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Now Reading: Custody of the Eyes: What it is and How to Practice It

Custody of the Eyes: What it is and How to Practice It

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 Oh! how many are lost by indulging their sight!  – St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

If your eye offends you, pluck it out. – Jesus

We live in a hyper-sexualized, even pornified culture, and if you’re a man who wants to be pure, you’re going to be involved in a constant warfare against lust. Everything from toothpaste commercials to weight loss ads have some sort of sexual spin. After all, as they say, sex sells.

Then there is the rampant immodesty in women’s dress (even in church, sadly), including mini-shorts, crop tops, and leggings worn as pants. Popular TV shows are filled with graphic sex, and celebrities dress in see-through clothing—that is, when they aren’t releasing nude photos of themselves.

Now, these temptations are so powerful because they involve our sight—one of the most potent of our senses, especially for us men. What we see is indelibly etched into our memories, and we can never truly un-see anything. Additionally, our sight has a powerful connection to what we want. Radio ads will never be as effective as TV ads, because hearing simply isn’t as strong a sense as sight.

Today I want to talk about an ancient Catholic practice that can help us combat temptations to lust: Custodia occulorum, or custody of the eyes.

What is it

At its most basic level, custody of the eyes simply means controlling what you allow yourself to see. It means guarding your sense of sight carefully, realizing that what you view will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Many of the saints, in their zeal for purity, would never look anyone in the face. “To avoid the sight of dangerous objects, the saints were accustomed to keep their eyes almost continually fixed on the earth, and to abstain even from looking at innocent objects,” says St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

Now, staring at the floor at all times is a bit extreme for most of us, but it does demonstrate the seriousness with which the saints viewed the importance of purity. They teach us that is simply impossible to allow hundreds of immodest images into our minds, however innocently, and remain pure.

Of course, to the modern mind, this guarding of the eyes is rather quaint and even ridiculous. How prudish, many would think, to think that we should exercise any control over what we see. And yet, if we care about our souls, we have no other option.

How to Practice It

The best place to begin practicing custody of the eyes is in the things which we can control, such as movies, magazines, or television shows. If your favorite TV show has a sex scene every 5 minutes, you need to cut it out of your life. It’s not worth the temptation. In short, don’t consume things that are occasions of sin. Carelessly putting yourself in spiritual danger in this way is a grave sin itself, so take it seriously.

It’s actually rather easy to edit what you consume. But what about the things we can’t control, such as the immodestly dressed woman walking past you? This takes far more prayer-fueled discipline and practice. That said, here are some suggestions.

First, if you’re struggling with the way a woman is dressed, immediately look at her face. I don’t care how beautiful a woman is, it is essentially impossible to lust after someone’s face. The face is the icon of each person’s humanity, and it is far easier to respect a woman’s dignity when you’re looking at her face and not her body.

Second, it may just be appropriate to stare at the floor sometimes, especially if there’s no other way to avoid temptation. This doesn’t have to be the norm, but if the situation warrants it, it is foolish not to do so.

Third, avoid places you know are especially problematic for you. For most men, the beach is a problem. Dozens of women in tiny bikinis is just too much. If that’s the case for you, avoid the beach.

Finally, fast and pray. This should go without saying, and yet I am always amazed that men think they can control themselves without God’s help. It simply isn’t possible. We always need grace in the battle against concupiscence, and if we trust in ourselves and our own willpower, we will do nothing but fail.

Conclusion

Yes, temptation is everywhere, but we are not helpless victims. We must take the need for purity seriously, and that means guarding carefully what we allow ourselves to see. Through prayer, fasting, and practice, we can learn to take control of our eyes and avoid temptation. This isn’t quaint and archaic—it’s basic to spiritual survival.

Let us call upon our most pure Lady and her chaste husband St. Joseph, begging their intercession for our purity.

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Sam Guzman

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53 People Replies to “Custody of the Eyes: What it is and How to Practice It”

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  2. Rick

    Thank you for tackling this topic.

