acts. Of course, all of us may have friends who are gay or lesbians. As Catholics, we are called to treat them with charity and love. But that is where the Church draws the line since the Church has consistently taught over twenty centuries that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.
In my own journey, I have often had to fight the perception by some people that I am gay. While I do have a relatively high tenor voice and have some eccentricities, I have never looked at a male body in the same terms as a gay man. I admire its proportions and beauty, but I leave it at that.
Yet no matter what one does, there are still those who will pursue others whom they see as weaker than themselves. One year, I was invited to a Christmas party by a friend of mine. In my naivete, I believed that he was “batching” with another man. It was not until I looked in his library and saw the massive collection of gay literature that I came to realize the uncomfortable truth. I felt paranoidthe entire evening because I felt that I would be hit on. I told my friend about my feelings the next day and he erupted with the retort, “Well, it is not my fault that you are a repressed gay man.”
Of course, I have had other encounters with older men who have made passes at me. Most of them have been innocent invitations, but I have never reciprocated. Rather, I have cut the problem at the root and have flatly stated that I no longer wish to speak to this or that person. As the Fathers of the Church have written, one of the ways to avoid falling into sin is to avoid the occasions thereof.
In a roundabout way, this brings me back to my original point about sexuality. In a world where all morals have been turned upside down what is the role of the Catholic Church and what are we to do? How are we to avoid the culture that seems so incessantly to believe that sex is normal, casual, and non-problematic?
One of the answers stems from the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity. Chastity is a virtue and one of the highest. This comes from the fact that Our Lord was born of a virgin and that He Himself was a virgin. Additionally, the Church views the body as the temple of the Holy Ghost. To sully that temple would be to essentially drive out the Holy Ghost from our lives. St. Paul writes about this adamantly in his Epistle to the Corinthians. Not only this, but sins against chastity drive a person away from God.
Another point to ponder is the Church’s teaching on marriage. Marriage is a sacrament that was instituted by Our Lord. It is not merely a legal transaction that is entered into for the sake of procreation. It is the Church’s hope that the couple will not only procreate, but that they will grow into closer unity with God by means of that marriage. Indeed, the married state is one of several that the Church offers to young people discerning a vocation.
An additional point here is that a person’s sexuality is a gift from God. It is a gift that is only to be used for specific purposes and situations. God did not give us sex so that we could go and use it everywhere. It was not meant to be an instrument of “self-abuse.” Rather, it is something that is reserved for marriage. For those that are not called to marriage, the Church teaches lifelong chastity. This category also includes gays and lesbians.
On a more practical level, we can avoid the licentiousness of our culture by refusing to partake in those activities that would be contrary to the virtue of chastity. Avoiding scandalous TV programs is one idea. Another is not bothering to look at the magazines shown at grocery stores. Both St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Benedict taught that one must keep custody of one’s eyes in order to avoid the occasions of sin. I know for myself that it is an important practice.
Another thing that can help people to preserve chastity is to keep busy. If the devil knows that we are occupied with something, he cannot touch us. Having something to do every day is a point that cannot be emphasized enough. This also includes using the internet in moderation and not sitting there all day.
A third and highly useful strategy proposed by the Fathers of the Church is to pray to the Blessed Virgin and saints who are especially known for their chaste lives. St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron saint of young people, practiced chastity to such a heroic degree that he would not deign to be embraced by his own mother. While we probably should not imitate this specific item, we can imitate his penitential practices and his love for Mary.
Here I cannot overstate the case for the Sacraments and sacramentals. If anything gives us supernatural strength, it is our participation in those sacraments since Christ Himself is there to heal, console us, and give us strength.
Remember that slipping and falling is a normal fact of Christian existence. Yet we must always stronger than we were the last time and that we realize why we fell. It is this realization that leads to true repentance. It is this which allows us to become better Christians and, ultimately, to become worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
St. Benedict, pray for us!
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us!
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, pray for us!