The middle school youth will come to know St. Maria Goretti and develop a deeper understanding of our call to have purity of mind, body, and spirit.
PURITY : Middle school youth continue to be exposed to violence, sex, and death on television, in movies, video games, music, and on the internet. Some of the non-cable television stations no longer protect the “family hours” of 7-9/10pm. Music that was once somewhat discreet about sexual references now speaks plainly and openly about explicit and sometimes violent sexual acts. Within seconds, many middle school youth could pull up pornography on the internet – with or without parental controls. Pope John Paul II called this the “Culture of Death” and warned that the Catholic Church must take serious steps to protect our youth.
St. Maria Goretti’s life serves as an example of a life richly experienced because of her purity and holiness. As Catholics, we are called to a life of purity. Scripture tells us, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). In our world, purity of heart seems an almost impossible or unreachable goal. However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church shows us that we can have a purity of heart if we lead a life of prayer, “practice chastity, purity of intention, and of vision” (#2532). Purity of heart takes a strong devotion to prayer. The things we watch, listen to, and participate in can affect our purity. We must continue to challenge our middle school youth to begin to practice purity in every area of their lives.