On the Brink and the sixth prayer

I’m not sure what it means to find out that Madonna isn’t a fan of the 50 Shades book or movie which opens today. It’s been hyped as a wonderful date night movie for Valentine’s Day. Can you even imagine?  A while back, I recall seeing some of the women patients at the hospital reading this ‘novel’ I’d heard about, but wondered what woman would find violent sex entertaining or worthy of her time or dignity. Curiosity maybe? I don’t even want to guess.

I’m not judging, but I am wondering how a culture could not see the evil in such perversity. From the Amazon reviews it’s not even written well. For my mind that is a clear sign that Satan has blinded and captivated women, using our God given gift of femininity as the invitation to cross over his portal to porn. We should bow our heads in shame.


Research from the University of Waterloo has found that the 50 Shades of Grey franchise has inspired women to consume porn in greater volume and variety.



“One of the things that jumped out at us from that research was that so many of the women were hopping in for the first time to pornography or sexually explicit material that was written by women for women. It got women moving from the book [’50 Shades of Grey’] into consuming other types of books, but also sexually explicit material that’s online.”


And yet to listen to both national and local news about the movie’s release in time for Valentine’s Day, you’d think this was a highlight for women’s rights. So, porn is now what…mainstream? You can get a Vermont Teddy Bear with handcuffs and a mask. Even Walmart and Target are cashing in. 

What must this do to the heart of God who has created man and woman in His own image? He created man and woman to partner together in cooperation, harmony and mutuality, but the fall of Adam and Eve tells the story of humankind’s ‘fall from grace’. Prior to their sin they related to one another in harmony; after the rebellion, not so much. They realized their nakedness, tension replaced harmony, and both blamed each other for the misdeed.

As a result of human sinfulness, history is replete with stories of the failure of men and women. Pornography is an absolute perversion of God’s intent for man and woman. Promoting this evil as a good is the enemy whispering in the garden– once again tempting men and women saying;

Did God really say…?

Does He really know what makes for right intimate relationships between men and women?

What difference does it make if it’s consensual?

As a culture, we are in desperate need of both personal and social conversion; we are not prepared to see the fallout that will come from a wholesale sexual sell out to the devil. Actually, we are already seeing it everyday on the news in the form of sexual abuse, pedophilia, and all manner of violent sex crimes of which I myself have been a victim.

Father Joseph Esper has written a book called On the Brink, where he “lays out a strong case that America will soon experience a powerful and historic manifestation or Divine Judgement.” There have been many prophetic warnings over the years. In the mid 90’s I remember reading Slouching Towards Gomorrah, written by distinguished conservative scholar Robert Bork, where he gave his “unprecedented view of a culture in decline, a nation in such serious moral trouble that its very foundation is crumbling: a nation that slouches not towards the Bethlehem envisioned by the poet Yeats in 1919, but towards Gomorrah.” I was younger then, but it had a profound effect on me.  Some may say that’s nihilistic, in the sense that it’s all an extreme form of skepticism.

But in the words of St. Augustine:

 “Rome was not punished because she was Christian, but because she had failed to right herself from a course of sin.”

I pray that America will right herself and humbly come to terms with the sexual sins “battling for the soul” of our future as a nation.

St Gertrude’s sixth prayer is a cry of the Lord’s thirst from the cross, and it should be our cry too. The Lord longs for us to turn and receive His mercy, won at the price of His own blood.


O Jesus, inexhaustible fountain of pity, remember now that bitterness which Thou didst endure when,

Thy strength being exhausted and Thy Sacred Body dried up,

Thou didst feel that burning thirst,

and hadst not one drop of water to cool Thy parched tongue,

but only vinegar upon hyssop;


I beseech Thee that Thou wouldst extinguish in me

the thirst of carnal concupiscence and worldly delights. 




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