  3. Terry

    When I attend church, I think it is so terrible to see Catholic women dressed immodestly and rearing their children that way. I feel that the priest, along with loving Christian sisters and brothers, should try to help the person out of love and caring. This would mean caring about the soul of the person who prepares the poison of immodesty and the souls of brothers and sisters they may spread their nets on. I feel that when we see immodesty, satan is trying to attack the souls of brothers and sisters and we should all try to help instead of being quiet. I think we should never be judgmental, but always discerning. Jesus says to cover the naked. We should not make it easy for satan to attack souls through immodestly. How about public indecency . . . our children are bombarded with this poison too. All bodies are beautiful – men and woman — but when it is put on display, I think that is sin, dirty, poison, etc. Let us all stand for the truth in love!

  4. Wonderful post…GOD bless you…

  5. I am a recovering sex/Lust addict. The one thing I know a lot about is this subject of Lust. Its what is called Spiritual Vice. Now u do not want to give into your Lust for any reason. It took me to some very serious dark places. It is 2nd biggest sin in America today. At one time in my life I litter ally felt like I was losing my soul. The one thing u must understand Lust is never satisfied. But at the same time because of my sexual abuse brought full fledged Lust into my life. It has a power to destroy your life including your soul. But at the same time I had relearn my view of women and the female body. In the cause of women’s clothing, People who have authority in all churches should talk about thissubject. But very little is said. Some Christian women don’t even realize there sinning or causing another person to sin because nobody speaks of it. But the GRACES I have received from God and my learning in the Catholic faith as turned my life into joy. We all have that source and his name is Jesus Christ but if u are Catholic s good remedy is the Eucharist and the rosary and many other things. Take my brothers and sisters.

  6. Brent Gibson

    This is a great read and with the help of the Holy Spirit maintaining custody of the eyes is really possible. I was out at with my wife of 17 years last night at a crowded venue full of young, beautiful people but was delighted to find it natural to gaze upon her and otherwise not at other distractions. It helps that she is beautiful and takes care of herself (after six children no less).  Before anyone praises me for my advanced spirituality..hah…I’d like to explore related issues (at risk of appearing immoral). They are all related to the human body and the appropriate appreciation of it.

    First: Is it wrong to encourage our wives to dress attractively? Does not every woman want to be attractive (and is attractive?). When we were younger, I encouraged my bride to dress very conservatively, perhaps too conservatively…my family found my approach oppressive and puritanical. I, however, as an immature young man, felt that there were threats to our relationship and its future so by-golly cleavage was banned! Flash forward to now.

    As we hit mid-life, my tendencies have moved toward the opposite. I encourage her to dress more attractively (read bordering on “sexy”). I feel very few threats to our marriage and, in fact, the direct and indirect praise she receives for maintaining her physical beauty is evidence that many are encouraged and see that they can be moral, family women who are also something to behold. By-golly, having a pile of kids does not mean you have to dress in a tent!

    It’s not that modesty can’t be attractive, but because a woman’s body is naturally beautiful, it compliments her clothing and vice-versa, the appropriate balance between covered and revealed is up for debate (see below).

    Now, I labor under the assumption that all women are and want to be appreciated by others for their beauty. Not being a woman and needed the perspective of one, I ask my wife’s opinion about this. She says that she enjoys feeling (again…not my favorite word) “sexy;” however, she also states that she is able to quickly discern within a glance from man whether there is something lustful in his gaze (rather than a more innocent appreciation of her beauty). The former makes her uncomfortable. But this has little connection with what she is wearing. She has been noticed (and even hit on) at roughly the same frequency when wearing opaque, loose fitting, ankle length clothing versus more revealing sheer and snug pants.

    Next: There are clearly cultural norms at play here. What is socially (read morally) acceptable in a woman’s dress in Southern France is not the same as in Southern Sudan. I have traveled extensively and have noted lustful looks and behavior from men in response to women dressed in conservative Islamic garb and I also know that in cultures where women are routinely topless that they are not necessary viewed with lust and desire by men in their midst. The body is not evil, clearly, our hearts are tainted with evil and yes, perhaps gazing upon the body of the opposite sex may bring that out. But certainly covering it does not prevent this problem. Thinking and behaving clearly and morally does, and blasts through those tendencies, keeping all of us on the straight and narrow.

