Becoming Who We Are

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from A Path Through the Desert
Anselm Grün

A brother asked Abba Agathon about fornication. He answered, "Go, cast your inability before God, and you shall find peace." Agathon 21

. . . Old father Agathon shows us another path. We are asked, simply to throw our inability to come to grips with the secual aspect of our nature before God. Then we will ceas to be dominated by it. We must not accuse ourselves, therefore, of not being able to come to terms with our sexuality. We must not grit our teeth and think we ought to master it completely. Our secuality is a part of ourselve,s and awe cfannot prevent it from raising its head: indeed, we must expect it to do so. But we must not dramtise it: rather, we should accept it as a fact and hold our inability out to God. This will give us peace.

It may be an exaggeration to say that every man in America (possibly in the world) struggles with his unruly nature. (I can't speak for women, not being Teresius.) However, if it is, it is not much of one. I don't think the struggle is all that tremendous in some--that is, there is never any real "danger point" that one would leave one's vowed spouse (more often enough because we keep the object of temptation someone or something unattainable--but also for other reasons). However, the point of temptation is that you cannot know for certain.

As men, we admire the beauty of women. Admiration can stray over the line when those we admire are closer to us than say, Halle Berry or Faith Hill or Shania Twain. We cannot know for certain that it will not happen.

Or, to quote Sponge Bob, can we? Agathon suggests a way to do so--that is, not to pursue the struggle ourselves, but to cast that whole passel of temptations onto the Lord. If we choose to pursue the struggle ourselves, we will unquestionably lose the battle. There will be no hope for us. But, if we choose not to engage in the struggle, to admit the attraction and to admit that the attraction presents danger, then we can offer that to the Lord who will use the sacraments, most particularly the sacrament of matrimony to strengthen our determination to do what is right. If we rely upon our own will power, we will fail. Without question, we will fail.

And this goes equally for those who are single or who are wrestling with other aspects of their sexuality. So long as it is our will power that we are relying on, we will fail. So long as we make this the defining limits of our lives, we will fail. So long as sexuality is our defining paradigm, we create for ourselves temptations and problems that could be abated by casting all these temptations before the Lord and asking Him to take them up. We don't need to constantly redefine ourselve sexually--we don't need to prove anything to anyone. We need to submit to God's will and to give Him everything that strays from His perfect will.

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I appreciated these writings, Steven. Thanks.

Shania Twain... yes... I must needs bring her before the Lord.

"My poor body requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives."

-- From As Well that Ends Well

If we choose to pursue the struggle ourselves, we will unquestionably lose the battle.

I'd say "most probably lose the battle, and unquestionably lose the war."



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 19, 2005 7:15 AM.

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