The Necessary Spiritual Battle


The Christian soul, when created, is not yet not perfected.  The soul, like the body, requires maturity and maturation.  The carnal desires and pleasures of the body are good, in that God created them, too.  Our free will and its responsibility to choose wisely, in a holy way, according to His will, are corrupted by our fall from grace in God.  So, humans may take the good nature of the carnal desires and pervert them by attempting to derive pleasure from disordered ends; not the birth of children, not the love of spouse.  We can never perfect ourselves by our own efforts; we only make progress by His Grace. As Pope Benedict reflected:  “Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning.  Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Why would God allow such a thing?  We know that God gifts us with free will, praise Him!!!, and even allows disordered choices by the very definition of the name “free” in the gift.  But, we also know that God, when he allows disorder, has, in His infinite Wisdom, a great good in mind.  God is so omnipotent and omniscient, He brings good out of our disordered choosing.  The good, may I propose, that he brings out of disordered choosing from carnal desire is the denial of the lie that in the pleasure which results from acting on carnal desire, that all our fulfillment lies therein; not in God, but in orgasm, or sensation.  The average practitioner of this lie realizes that no matter how much dissolution they give themselves over to, there is always something missing.  Something, at first, without reflection, difficult to identify, troubling.  This void, this ache, is our union with the Infinite, for which we were made.  The pleasure is a shadow, a reflection, a hollow specter of that fulfillment in God, yet to be attained by the soul, but hinted at in our mortal experience, beautifully.  This is what St Augustine speaks of when he cries out:  “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!”

The Spiritual Battle is necessary, as necessary as physical struggle and work for the body, to strengthen, to grow, to discipline, to more perfect, the soul.  See, God does bring good from evil.  He truly does.  Praise Him!!!!!!  We must caution against, however, the misinterpretation that sin and struggle are a good in themselves.  They are not.  They are evil and the result of evil.  Occasions, or near occasions, of sin must be avoided at all opportunities, with our cooperation, certainly, but aided infinitely and only by His grace; our true hope.


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