    Finally: What on earth do we do with fine art? The nude has been a fixture of Western fine art for centuries. Is appreciating a nude woman in art the same as lust? There are fine, likely moral, Catholic men who appreciate the male and female nude form and can create extraordinary works of art based on it; art that captures and communicates the physical beauty of God’s most remarkable creation. I know them personally.

    The point of my rambling monologue is that this does not seem to be a black and white issue and it needs to be fleshed out further (ugh…pardon the pun).

    1. Terry

      Brett, read what the Blessed Mother said at Fatima, a message from God/Jesus, about immodesty. God finds “immodesty” offensive. Immaculate Mary is an example to us women to follow and this never changes. If she were apparent today, she would be just as modest. Also, all people are beautiful/handsome. God does not do faulty work. We all have different taste, although with media, we would all run after the same fake person because people have a tendency to be brainwashed into what is beautiful all at the expense of greed!

  7. Joshua

    I don’t know how to answer your question about lust being a mortal sin.

    I know you are sincerely striving to do what is right, but make sure that you pray not only for a pure heart and mind, but also for a well-formed, healthy conscience. Scrupulosity is a horrible condition that you do not want your soul to have to deal with. Trust me on that one.

    A simple rule of the saints is: if one asks himself, did I commit a mortal sin, was that a mortal sin? it is a clear indication that there is no mortal sin. A priest, Fr. Joseph Michael Mary McShane, who helped me mostly overcome my scrupulosity made this clear to me and strongly insisted that I use it. I mention this, because I have a story which is very similar to yours, and which led to me struggling with scrupulosity partly as a result of me struggling with the fear of committing mortal sin. I strongly urge you to discuss these temptations with a priest and ask him for advice to avoid forming an overly scrupulous conscience.

    Just a tip: if tempted with impure thoughts or fantasies, immediately start thinking of some amoral topic, such as work, school, your schedule for the day or week, your budget, or grammar or vocabulary of a language you are trying to learn. Pick one topic and use that every time you are mentally attacked, while praying to God the Father, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and St. Michael to protect you. If you don’t concentrate on an amoral topic, you are very likely to wind up concentrating on whatever impure fantasy is plaguing you at the moment, either because you gave up struggling or because you are thinking about what you are struggling against. When you concentrate on something amoral and ask the saints and God to help, it is like withdrawing your ground troops and allowing your artillery and airpower to get in a few licks. 🙂

    I think you should go to confession once a week for a while, until you are stronger, spiritually, and I suggest you add to your prayer: “but I am still fighting!”

    Never give up, my brother in Christ. We are all in this together. I am praying for you.

    Keep it simple: 1) if you are asking yourself if you committed a mortal sin, you didn’t. 2) take shelter from impure thoughts and let the saints and angels take care of the temptation; 3) pray and fast; and 4) NEVER give up!!!!

  8. Frank Argáez

    I’m sure that this article gives glory to God.

    Starring down to the floor is a very helpful weapon not only against lust, but against vanity, selfishness and conceit attitudes because it helps you to be more humble. I’m starting to use it more when I give talks in the church or when I give spiritual advice to my brothers ans sisters in Christ.

  9. Thanks for the honest article. It seems, our culture has gone down, down, down. Parents, especially, be aware! Husbands, don’t “sell your bride, by allowing her to be scantily dressed.

  10. Zachary

    Above all; avoid Las Vegas! I don’t know how many if you visited the place, but if you look down after someone practically naked walks past you, the floor is covered in thousands of pornographic cards that people hand out on the streets.

