The month of May is Our Lady's month and one of our Lady's most admirable virtues is that of Divine Purity. Purity takes many forms: purity of heart (having a heart whose single purpose is loving and serving God), purity of mind (thinking only good and wholesome thoughts), purity of intention/will (doing only that which pleases God), purity of body (doing with our bodies only that which gives glory to God). Our Lady is the purest creature in all of God's creation and lives the virtue of purity in perfect accord with the Will of God in every aspect of the virtue. Her heart is so united with that of God that her heart and Jesus's heart always want the same thing. Mary never once did anything to displease God. She used her body only for God's purposes and glory, she dressed modestly, ate healthfully at all times, and was a perpetual virgin. She lived a life of austerity and poverty, never allowing a worldly concern to take her attention away from her life in union with God. Because she lived purity with perfection, we can say she lived Divine Purity. As you know the Bible does not give all these details about the Blessed Mother's life, but many private revelations to saints and mystics have provided such details, such as the information in the writings of St. Anne Catherine Emmerich.
In 1956, Our Lady allegedly spoke interiorly to a humble, holy num named St. Mary Ephrem, in Rome City, Indiana, calling herself Our Lady of America, and asking her children to honor her by the purity of their lives. Although many of these interior messages were published with the approval and assistance of Sr. Mary Ephrem's spiritual director and bishop, and several bishops have encouraged public devotion in their own dioceses to Our Lady of America, a commission was established in 2017 and ruled in 2020 that the experiences of Sr. Mary Ephrem could not be determined to be of supernatural origin and that only private devotion would be allowed from this point forward. However, whether Our Lady of America ever receives the status of public devotion or not, because Mary is the first and most perfect disciple of her Son Jesus, she is our model and our guide for wholesome Christian living. Since she emulates with perfection the virtue of purity, and she is our guide, we should imitate her in the virtue of purity to the best of our ability. If we are tempted to sin against purity or have already fallen into impure thinking, unhealthy habits, or have been unchaste in our relationships in any way, or we find we have a duplicitous heart (allowing worldly concerns to rule our hearts in ways that prevent our hearts from belonging totally to God), we should ask Mary to restore purity in all these areas of our lives.
To give a sense of the serious damage to our souls caused by impurity, Our Lady of Fatima warned us that: "more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh (i.e., impurity) than for any other reason", and the children saw a vision of hell with souls falling from above a pit of fire like snowflakes. Our Lady of Fatima also said that the cause for so many people going to hell was the lack of prayer for their souls. St. Faustina's Diary of the Divine Mercy, entry 445 states this:
"When I came for adoration, an inner recollection took hold of me immediately, and I saw the Lord Jesus tied to pillar, stripped of his clothes, and the scourging began immediately. I saw four men who took turns striking the Lord with scourges. My heart almost stopped at the sight of these tortures. The Lord said to me, 'I suffer even greater pain than that which you see.' Then Jesus gave me to know for what sins He subjected Himself to the scourging: these are sins of impurity. Oh how dreadful was Jesus' moral suffering during the scourging!"
The diary entry goes on to describe the next scene wherein people of all walks of life in all levels of society picked up scourges and whipped Jesus with them. This scene represents society today. Do you suppose that perhaps the confused and immoral state of American society has anything to do with the loss of purity in our people, beginning with the overwhelming use of artificial contraception and culminating in such horrendous acts of impurity as cloning human beings with animals and killing our children and vulnerable adults with abortion and euthanasia? The connections between the social ills that plague us today can be linked back to the rejection of Humanae Vitae by the majority of Catholics. St Pope Paul VI prophesied that if artificial contraception became widely used in the Church, everything we are now living with would result from it. We now have proof that what he said 54 years ago was true. They basic root of the problem is the same for everything—we choose to do things the way that it suits us instead of the way God has revealed is the way to happiness and peace, in thee same way that Adam and Eve made their own choice instead of listening to God in the garden.
While it is true that Jesus has paid the price for sin, it is the antithesis of purity and love to desire to keep walking unrepentant in a sin that we know caused Jesus horrendous suffering. So if we have an area of impurity in our lives, let's ask Mary for the grace to conquer it and she will help us. Let's us do as God has indicated would be our remedy in 2Chronicles 7:14:
"If My people, upon whom My name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, seek My presence, and turn away from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land. The remedy is simple—turn from sin and pray for forgiveness.
Let's ask Mary for her intercession as we strive to turn away from impurity, especially the impurity of contraception, which rejects the very gift of life that God desires to bless us with.
"Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence we fly to thee, O Virgin of Virgins my mother. To thee do we com, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us! Amen!"