Calx Mariae (Heel of Mary) is Voice of the Family’s magazine promoting the culture of life, faith and the family. In the summer 2022 issue, we wish to put forward the case for purity and give a broader picture of this exquisite virtue to which we see such a high value given in Holy Scripture and in the lives of the saints.
The summer months in large western cities may make it seem as if whatever was left of our Christian civilisation is gone completely. Each year, the sense of reserve which might regard anything in one’s appearance as improper seems to have received its coup de grâce. Any opposition to overwhelming immodesty is considered contemptible or quaint. Resistance fails to find an opportunity to put its case forward and resigns itself to managing decline.
It may seem a matter concerning mainly women. But this is not so. Whilst offences against purity are more evident in women, it is men who are the guardians of this virtue so dear to God — just as St Joseph was the guardian of Our Lady’s purity. The great “crusade of purity” to which Pope Pius XII calls us is integral to true masculinity. After all, man and woman are bound together in the mutual suffering, as well as mutual support in the work of redemption.
However, it is also apparent that God has, in a certain sense, given the primacy in this crusade to women, after the model of the Blessed Virgin Mary and countless female saints, who, by their example, make known — and felt — the triumphant way of purity and humble obedience. If we want to bring our society back to God, this must be reflected in how we look, speak and act! The Catechism of Perseverance, speaking of first century Rome, recalls: “The admirable purity of our ancestors appeared in their exterior. Nothing was more striking than the contrast between Christian and pagan women in this respect.”
It is striking that God has promised victory over the devil through purity: it is not the most powerful who will crush the head of the serpent, nor the strongest, nor the wisest, nor the most strategic; it is the purest and the humblest. It is the Immaculate Virgin who will crush him with her heel. From this we must conclude with certainty that, in this crusade, purity is at once the weapon and the banner of victory under which the soldiers of the Church Militant must rally. We must aspire to purity in the whole of life: in faith and doctrine, in religious, personal and family life. In purity is all strength and victory: we have the promise of Our Lady that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.
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