The palate is a part of the mouth. The term "cleansing the palate" is often used when referring to wine or food tasters, who eat something bland to remove the taste of the previously sampled item before assessing the taste of the next item. In other words, one removes the after taste so that it does not infiltrate the next bite or sip. Meals of several courses are often planned with that in mind, if not in actually providing an intermediary palate cleanser, then at least planning the order of courses so that a previous dish or beverage does not overpower the next one or ruin the flavor through unplanned combination.
The societal lack of "cleansing the palate" is one of the greatest obstacles to achieving, or even commencing, sanctity today. For example, one of my least favorite activities is to have my mind set on writing a blog posting that glorifies God, but I am interrupted with the need to blog about the dirtier works and sins of humans. However, because my heart, mind and spirit are always turned toward God, even as my fingers have to type less pleasant (but vital soul saving) blog entries, I do not have to "cleanse the palate" of my spirit and my mind, since my heart is always turned to God. White bread is often used as a gourmet palate cleanser, and so it does not seem a coincidence that one can think of God, through Jesus Christ, the living bread and staff of life, and remain cleansed in one's heart, mind and soul even when one must discuss distasteful things, such as sin and depravity in modern society, and the consequences of hell fire for all eternity.
However, since the vast majority of humans are not sanctified to God, but I do believe that many wish to be (however, they confuse it with the egocentric objective of being "very spiritual"), you need to realize that society and its dirt are a barrier to sanctification, as it requires extraordinary effort these days to "cleanse one's palate."
Let me introduce an old time admonishment, that is slang and said casually. In the old days when someone said something dirty (as in pornographic), profane (toward God), or cussed, often the listener would reply to that person, "You kiss your mother with that mouth?!"
This was in more innocent and good hearted days when often that admonishment was actually enough to make the hardened bad talker stop and be somewhat abashed. That's like back in the days when moms weren't competing to be as dirty as the celebrities, and when their children upheld their mother's level of decency. So yes, a simple expression like that caused many a cusser or dirty talker to stop in his tracks and blush. He would genuinely be ashamed to think of what had come out of his mouth, and that yes, that is the mouth that would kiss his mom on the cheek. That admonishment was a verbal palate cleanser.
Today it is just about impossible to cleanse the palate, spiritually. I don't mean to cleanse the palate to do some high and mighty worshipping or great spiritual work. I mean to go back to the normal state that one should be in nearly one hundred percent of the time! One should be living a life of having a cleansed palate, but one that is interrupted on occasion by the realities of life.
I'm not speaking of cussing here. I am speaking of living constantly within the increasing dirtiness of the world.
Here is an example of those who have to struggle because of the dirt of the world. It used to be that if you were a law enforcement official, it would be a very rare event when one had to investigate child pornography, child solicitation or child rape. The average cop might encounter one horrific example in his or her entire career! And that event would, of course, be a very low point and one that he or she not only had to prevent from depressing them, but also did not bring the sadness of it home to their family.
Now look at what the world, through human beings own choices, has brought to this example. Entire police departments have to assign full time officers to trolling through the filth of the Internet, identifying and capturing pedophiles and other child abusers. These officers have to look at more in FIVE MINUTES than most cops had to look at in their entire career. It is impossible for law enforcement people to ever cleanse their palates or have a cleansed palate, because they are standing within the tidal wave of filth.
I worry about professionals, and amateurs, who do this type of work with sincere hearts because I know that despite what they may say, it changes them forever and is a soul robbing experience. People often bandy about praying to the Archangel Michael, but this is an example where I recommend that those who must, because of their vocation, wade in such palate destroying filth, that they look at Michael as a role model, as the archangel who faces the worst of what Satan is, and yet remains totally pure and sanctified to God. Think of his role modeling as a palate cleanser. Also, do not be an egomaniac who thinks you are not affected and can do this for years at a time. Wading in filth, even for a "noble purpose" is a barrier to sanctity and your process of sanctification. Why? Because it takes up space in your mind and your heart, even as you combat it, that ought to be set only on the pure sights of God. You are having to "kiss God's cheek" with that mouth.
Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
He touched my mouth with it. "See," he said, "now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged."
Isaiah, the greatest of the prophets who prophesied the Messiah, Jesus Christ, knew that even as pure as he was, he could not be living as a human among humans with filthy lips without being at risk once he faces God, so upon the sight of God he is terrified of this knowledge. God respects this wisdom exhibited by Isaiah and thus the seraphim cleanses Isaiah's lips with burning coals from God's own altar. This is why you can look to God and his angels, such as Michael, with confidence and trust if you, through no fault of your own, are put within the filth of the times.
But what about the vast majority of people who wallow in and produce the filth? What about the many mothers today who purchase "booty enhancing" jeans and who have "tramp stamps" tattooed over their rear ends? Why should their children worry about with what lips they kiss such mothers?
