This morning we began by sharing some wonderful stories about Msgr Jim’s life, as well as what moved each of us during his funeral services. That all led into some wonderful dialogue about the importance for us all to be sure we are having regular check-ups, and that we listen to our doctors. It was very helpful to have David Picella to lead that part of the discussion for us.
After that, we got into our main topic which was on Lust. Lust speaks of a craving or any desire which is outside the perfect will of God for your life, and is one of the most formidable foes for Christian men…
“Secret Sin” – it is a sin of thoughts rather than a specific act.
Unconfessed Sin – because of the sensitive/embarrassing nature of lust, a person often tells no one. Therefore, they do not receive the support they truly need.
Impossible to avoid all forms of temptation – just look around you, and on the media
It is addictive – lust and accompanying masturbation is self-perpetuating: the more you do it, the more you want to do it and with lessening enjoyment
Some teach that moderate lust and masturbation are “normal and healthy” – not according to God. The guilt you feel comes from Him.
”Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
And for those who think masturbation is a private thing and doesn’t hurt anyone, CS Lewis beautiful explains just how destructive this act is:
“For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself. . . After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.” - Personal Letter From Lewis to Keith Masson (found in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3)
Pattern For Victory:
Confess your bondage to the Lord
Ask God for His strength to overcome in this area (see “Surrender Prayer”)
Walk by the Spirit – constantly “check-in” with the Holy Spirit
Guard your thoughts
Keep your eyes on Jesus
Recommended Reading: “Delivered” by Matt Fradd
Fr. John’s Homily (Sunday, September 30, 2018): Homily
(No song this month due to time constraints)