  11. Richard Raymond

    This is very appropriate.
    But I suppose we are going to afford women of all ages more license to go to hell for eternity dragging whoever is unlucky enough to get caught up in their web of impurity.
    Those in authority inside the Church and outside will be held by God eternally accountable for abdicatation of their resonsibility to confront directly these women of whatever age, especially legal adults for their immodesty/impurity.
    Fatima; more souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than any other.
    I see here as so many places flagrant cowardice and betrayal of men by flat refusal to confront and address women and their responsibilty in even the most basic efforts at modesty/purity.
    For the last half century women have acquired not only legitmate rights but virtual liscense particularly in regards to sexual matters, this is no accident. (Can we say birth control; 55
    million abortions ect….) They wanted parity; I’d say they have virtual liscense.Now these
    so called “real men” should do their duty and hold them Rigorously accountable.Before they die. After is to late.
    Women my have differences but not so different that the same commandments, rules, laws and absolutes will they be judged by God in eternity as men and no less rigorously.
    We have virtually all lost any Holy fear of God’s Justice!.
    They have souls to save and they will lead others to one place or another.
    So how about the the other half of the article, please.

  12. So is it true that a young guy can stay holy and pure
    How many of us out there can believe and say for sure
    No matter how we’ve tried, we just can’t seem to stay
    From falling into temptations that come unfailingly our way

    Suppose this grace we talk about is not really enough
    Suppose this race we run is just too harsh and tough
    But don’t we always want to blame the fall on someone else
    When the reason most times we sin is really our own self.

    Well my friend it’s time we gave up our trust is our own will
    Coz the devil is a roaring lion and he’ll destroy and he’ll kill
    Even if you’re a worship leader, a preacher or a star
    You’re just another man seduced by the wife of Potiphar

    Run Joseph Run, Run Joseph Run,
    Don’t fall into the lust, You must run if you must
    Run Joseph Run

    Run Joseph Run, Run Joseph Run,
    Don’t bother looking back, lest you fall on your track
    Run Joseph Run

    1. Read at Reddit NoFap NofapChristians.

  13. J

    Sam, at what point does lust become a mortal sin?

    I am a new Catholic and I am trying be sexually pure. I used to masturbate to pornography a lot, but last September I was convicted by the Spirit and stopped both masturbation and pornography. I lasted until December when I relapsed. The next four months I wasn’t able to go longer than a week without it. Now I have been free for the last two months except for one week when I relapsed. Fortunately, I went to confession which helped me a lot.

    However, this past week, I have been struggling with some lustful thoughts. When I experience them, I pray “Jesus have mercy on me; I am a poor, sick sinner.” I think I’ve prayed it 50 times a day the past week. lol

    The trouble is, when I used to PMO (masturbate while watching porn), I never had much trouble with lustful thoughts during the day. Today it’s been exactly a month since I last masturbated, and I haven’t had any nocturnal emissions. So the sight of a woman is so much more arousing than it used to be, especially if she is dressed in a revealing way.

    I like your advice about looking women in the face, which is something that I started to instinctively do.

    Since I’ve stopped PMOing, I’ve started to have more interest in talking to women, and I have dreams of getting married and being a father. But sometimes these dreams blur into lust, as I start to think about having sex with my future wife.

    Sometimes, though, I think there can be a difference between arousal and lust. For example, when I was talking to a girl at a party, I started to become quite aroused, though I wasn’t looking at her body parts or thinking about sex. I just enjoyed her company and I felt attracted to her.

    Right now my body just feels like it’s on a roller coaster now that I’m abstaining from masturbation. I can be fine one moment, and then I see an attractive woman, and so much desire swells up. I feel very tormented, and I’m confused about whether this is mortal sin or not.

    I will definitely go to confession if I masturbate again, but do lustful thoughts that only last a few seconds need to be confessed? I plan on going to confession once a month even if I don’t masturbate or do some other mortal sin, but I want to be able to receive the Eucharist daily, so this is why I’m wondering at what point a lustful thought becomes a mortal sin. And is there a difference between arousal and lust?

    1. Joshua

      I don’t know how to answer your question about lust being a mortal sin.

      I know you are sincerely striving to do what is right, but make sure that you pray not only for a pure heart and mind, but also for a well-formed, healthy conscience. Scrupulosity is a horrible condition that you do not want your soul to have to deal with. Trust me on that one.