It is impossible to have the television on, or the radio, to keep one company, as I used to like to do, without now being subjected to a "Viva Viagra" commercial about how long a man can have an erection, or some thinly veiled reference to oral sex. How many of you turn off the TV or the radio the instant that such filth comes on? Not so many I reckon. How many of you hold stock in those companies, or work behind the scenes on that type of marketing, all day every day? How can one be sanctified, have a cleansed palate for God in your average day, when you are in the tidal wave, either willingly or unwillingly, of filth?
Young people, this is one of the things I am trying to help you to understand, a time that was gone before you were born, but has become worse each year, as you've been growing up and have become young adults. Do not worry that I am being a fun destroying prude, LOL. If you think that, reread the example I have used, which is of the average police officer who maybe once in his entire career encountered terrible child pornographic filth or solicitation. Do not believe the liars of today who say it "always was there but just hidden." I mean, duh, how dumb do they think you are? Cell phones, computers, message boards and the Internet did not exist. Thus there was no way to cultivate the occasional pervert's taste into violent addictive action as there is today. Today there is a field full of weeds, rather than a field of wheat that would have the occasional, easily identified and controlled weed. You have been given, deliberately, or at the very least because they have been asleep at the wheel, a society of a destroyed cleansed palate, by your parents and their parents.
The sickening spread and virtual explosion of violence against even the tiniest infants (and even pet animals) and the total perversion of the beauty of intimacy, including sex, is happening because people are not living the way they used to be, which was with mental and spiritual cleansed palates... ones that they knew had to be restored to that normalcy of the cleansed palate, in between encounters with that which is unclean.
But to be unclean and uncleansed is the "new normal." That is the shocking and still, for me, who have seen this with my own eyes, the most difficult thing to comprehend how society has imploded and rotted from within, while calling that being "liberated." I don't think the police who spend their entire shifts hunting the worst baby raping perverts that have ever existed among humans feel particularly "liberated." I don't feel liberated when I sit down to blog and someone on the radio makes an oral sex allusion. Do you feel liberated, really? Young people, you certainly should not feel liberated. You have been chained in a meat market, out of reach of the place of the cleansed palate. Thus you cannot enjoy as you should the goodness of intimacy, of passion, or handle appropriately confrontations with filth, when they occur. Genuine liberation is to be able to operate from a clean base of stability, and thus you have a wide range of appropriate responses.
So if you are interested in being sanctified, as every human being should, which means to put God and his will first and foremost in your life, so that you can reap all the goodness of life as it exists now and have hope for the eternal bliss, you must be aware of the tide that you take for granted as "normal" that brings unclean and unease into your spirits and hearts, hindering sanctification. Shut it down, the unclean, wherever and whenever it is in your reach. Don't "put up with it" (like letting the TV drone on with filth) because as I said, as the holy man Isaiah knew, it besmirches even the unwilling.
What can you do on a practical level? First of all, this is one reason why frequent daily prayer is so helpful. People have started thinking too much of prayer as "asking God for something." Realize, instead, and remember that prayer is the ultimate palate cleanser. Prayer neutralizes filth because it removes you from it as you realign and reset your focus on what is true and good. So prayer is not just a tool for asking God for help. Prayer is the ultimate palate cleanser.
Then, as I have alluded to above, make your own space as clean as possible. For example, I stop visiting news web sites that when I click on them I immediately have some gigantic picture of fat boobs stuffed in my virtual face. Don't give them your clicks and don't let them plant those images with you. So clean up your space even though it's a daily battle, but think of weeding out the field (not taking weed, LOL). If you pull out each one as it pops up, eventually they diminish.
Also, be a trend setter and set your own example. Like I said I am no dreary prude. But there is a heck of a difference between a sharp dressed young man or woman and one who feels that I and the world need to see their tramp stamp or booty crack. There is a quiet young man who sometimes comes in for pizza where I regularly lunch and I totally love his clothes. He is so hip and yet modest. If you cultivate your own cleansed palate of taste in your own dignity and hipness, then your posse and others will follow you. You will be helping everyone with their own hip sanctification! Seriously, you do not want to be the one, like so many girls today, who wants to show off her stuff to every guy, hoping that guy goes home and hates his wife or girlfriend for not being as "hot" as her. Trust me, she'll be "hot" alright, in a way she eternally regrets. Again, this is not because God doesn't like showing off the human body. It's because God knows the hearts of all and their every thought, and he knows when people dress slutty so that they can harm the custody of the eyes and hearts, and thus sanctity and happiness, of others. Marketing people and greedy merchants better wise up to that too. How many erotic commercials fuel child molester fantasies? A lot of them and I know because as I said, I know what crime and society was like "before" and "after."
I hope, as always, that you are having a good day and that you have found this to be helpful.