” Crea en mi, Oh Dios, un corazon puro, un espiritu dentro de mi renueva”
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”
– Psalm 51
Cristina and I have been working/praying/serving with the ministry “CORAZON PURO“(Pure Heart) for the last year here in NYC alongside some amazing (and amazing-ly committed) laypeople……and these guys! Its been a beautiful and challenging experience to be apart of the leadership for such a powerful ministry. The Holy Spirit really has blessed us with His guidance, and the ministry has been able to grow and provide for the needs of so many young people throughout NYC! Check out this video of Father Benedict Groeschel and Father Agustino (Our founder) discussing what we do. But, to put it simple, Corazon Puro is a Chastity ministry located in the South Bronx, teaching primarily the hispanic/american community about Theology of the Body and how to live a Catholic-Christian life in a society so perverted when it comes to sexuality. What makes Corazon Puro different from so many other ministries, is that it has at the core of its founding, a sense of the need to ‘Keep it Real’ to the young people of modern society. So much of what people in the Church (at no fault of their own) have done for so long with teaching Chastity/Abstinence/Sex Ed has been unsuccessful because of the watered-down nature when discussing sex. In the beginnings of Corazon Puro, there was this recognizing of the fact that young people are exposed to MUCH more than we realize and are sick-and-tired of not getting their questions answered. Our ministry humbly attempts to reach these young people with that idea in the forefront of our minds. I dont know if it is “working” up until now, but the young people are coming! AND many are involved enough that they want to form part of our leadership!
Please keep Cristina in your prayers this weekend, especially tomorrow morning. She will be giving a talk to young women AND men about the “Dignity of Woman”. This is something that through our relationship as an engaged couple, we have come to learn so much about. As John Paul II said in his address to the UN in 1995,
“Women will increasingly play a part in the solution of the serious problems of the future: leisure time, the quality of life, migration, social services, euthanasia, drugs, health care, the ecology, etc. In all these areas a greater presence of women in society will prove most valuable, for it will help to manifest the contradictions present when society is organized solely according to the criteria of efficiency and productivity, and it will force systems to be redesigned in a way which favours the pro- cesses of humanization which mark the “civilization of love”.
Just as God chose to “Crown” His creation with the creation of Woman, He chose also to bring the Redemption of Man through a Woman. Without playing the blame-game, I’ve come to recognize more and more how much of the perversion in our modern society has been caused by us men NOT honoring the dignity and utter beauty of WOMAN. I’m not talking about a specific woman (or your girlfriend or wife or a beautiful woman), but rather WOMAN. The sex that God chose to create with the ability to bring forth life. The living, breathing, walking tabernacle which carries all human life into existence and nourishes for the first most important times of it’s life. Yes, that Woman which should be (if we really realized what Woman is) elevated and protected with a distinct and special reverence, yet has been denigrated and devalued by our pleasure-seeking world. We see this in the way we have perverted women’s bodies and used them for sexual pleasure or an fix to an addiction. The fruits of this perversion are (but not limited to) our current situation and RIDICULOUS statistics on abortion, birth control and how it HURTS women’s bodies, domestic abuse, and an outrageous amount of single mothers abandoned by the father of their children.
Lately, I’ve been meditating on Cristina’s beauty and how through her feminine body and essence….I am awe-inspired! There are many times that Cristina has to ask me to stop staring, for I lose myself often just admiring her beauty (and adoring how I see God in and through her). In a deeply symbolic and profound way, I’ve come to realize why God chose to mold and create her so delicately, for men (as a sex) can find peace/rest/solace in Woman. Of course, I appreciate when Cristina reminds me that she finds me handsome, but for us men the beauty of Woman is so different. Although the motherly nature of all women carries with it a certain gentleness,(no matter if she may be the softest-spoken to the most “rough around the edges”) women are powerful!
Just as Eve had the power to convince Adam into eating the fruit (DONT GET ME WRONG! Adam failed Eve by not standing up and defending her from the serpent, this isn’t some macho-woman blaming-theology) a women who is aware of her feminie-beauty is able to turn the heads of an entire room! We’ve all seen it happen! This power can be used to hurt or it can be used to HEAL. I’m coming to find that this is a large part of women’s role in ‘saving’ humanity from our current situation…as John Paul II mentioned in the quote above.
So….to the healing. Check out this awesome image –
Like I said earlier, just as God chose Eve to crown His creation, He chose Our Lady (someone who today would be pushed into considering an abortion…..think about it for a second) to bring us our REDEMPTION. Through Her, we see how Woman was truly meant to be. Through Her, Our Lord gave us a model of how we should all be, but in a special way – how our society should help Woman to truly be.
Cristina was explaining to me how we can break down the “Hail Mary” as a model for how many should be treated as well as how women should learn to see themselves. I’ll try to break it down here :
Hail Mary full of Grace – it’s not for NO reason that we tell a woman that she looks “gracefull” or that she walks “gracefully”. God has chosen women as vessels for His grace and through their physical and spiritual beauty, we can all receive His grace.
The Lord is with you – We must all constantly battle the attraction to be of this world and to live in it’s ways. Just as we eat of His Flesh and Blood, we truly carry Him within us wherever we go.
Blessed are you among women – All are called to stand out. Modern society and commercialism tries to fit us ALL into a box, telling us that we need to “fit in”, or fit into a certain size of clothes. We are not called to fit in, we are called to STAND OUT.
And Blessed is the Fruit of your womb – Woman (with the help of us men too) must protect their bodies, which truly are tabernacles. This is also very pro-life, for through the wombs of all women, there is the potential of carrying and nurturing new life. On a side-note, I once heard that in earlier societies(I see here in NYC that we are quickly losing this value), the men would go OUT of their way to protect and escort pregnant women no matter the cost, knowing that it was life that was within them. No matter what you can argue, the mere fact that abortion is legal, and birth control is used by so many, we are and will lose this value unless something is done.
Jesus – He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. And the end of this entry!