      A simple rule of the saints is: if one asks himself, did I commit a mortal sin, was that a mortal sin? it is a clear indication that there is no mortal sin. A priest, Fr. Joseph Michael Mary McShane, who helped me mostly overcome my scrupulosity made this clear to me and strongly insisted that I use it. I mention this, because I have a story which is similar to yours, and which led to me struggling with scrupulosity partly as a result of me struggling with the fear of committing mortal sin. I strongly urge you to discuss these temptations with a priest and ask him for advice to avoid forming an overly scrupulous conscience.

      Just a tip: if tempted with impure thoughts or fantasies, immediately start thinking of some amoral topic, such as work, school, your schedule for the day or week, your budget, or grammar or vocabulary of a language you are trying to learn. Pick one topic and use that every time you are mentally attacked, while praying to God the Father, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and St. Michael to protect you. If you don’t concentrate on an amoral topic, you are very likely to wind up concentrating on whatever impure fantasy is plaguing you at the moment, either because you gave up struggling or because you are thinking about what you are struggling against. When you concentrate on something amoral and ask the saints and God to help, it is like withdrawing your ground troops and allowing your artillery and airpower to get in a few licks. 🙂

      I think you should go to confession once a week for a while, until you are stronger, spiritually, and I suggest you add to your prayer: “but I am still fighting!”

      Never give up, my brother in Christ. We are all in this together. I am praying for you.

      Keep it simple: 1) if you are asking yourself if you committed a mortal sin, you didn’t. 2) take shelter from impure thoughts and let the saints and angels take care of the temptation; 3) pray and fast; and 4) NEVER give up!!!!

  14. Pete Federspiel

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

  15. Very nice post. I know that “custody of the eyes” is an important skill all of us men must grow in, but I would like to propose that it’s only a first step (and not the end goal) on the road towards greater virtue.

    “Chastity does not consist in systemic depreciation of the value of ‘the body and sex’ anymore than it can be identified with the morbid fear which they may inspire, sometimes as a reflex. Such reactions are symptoms not of inner strength, but of weakness. Virtue can only come from spiritual strength… Continence…is the indispensable method of self-mastery, but it does not in itself amount to a full achievement of virtue. Above all, continence cannot be an end in itself.” –Karol Wojtyla, “Love & Responsibility,” p. 197.

    Chastity has been a long, exacting process for me over the last ten years, but I feel like I’ve exited the purgative stage of spiritual growth and feel that, by God’s grace, I’ve reached a deeper level of integration to where I can view the often scantily clad women around me and ‘see’ their personhood without automatically objectifying them. I have to always be mindful, of course, of my own fragility and never trust myself too much, lest I do fall into pride and sin. But knowing my own journey and how God has healed and cleansed me, I can attest that further integration is possible here on earth.

    I have no doubt that many of the saints were so united with God (including our newly sainted JPII) that they could look upon the human body with complete reverence and awe. I think it sells us all short as men to stop at continence and forget the end goal of our integration and our sanctity. Where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds all the more.

    Thanks for the articles. Keep writing, dude.

    -Bobby

  16. Phil

    Faces can be dangerous, too. One can lust after a face, it is not impossible.

  17. Nice post! A hearty Amen. I would like to ad that the internet is often a near occasion of sin. Just trying to read the news on the web . On a regular basis you have to click off the site because the news, even conservative news sources, have no problems posting salacious stories, adds and photos of the latest inapporpriately dressed actress. Our culture is so desensitized that it is not seen as wrong to post such photos on new sites. Even FB can be an occasion of sin based on the things people post.

  18. If the rampant sexuality of a television show doesn’t spur a person to sin, must it still be avoided? I don’t like such shows, not because I am concerned about my spiritual weakness but because it’s unappealing to me. But I know others with exceeding fortitude who enjoy shows that are quite explicit.

