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"You have heard the commandment, 'You shall not commit adultery.' What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts." —Matthew 5:27-28
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commands us to have the highest standard in resisting sexual temptations. We are to be pure and free, even if we have to gouge out our eyes or cut off our hands (Mt 5:29-30). The Lord does not intend for us to literally maim ourselves, but we must do whatever it takes to avoid the occasions of sin and receive God's grace to live holy lives. Some people must "gouge out" their TVs, that is, give up TV altogether and not merely try to control their use of the TV. Many are called to cut off their Internet service. Some are called to cut out swimming or other entertainments, which have been affected by the immodesty and perversions of our society.
Jesus makes it clear that entertainment and pleasure-seeking are not to be our priorities. Holiness is. Jesus is so serious about our holiness that He died on the cross so that we might become holy as He is holy (see 1 Pt 1:16). He took on our sins "so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God" (2 Cor 5:21). Thus, we will help others recognize our Father's name as holy (Mt 6:9). Come, Spirit of holiness and purity!
Prayer: Father, give me such a desire to be holy that I will suffer all of my purgatory before my death rather than after it.
Promise: "This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us." —2 Cor 4:7
Praise: Using the gifts God gave him, St. Anthony preached to crowds that became too large to be housed in churches. Because of this, he was able to take the gospel message to the streets and marketplaces.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape TV Addiction on audio AV 65-1 or video V-65.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002