It is said that St. Thomas Aquinas' brothers were a tad bit tired of their brothers continuous study. They could not understand why he didn't indulge himself in the world. Brilliant, honorable men that they were, Aquinas' brothers decided to spice things up and sent up a prostitute to his room. Just so he could lighten up a bit. G.K. Chesterton records the following:
"When he saw her [the prostitute] he sprang from his seat & snatched a brand out of the fire, and stood brandishing it like a flaming sword." G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, 44.
Aquinas didn't hurt the lady but let's just say there was no interaction between the two. Aquinas ravings like a mad man worked and she ran screaming out of the room. Not exactly a subtle tactic but it seemed to do the trick.
I did not get much sleep last night. In fact I was up till about 5 AM this morning. It is not fun to sleep on the couch, especially when no one put you there. Why was in my living room, in my boxers, trying to sleep? Because once again my bunny rabbit neighbors were enjoying one another's company a little to much. I woke to crashing and banging at 3 AM and, for a second, thought someone was getting beat up, again; not this time. I sat there amazed at the audio spectacle that was coming through my walls and thought about banging on the wall to make them realize it's 3 in the morning, could they keep it down. Then the screaming started and I realized it wouldn't do me any good so I went to sleep.
I woke up this morning with a raging headache, very frustrated, and a tad bit annoyed that once again I was put out by my neighbors escapade. Yet, as I sat here I couldn't help think of that story of Aquinas and then of another person who had his world interrupted by the opposite sex, King David. If I was meant to learn anything last night, it was this; no matter where we are, no matter what situation we are in, we face temptations at every turn. Some of it undeserved (3 AM and unlike King David I was were I was supposed to be) some of it we put ourselves into (King David again) The question is, what do we do about it?
Aquinas' story reminds me of this situation because men of God are going to go out of there way to protect there integrity. It is not a natural reaction for a man to turn a women away. Most men can not stand the sight of a woman rejected, crying, or any other thing which seems to melt away our defenses. However, some women know that and still bring the apple of temptation our way. We have two opposite stories which show opposite results and it leaves us the question of which is the more "manly" thing to do. David fed his lust and sinned with Bathsheba. Aquinas acted like a mad man and drove the women away. Manliness now a days is defined by the David story but it seems that when presented with temptation, Aquinas was the more manly.
I believe this is the case because a real man is not going to steal moments that are not his. A real man does not look at sex as something which I can get but something which I can give. A real man is going to react violently when presented with something which violates that. A real man does not put a price on his integrity because if there is a price, the devil is going to buy it.
Malcolm Muggeridge once told the story of a business man who was on his way to some country on an airplane. As he sat down he couldn't help but notice the beautiful, young, 20 year old, brunette who took up the seat next to him. As the plane took off they struck up a conversation. The Business man decided to see something and very boldly asked the woman if he would have sex with her for a million dollars when they landed. The woman looked shocked but you could see the million dollar figure quickly breaking down her defenses. She finally agreed. As the plane was about to land the man then turned to her and asked if they could drop the price down to 100 dollars. The woman became angry, looked at him harshly, and stated: "What kind of girl do you think I am." The man smiled at her, "Honey, we already know what kind of girl you are, now we are just negotiating the price."
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Brother Bell at 11:13 AM