"The flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh."
IN THIS modern day it is difficult to be pure of heart. One of the greatest dangers to purity, especially to growing youngsters, is the cheap immoral literature which fills our bookstands. There is danger to your soul in these books.
How the student died was a mystery. They found him dead, still seated in the reading room of the library, his head fallen forward onto the ancient book that he had been reading. He had died suddenly and without any outcry. The police could find no cause of death and were plainly baffled. They promised the arrest of the criminal in a few days. They caught the criminal, but were not able to arrest him, so they put him to death on the spot. Out of curiosity a detective looked to see what the book was which the student had been reading. He picked it up, but dropped it quickly just in time. From behind the folds of the leather binding of the ancient volume came a black widow spider. The detective put his big foot on it and that was the end of the criminal. The mystery was explained.
The spider had hidden itself behind the leather folds of the binding and had bitten the student as he opened the book. The bite of the black-widow spider means instant death. For that student there was poison in the book. In many other books there is poison which can kill your soul.
"The flesh lusts against the spirit," and evil books are evil's most evil weapon. Whatever you read becomes anpart of you. Your eye lifts thoughts from the printed page. This thought becomes a picture in the art gallery of your mind. If you keep taking in evil pictures and no good ones, then your mind becomes evil. You have heard of people who are evil minded. That is how they got that way — by not being careful of the thoughts which they allowed to enter their minds. Do not let that happen to you. For the student there was poison in the book. It caused his death. For you there can be poison in books whose sting is more dangerous than the black widow. It can cause the death of your soul.
Your safeguard in all matters of purity is constant prayer to Mary, for she is the Mother most pure. Ask her daily to cast her blue mantle around you and keep you safe from harm. She it is who crushed with her heel the head of the serpent just as the detective crushed the spider. While you ask her to keep you constantly in mind you must also keep her constantly in mind and adopt as your motto,
"I will not do anything which the Mother of God could not watch me doing."
Source: Heirs of the Kingdom, Imprimatur 1949