  19. eric

    How about custody of the imagination? I agree, you can avoid certain temptations and corruption by not looking at them, but more important is what you do with what you see. You can lock yourself in a room and be corrupted by nothing, and experience nothing. Or, you can put yourself out there and accept what the world is and have the dignity to chose what you absorb and how you respond. How can you truly expect to contribute to the betterment of the world if you shield yourself from it? Jesus did not shield his eyes from Mary Magdalene, he made a profound change in her life by interacting with her instead of avoiding her.

    It’s similar to trying to keep your kids from hearing curse words: try as you might, they’re going to hear them, probably even from you. The best you can do is teach them what they mean and why not to use them. They’ll be responsible and smarter, instead of unprepared and ignorant.

    Instead of avoiding looking a woman’s body, appreciate her uniqueness – how she dresses, who she might be, who her parents and family might be, where she works and who she loves. As soon as you start thinking of them as a special person, it becomes very difficult to see them as an object.

  20. Michelle

    Another help that I’ve found–and we can’t ever have enough!–is the Angelic Warfare confraternity. I enrolled last year and it’s been a beautiful, pretty powerful help. It’s not just a fight against impurity but more importantly, to grow more and more in purity until it really is a way of life.

    There’s more info here:
    http://www.angelicwarfareconfraternity.org/

  21. Newguy

    Great article.
    Just found out about this blog. Seems interesting.

  22. Greg

    Great article. I enjoy your blog very much and read it often. In regards to this latest post, I must pose a question for you. How can we explain the necessity for Doctors to study the human body in order to properly perform their job? Are they at risk of sinning?

  23. Great post. Learned something recently that gazing at women who may be dressed immodestly will, in some men, result in no activity from that part of the brain which considers another person’s thoughts, feelings etc. It’s helpful to remember this other person has their own conscious experience right now; she is a *person* not a visual object.

  24. David

    A tip I heard on a Jason Every CD that has assisted me in resisting such temptations. If you are being attacked by impure thoughts or the sight of an modestly dressed woman, pray Hail Marys and fast for her conversion and you protection. For one thing it is harder to objectify someone for whom you are praying earnestly. Secondly, it may help keep the evil one at bay if he knows that every attack against us will result in meriting grace for an instrument of his.

  25. Great article, thank you Sam.

    For me, when the unexpected temptation arises, I immediately offer up Hail Mary’s for the person in question, trying to thank God for an opportunity to pray for one of his beloved daughters. Got to punch the temptation in the face as soon as it arrises

    Also, fasting is so so powerful.

    Also, the prayer from the St. Benedict medal I find extremely helpful with purity: “Begone Satan, do not tempt me with thy vanities. Evil is what thou profestest, drink thou thy own poison”

  26. Andy

    Excellent article. When I find my thoughts wandering into lust, I quickly ask for the Blessed Virgin and Our Lord to grant me a pure heart, a pure mind and a pure soul. This short prayer has always worked for me!

  27. Daniel

    This is true. Great practice and advice for dealing with temptation. But one thing that must be said (knowing you believe it too) : the body is not evil. We should not simply strive to survive and hide from women’s bodies like they will always lead us to sin. We should be striving with God to help us grow in our true masculinity which can lead us to beholding women, body, face, soul and all, without sinning, even when they don’t wear modest clothing.
    Body good, sin bad. Avoid sin by custody of the eyes! Yes.

    This is the crux: as men, Catholic men, we need to be sure not to foster a hate or fear of the body behind this practice. How would we ever love all of who they are?

    1. Mom of 3

      Daniel is correct, Mr. Catholic Gentleman and Jacob, you have slighted Daniel’s balanced reply with self-serving “piety”. Please re-read what the man said.

      1. Terry

        Mom of 3, In some ways, Daniel is correct and other ways, he is not. I have read and reread what he said. I also read what the Blessed Mother said at Fatima informing us that God finds all immodest dressing “offensive”. Immaculate Mary tells us to always avoid immodesty.

