St Lucy

Virgin and martyr (entered heaven this day in 304)

Dear Cy,

I am going to have to be blunt.  I hate to do this, but if I don’t, who will?  You are behaving like a Cretan.  And if you don’t know what that means, insert the foulest expletive you can think of.  In spite of the barbarous (though fleeting and degrading) satisfaction that your unchastity is procuring, I think you know in your heart that I am right.  Your sexuality was not given to you in order to wrap you up in yourself; it wasn’t given to you so that you could devour your fellow human beings (women are human beings, in case you had forgotten, just like you; every one of them is someone’s daughter, sister, mother…) as if they were delicacies laid out on a buffet.  Your current behavior is, in short, repulsive, self-degrading, a threat to your future, and heartlessly destructive of the lady in question.  And don’t retort that you are only doing what everyone else does.  That’s a lie!  Show me one saint who so grossly let himself be enslaved to his passion.

In fact, it may help you break out of your benighted stupor to consider the brilliant testimony of today’s saint, whose name means “light.”  She was from Sicily, a wealthy, aristocratic family.  Her father died when she was only a girl, and her mother betrothed her to a young man of worthy estate.  But she had become a Christian, and was so in love with her Lord that she promised to marry no one but him.  (Now that’s a good use of one’s sexuality – offering it faithfully to a lifelong spousal love)  For three years she successfully delayed the wedding.  It was no easy task, because she was exceedingly beautiful, and her betrothed was being pressured to consummate the affair quickly.  Seeing her case begin to weaken, she and her mother went to pray at the tomb of St Agatha for a miraculous cure to her mother’s sickness (a strange hemorrhaging disease, just like the one in the Gospels).  The cure came about, her mother was converted to Christianity, Lucy explained her desire of selling all her goods to give alms to the poor and staying forever married only to Christ, and her mother consented.

Furious, the frustrated suitor (Paschasius was his name) turned Lucy in to the authorities as a Christian.  (It was illegal to be a Christian then; Christians were considered state enemies, because they refused to worship state gods, but women were seldom called to make public worship – thus Paschasius’ report…)  Lucy was brought before the magistrate, where she unabashedly professed her faith.  She was condemned to a life of forced prostitution (thus the magistrate would profit from her physical beauty – I hope this stirs your conscience a little bit!).  But when the guards went to remove her thence, they found her fixed to the spot.  They even engaged a yoke of oxen to pull her away, all to no avail.  They lit a fire around her to burn her alive, but the flames went out.  They tortured her in various cruel and creative ways (even gouging out her eyes), but she neither yielded to their wishes nor renounced her faith.  Finally she was pierced with a dagger in her neck, and died from the wound in prison.

Such is how a true Christian values sexual fidelity, chastity and purity.  I trust the example has stirred up the remorse you should have long since felt for your recent behavior patterns.  Now all that remains is for you to go to confession, confident in our Lord’s mercy, and speak to a trustworthy priest about reforming your life.  It will take some time to recover from your dissipation, but if you wait any longer, you may never recover at all, much to your (and your future family’s) chagrin.

Your loving uncle,


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