"Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts." —Matthew 5:28
We who live in the "culture of death" are caught in a raging war for control of our senses. We are continually bombarded with sexual sensationalism. This is a serious problem, because we need to avoid sexual fantasies so as to avoid the possibility of punishment in everlasting fire (see Mt 5:30).
How can we possibly avoid these "near occasions of sin"? We can't drive anywhere without seeing huge billboards flaunting scantily clad women or men. We can't walk onto a public square or beach on this spring day of June without seeing some increasingly exposed display of skin. To avoid sights which could lead to temptation, we would have to be blind! (Mt 5:29)
Let's fight fire with fire. Being in extreme danger calls for extreme actions. If the TV is your problem, cast it out — into the trash. Better to lose a few hundred dollars than your eternal soul. If movies are your problem, cut them out. Better to sit at home than to have your soul rot. If billboards are your problem, pray for those who create them instead of fantasizing about those who appear on them. If beaches are your problem, don't go. Find some "living water" to immerse yourself in (Jn 7:38).
Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Remember, the Spirit fights against the flesh (Gal 5:17). "My point is that you should live in accord with the Spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh" (Gal 5:16).
Prayer: Jesus, I want to be pure as You are pure (1 Jn 3:3).
Promise: "I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living." —Ps 27:13
Praise: David prayed fervently to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for strength to overcome sexual temptations. He soon found himself deeply in love with the Lord and filled with the sense of being clean and holy.
(This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997
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