    2. The Catholic Gentleman

      Daniel,

      I appreciate and agree with the point that the body is not evil. This is the constant tradition of the Church. However, it would be seriously presumptuous to believe that we can ever get to a point where we can look at a naked woman (that is not our spouse) without sinning. This is not simply my opinion, it is the teaching of every saint in the history of the Church. Almost every serious sexual sin begins with sight, and scriptural examples of the danger of intentionally or even accidentally viewing nudity, like King David, abound.

      It is simply unthinkable that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Paul, or St. Ignatius of Loyola would look at nudity because they believed they could handle it. It is impossible. As Proverbs says, “Can a man carry fire in his bosom
      and his clothes not be burned?”

      I am well aware that men like Christopher West will argue that there is such a thing as pure nakedness, and I understand that he is trying to redeem the pagan obsession with sensuality, but I strongly disagree with his conclusion. The truth is, we do not yet have redeemed bodies, and our combat against the passions will continue until we die. The greatest saint on earth can fall in instant through a sin of lust. No saint would trust himself to look at nudity for fear of such a fall, so for us to believe we can “handle” nudity without sinning is the sin of pride. It is playing with fire, and we will be burned.

      God bless you.

      1. Terry

        The Catholic Gentleman, Jacob, Joe, Sam – we need more true Christian men like you in the world – speaking the truth in love, discerning -non judgemental. Thank you for speaking the truth. As a Christian woman, at times I am tempted to buy immodest clothes, but I think about what our Mother Mary said at Fatima and there is no room for negotiation. Women need more men in the world living as Godly men/sons of God and speak out against what satan whispers in our ears. In this day and age, we need the truth and the truth shall set us free. Thank you.

      2. Stephen

        What about nude art in churches?

      3. Daniel – I agree with Sam here. Body’s are not evil, but our eyes are not meant to see every beautiful body. Closely related to the fact that this leads to sin is the idea of covering the sacred – hence the consecrated Host is covered or closed away; this is also part of the tradition of women wearing veils at Mass. (I.e. women, as the givers of new life, are sacred.)

        In fact, the Blessed Sacrament is a good parallel; if we were to take the Host home in our pocket and toss it around the house like a piece of garbage, that would not be embracing the beauty of the Body of Christ, it would be abusing it (not to mention border-lining Satanic.) The only place we can appreciate the full beauty of the Body of Christ is in the sacramental context, as given to us by God through the hands of a priest – receiving it in communion or reverencing it in Adoration within the church.

        Likewise, as men, we can appreciate the full beauty of a woman’s body only the sacramental context – in the fullness of the sacrament of marriage. If we try to appreciate the beauty of a woman’s body outside of marriage, even just visually, we are not objectively appreciating beauty, but rather defiling beauty that has not been given to our eyes to see (not to mention giving ourselves an occasion to sin in lust.)

        1. Joe

          For what its worth I recently talked to a priest about this. To willingly look at any nudity is a mortal sin. To me its just not worth it to figure out situations were it might be ok… Your gambling with your soul. No thank you

          1. Stephen

            Then why does the Church allow nude art?

  28. Marc

    Well said, TCG!

    One of the priests on Audio Sancto suggested the following and I’ve used it ever since when tempted:

    “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Saint Maria Goretti and my Guradian Angel, protect me. Precious Blood wash over me and protect me from the wickedness and snares of the devil!”

    It is also handy for me (especially on airplanes, etc, when the movie is playing) to simply remove my eye glasses. I won’t entertain LASIC or contacts and this is one of the main reasons.

    Our family vacations on the beach…but in the fall when it’s COLD 🙂

    Thanks for writing and for your work!

    Marc
    http://marcsviewonstuff.wordpress.com

    1. The Catholic Gentleman

      Great suggestions!

      1. Pete Federspiel

        There was a giant of a priest in your area, Fr. Altenbach, who stayed true to the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, was consecrated bishop, made countless tapes of Masses, catechisms, etc. You’ll be richer to get any of his material, & God speed to your efforts.

  29. Patrick Trela

    Great article! I am glad that you are addressing this rampant problem. I know that it is not easy for men to take care of what they see, but there are ways around it. Thank you.


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