Stop Trying to Be PURE

I hear it a lot from Catholic speakers: “God wants you to be pure.” Especially in youth contexts, this idea of purity tends to run supreme, the highest goal of one’s life.

I’m not so sure.

For one, a focus on purity tends to be about one thing, sexuality. No one ever talks about purity in relation to charity or justice; there is no insistence on purity as it relates to the corporal works of mercy. If someone is talking about purity, especially to youth, it has everything to do with sex, promiscuity, and immoral thoughts. It is a rather small world of morality.

Of course, the greater point in this is how these positions are articulated, as a focus on purity forces us to emphasize a goal that is just a negation, a life defined by what we don’t do. It’s about not having sex, not dressing promiscuously, not giving in to tempting thoughts or actions. Because, truly, isn’t that what purity is? The absence of the stain of sin.

Taken to it’s logical end, as I do in this video, we can see that this is not a life we want to focus on. Rather, of focus should be on “holiness,” an entirely different concept.

2 Comments on “Stop Trying to Be PURE

  1. Hi Casey

    You continue to get better and better. Your intelligence and your gift for clear communication is an asset that our Church so badly needs at this time. So much of our online “Catholic” commentary would have us avoid spaghetti! When we emerge from our cellars and our bunkers and can once again safely save our masks for Halloween, I invite you to consider joining us here in California and directing our Parish Mission. I have been following you online since before your Ordination and I have seen you grow in grace. You are such a natural communicator of Good News, in a culture where such news is seldom heard and sorely needed. You probably have many such invitations lined up for the post-Covid future, but I request that you please add our parish community at Carmel Mission to your list. Check us out at

    Peace and all good things to you


    Fr. Paul P. Murphy Pastor at Carmel Mission 3080 Rio Road Carmel CA 93923


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