Tuesday, July 6, 2010

St. Maria Goretti Feast Day: Reflection on Purity

What can I say about St. Maria Goretti that I didn't say last year? I still think she's amazing and a great role model for purity. The debate still rages on: should we "glorify" a saint who chose to die instead of being raped? Is virginity more important than one's life? Everyone has their opinion and I don't want to start the debate on this blog but I will say that I'd still do what she did if, heaven forbid, I ever found myself in her shoes again. Yes, again.

When I was 14-15 years old, a young man who had recently graduated from the same high school I attended (and had previously dated a friend of mine) tried to force himself on me... while we were still on campus no less... but I somehow found the strength to push him away and escape. I may look small (tall but still small somehow) and weak, and I am definitely prone to anxiety, but my survival instincts have a knack of kicking in when I need them. The young man tried to get me alone again but he never did thanks to wonderful friends of mine, Robert and Priscilla, who never left me alone for the rest of the summer while I did work-study on campus. Of course no one else believed me because the young man was so beloved by everyone in administration but those two friends saw the way he looked at me and studied his actions around me so they didn't leave me. Robert, who I had just met no more than 2 weeks prior to the incident, posed as my diligent boyfriend who didn't mind hanging out hours after summer school classes were over just to make sure I was never alone. Though we never had true feelings for each other, I still hold a special place in my heart for him and for everything he did. I left that high school shortly after the work-study ended, especially since my anxiety had gotten much worse with the incident, so I never knew what happened to the young man or my friends but the experience certainly shaped me and what my thoughts are when it comes to this particular subject.

I am thankful to God for giving me some good common sense when I was still away from the Church. Before reverting to the faith, there were a number of occasions in which I could've easily been a victim these things -- many young men during my first year and a half of college inviting me to their apartments or even offering to pay for a cab so I could go "hang out" or "work on classwork" with them; oh the stories I could tell -- but somehow God kept me sane and safe. I have also developed a reputation for being "difficult" and "picky" when it comes to guys (it's not being difficult, it's being smart and not falling for tricks) but that's another story. :) Now that I am back and my ever-growing faith is intact, I am grateful that I have made the choices I have.

I didn't have the support system I have now when I went through these things. I mean, I've always had my mother and she was the first person I would tell whenever I got the horrid "invitations" from these so-called guy "friends", but I didn't have anyone my age who understood me. I was called a prude by everyone (including my former Women's Studies professor) but I still knew, in my heart, that I was doing the right thing. That is what I hope to get across to other young ladies who may read this blog (and I know I have some as young as 15): you are NOT alone if you don't have people in your life that will encourage and applaud your choice to be pure until marriage... or if you have others who are trying to encourage you to do things you know are bad. As for whether you should, in case of extreme danger, choose life or purity -- I can't tell you that. I can't make that decision for anyone. My personal choice will remain to choose purity and not because I dream of being a martyr. It's just that I value staying true to God more than I do doing what will be less painful or consequential in this mortal life. I know some of you will disagree but this is just my own personal opinion (have I stressed that enough?).

If you have been a victim of abuse, first a big virtual hug and please know that none of what happened was your fault. As the late Fr. Leo once told me, rape victims are not sinners nor should they feel like they are. You are still pure in God's eyes because you did not commit any sin and He loves you even more because of what you have gone through.

I don't know what I am going to do today for St. Maria Goretti's feast day but I really want to do something. I mean, the Rosary at 3 p.m. (it is currently 2:31 p.m. right now) followed by the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy Chaplet is definitely a given as they are favorite devotions of mine but may I'll take an hour or two to really reflect on just how important purity (and modesty -- post on this subject coming up soon) is to me. I bet I'll find many more things to thank God for, which is what I should really do instead of spending countless hours online where the purity of my eyes (laugh if you must but really think about it) can be easily defiled by the filth that seems to pop-up more and more everyday. Okay, sounds like a plan to me. :D

I hope everyone has a great day (which, if you're not going to the doctor's like I am, should be better than mine lol).

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :)


Anonymous said...

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us.

Blake said...

That is horrid that you had to experience that Emmy, words cannot express how bad that makes me feel.

This pagan culture that worships the golden-god of sex could learn quite a bit from St. Maria Goretti. Fornication is a new american pastime, its treated as nothing more than a "fun thing to do" like roller blading when the reality is that it sends countless souls to hell. This blessed Saint chose to die rather than break the law of God, out of love of God, her soul, and even the soul of her murderer. Her words to her assailant " no you will go to hell" ring out as a cry of compassion and concern for the soul of the murderer whom she forgave on her deathbed. That is heroic virtue. Emmy, that is not just your opinion it is the judgement of the church herself and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. People make fun of me because I am a virgin, I let them laugh because nothing is worth more than heaven and no sin greater than heaven's joys.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Blake - I'm lucky I was able to get away from that guy. He was much taller and stronger than I was. Others aren't as lucky so I am counting my blessings.

And, pffft. People who make fun of people who are virtuous need to get a hobby.

atheneum-arpino said...

Hello Emmy ,

Nice to see ur article about your experience, especially posted on the feast of great saint of purity, who gave up her life in order not to loose her chastity, to keep herself pure for Christ. You are an example for many wayward youngsters of our time. GOD BLESS YOU... "BE HOLY AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS HOLY"

Fr. Biju Thalupadan