In part I we addressed transitioning from gluttony to fasting, and in part II we addressed transitioning from drunkenness to sobriety. Today we will discuss transitioning from lustful behavior to chastity.
When we lust after someone, we not only place temporal pleasure ahead of our love for God, but we also diminish the dignity of the person being lusted over as well as ourselves. Placing this temporal pleasure first and foremost above our end goal of eternity with God causes us once again to experience one of the seven deadly sins, or capital sins, of lust. It is deadly because our reason and will can become disordered by lust. Because the temporal pleasure is so strong, we willfully ignore the counsel and judgment coming from our conscience and we act imprudently to satisfy such pleasures.
It is at this juncture that we need to employ both Prudence and Temperance to curb temporal desires. We need to stay focused on the real end goal of Heaven and, with the use of reason and will, resist such temptations. For some it is difficult to resist; therefore, prayer is so very important. As with the glutton, and the alcoholic, it is also true for those who partake in lustful behavior, or any excessive behavior, certain weaknesses call for God’s intervention and healing. Through prayer, God will grace us with the virtue of Temperance, for He Himself has said, “Ask and it shall be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). If you ask God for the gift of any given virtue, He will not deny you. If you ask for His help, He will give it to you. Surrender and be healed.
Living a chaste life in accordance with our vocations is what will help us achieve our end goal of eternity with God in heaven. The root of the word chastity is defined as the curbing of our tendency to sin; to chastise. Through the practice of self-control, self discipline and self-restraint, we can be faithful to our life’s vocation.
Do you make good choices or bad choices? Give that some thought, and in our next reflection on Temperance we’ll discuss how your choices impact your life as well as your family’s life. You won’t want to miss it.