First point to recall is Ven. Fulton Sheen’s perceptive observation:
And little St Jacinta of Fatima’s warning:
”More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
”If you desire to be chaste, be retired, be modest, be mortified.” –St Leonard of Port Maurice
“In temptations against chastity, the spiritual masters advise us, not so much to contend with the bad thought, as to turn the mind to some spiritual, or, at least, indifferent object. It is useful to combat other bad thoughts face to face, but not thoughts of impurity.” –St. Alphonsus Liguori
”The vow of chastity includes purity of body and soul; this is easily lost … This great treasure is deposited in a castle, which has many portals and openings, and if these are not well guarded and defended, the treasure is without security. My daughter, in order to preserve perfectly this vow, it is necessary to make an inviolable pact with thy senses, not to use them, except for what is according to the dictates of reason and for the glory of the Creator. After once the senses are mortified, it will be easy to overcome thy enemies, for only through them can they conquer thee; for no thoughts can recur, or be awakened to activity, unless fomented and excited by the images and impressions admitted through the exterior senses.” —Ven. Mary of Agreda
“When you have sought the company of a sensual satisfaction, what loneliness afterward! … To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thornbush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond . . . You . . . what have you done? Don’t say, ‘That’s the way I am—its my character.’ It’s your lack of character. Esto vir!—Be a man! Holy Purity is granted by God when it is asked for with humility. When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph.” –St. Josemaria Escriva
“A pure soul is like a fine pearl. As long as it is hidden in the shell, at the bottom of the sea, no one thinks of admiring it. But if you bring it into the sunshine, this pearl will shine and attract all eyes. Thus the pure soul, which is hidden from the eyes of the world, will one day shine before the Angels in the sunshine of eternity. The pure soul is a beautiful rose, and the Three Divine Persons descend from Heaven to inhale its fragrance. Like a beautiful white dove rising from the midst of the waters, and coming to shake her wings over the earth, the Holy Spirit issues from the infinite ocean of the Divine perfections, and hovers over pure souls, to pour into them the balm of love. The Holy Spirit reposes in a pure soul as in a bed of roses. There comes forth from a soul in which the Holy Spirit resides a sweet odour, like that of the vine when it is in flower.” –St Jean Marie Vianney (Curé d’Ars)
“Holy Purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue, is a jewel so precious that those who possess it become like the angels of God in heaven, even though clothed in mortal flesh.”
–St John Bosco
Thank you for this beautiful article. It brings to mind something I’ve pondered recently. It is possible to be pure in body but not in the mind because modesty may be demonstrated with the body but not in the mind. So modesty of thought precedes modesty in speech and action- and we need to work on both! Mary Most Holy pray for me. And all those who desire modesty.
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I forgot to mention that I think a useful strategy to combat temptation is to throw yourself in to some exhausting good work for others. It’s a great distraction and is bound to obtain grace Also to recognise and call Satan out on the sneaky temptation: – “Get lost Satan! You don’t belong here.”
Hatred for his tactics and disdain for the temptation helps to oust it quickly which I what I feeling when I say that.
Any tips anyone has on dealing with temptations, please share! We all need help and to have lots of different strategies up our sleeves.
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Nicely said Remnant Child of Mary. Couldn’t agree more. And Fulton Sheen is so clear! Great post!
Great thoughts. I mean REALLY great thoughts!
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I find keeping myself busy really works. Making a home, avoiding the temptation of tv and Internet, keeping the Internet only for ‘Catholic’ things, also watching chaste things. I’ve got into watching old 1930/40s movies. So much easier to stay pure when you’re not bombarded with inappropriate images.
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I do the same. No longer watch R movies, rarely watch any. Read good books, watch catholic youtubers, sew, work in the garden etc. Easier to keep a chaste mind!.
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We forgot the essentials! Regular prayer and recourse to the Sacraments! But I guess it’s because it goes without saying!