Reflections with Fr. Prof. Anthony Onyeocha
- When I think of this teenage saint, my mind goes to many angles. How can we teach the teenage boys and girls of our parishes, of our secondary schools and in our homes to think like and behave like St Maria Goretti? It was Goreti’s mindset that enabled her to conquer the devil. “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” – She was quoted as saying to Mr Allessandro, the man who stabbed her to death.
- Today, many of our teenage boys and girls are losing their virginity at a very tender age. They are lured by bad men and women. My word to the youth has been.
We are bound to be chaste. We are bound to be pure. We are bound to be virgins. We have nothing to offer God and the Blessed Mother except our chastity, our purity and our virginity. These are the treasures that will lead us to see the Lord, face-to-face when we go there. These are the same treasures that St Maria Goretti offered to the Lord.
- Virginity is a great treasure before God. If you have lost your own, please go and find it where you dropped it. I, as your spiritual father will assist you to find it again. We must avoid the occasions that lead us into losing our virginity; namely –
Immoral men and women, peer groups, unchaste friends and relations and above all pornography. These are the evil agents that lead us to break our virginity.
When faced with sexual temptation, the Word of God says to FLEE! To RUN! To GET OUT OF THAT PLACE! Remove yourself from the situation. St Paul warns us in two instances: “Flee from fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness…” (2 Timothy 2:22).
- The amplified Bible puts it this way: “Run away from sexual immorality – in any form, whether in thought or behavior, whether visual or written”. This is exactly what the slave boy Joseph did in the court of Pharaoh in Egypt.
“One day he went into the house to attend to his duties and none of the household servants was inside. Potiphar’s wife caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house” (Gen 39:11-12). Let us run like Joseph when tempted.
- This episode opens up our eyes to know that women can also rape men. Our society today is steeped in sexual sins including adultery, rape and its sister sins. Adulterers are guilty of practising sin and will be judged by God. Adultery is a serious sin and one which can cause one’s soul to be lost eternally if one continues in it without repentance. Adulterers will not inherit God’s kingdom.
- The big question is: Can I regain my virginity if I have lost it? Spiritually yes is the answer. In this regard let us think of St. Mary Magdalene of the bible. The bible tells us that seven devils were cast out of her. Some bible authors think that these were the demons of sexual immorality, prostitution, adultery and of fornication. But when she repented she changed her mind set and threw away her immoral type of life, reformed herself and became a true born again. And happily the Risen Lord rewarded her repentance – She was the first human soul to see and talk to the Risen Lord on the First Easter Sunday. The gospel confirms it: Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils (Mark 16:9). For me she was able to regain her lost virginity but spiritually.
- Let her repentance be an inspiration to us. It is my belief and I am sure of it that all who remain virgins, all who live a chaste life and remain pure until death will surely see God face to face when they die and this is the teaching of the sermon on the mount in (Matthew 5:8) : “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Let us not forget – we are bound to be pure. We are bound to be chaste. We are bound to be virgins. May St Maria Goretti pray for us! Amen.