Sexual Pleasure, Lust and the Various Sexual Acts in Marriage

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Can spouses sin sexually with each other in their sexual acts?

There are three main reasons for why the Natural Law, The Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition, as well as the Church and Her Popes and Saints (as we will see) teaches that all spouses who perform unnecessary and non-procreative forms of sexual acts (such as masturbation of self or of spouse, oral and anal sex, foreplay, and sensual touches and kisses) either by themselves or in relationship to the marital act before, during or after it, are sinning mortally against their conscience and the Divine and Natural Law instituted by God.

The first reason is that they are a kind of drug abuse since they are selfish and intoxicating; the second is that they are shameful; and the third is that they are non-procreative. These three reasons are also why the Church teaches that even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Blessed Pope Innocent XI, Condemned Errors on Morals (# 8), March 4, 1679) and why this truth was taught already in the Old Testament by God long before even the New Testament was revealed to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:16-17, 22; 8:9 “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. … And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

The first reason for why all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts are mortally sinful is that all sexual acts (even marital, natural, lawful and procreative ones) are intoxicating and affects the person similar to the effect of a drug. In fact, the sexual pleasure is many times more intoxicating than many drugs that are unlawful to abuse. But when people are performing unnatural and non-procreative forms of sexual acts, they are abusing the marital act in a similar way that a drug user abuses drugs, or a glutton abuses food. It is an inherently selfish act that are not founded on reason, but only on their unlawful and shameful search for a carnal pleasure, similar to the action of a person that uses drugs in order to get intoxicated or high.

This is also why the Church teaches that even the normal, natural and procreative act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters Condemned in Decree (# 8), March 4, 1679). Since the Church and the Natural Law condemns even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure only”, it is obvious that all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts are condemned as even worse sins (that is, as mortal sins) – since they are utterly unnatural, unreasonable, shameful, and selfish.

A sick person is allowed by God’s permission to take drugs in order to lessen his pain. But when this sick person uses more drugs than he needs in order to get intoxicated, or continues to use the drugs after he gets well, he commits the sin of drug abuse. This is a perfect example of those who perform non-procreative forms of sexual acts either by themselves or in relationship to the marital act. They are gluttonous or overindulgent in the marital act, and are thus sinning against their reason and the Natural Law. For “the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason...” and “lust there signifies any kind of excess.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1)

The “excess” that St. Thomas and the Church condemns as a sin are all sexual acts except for what is inherent in the normal, natural and procreative marital act itself. All other sexual acts are by their own nature inexcusable and a sin against the Natural Law, which means that even though a person has never been told or taught that they are sins, they are still committing a mortal sin, just like a person do not have to be told or taught that murder, abortion, stealing, or getting intoxicated or drunk is a sin against the Natural Law in order for this person to be able to commit a mortal sin. As the Haydock Bible and Commentary correctly explains about The Natural Law and Romans 2:14-16: these men are a law to themselves, and have it written in their hearts, as to the existence of a God, and their reason tells them, that many sins are unlawful...

In truth, “We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 1) Notice that St. Thomas even rejects as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth” and so it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts are sinful and against nature. This is also why the Natural Law and the Church teaches that even sensual kisses performed “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is condemned as a mortal sin for both the married and the unmarried people alike (Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Morals Condemned in Decree #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666, Denz. 1140).

Can a sick person who only need one pain killer tablet to ease his pain claim that he can take more tablets in order to get intoxicated or high and escape the sin of drug abuse? Of course not! But this is the kind of unnatural and idiotic logic we have to deal with from those perverse, evil and damned persons who defend such vile sexual acts against God and nature as foreplay, anal, oral, and manual sexual acts. Not only are these acts in themselves abominable and a kind of drug abuse – and thus a mortal sin – but just like drug addicts they add a lie to their mortal sin of drug abuse when they claim that they need or are entitled to perform such acts and thus derive more sexual pleasure than nature and God allows them to have.

Venerable Luis de Granada (1505-1588): “Those that be married must examine themselves in particular, if in their mind thinking of other persons, or with intention not to beget children, but only for carnal delight, or with extraordinary touchings and means, they have sinned against the end, and honesty of marriage.” (A Spiritual Doctrine, containing a rule to live well, with divers prayers and meditations, p. 362)

The second reason for why all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts are mortally sinful is that all sexual acts (even marital, natural, lawful and procreative ones) are shameful, which is why people never perform any sexual acts in front of other people.

Now men are most ashamed of venereal acts, as Augustine remarks (De Civ. Dei xiv, 18), so much so that even the conjugal act, which is adorned by the honesty of marriage, is not devoid of shame… Now man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof, as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. Ii, 6).” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art. 4)

And so, when people are performing such inherently shameful acts for lustful and selfish reasons, they are sinning against the Natural Law imprinted on their hearts.

Some people may object that there are many other events that are shameful and that are not yet inherently sinful such as soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people against one’s own will. This objection however fails to notice the obvious difference between 1) people committing acts of lust with a desire or longing; and 2) events which are shameful but who are not desired or longed for by a person in a sensual way.

Acts of lust are acts performed for the sake of a pleasure and are performed with the will and purpose of satisfying a sensual desire while the events or acts of soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people is not a desire or lust that is sought after in a sensual way. Thus, these people do not desire that these events should happen. If those people who endured the events of soiling their clothes or naked exhibition against their will would sensually desire or lust for that these shameful events would happen in the same way that a man or a woman lust for and desire that sexual acts or acts of lust happen, they would indeed be declared the most disgusting perverts. Who but a complete and satanic pervert would sensually desire or lust after soiling their pants or being exhibited naked? Thus, it is not just a mere shameful act or event that is sinful, but the shameful act that is performed with the intention of pleasing oneself sensually, that is sinful.

St. Methodius taught that the marital act was “unseemly,” and St. Ambrose agreed with the Holy Bible that it causes a “defilement” (Leviticus 15:16). St. Augustine agreed with the Holy Bible that “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1) and that sexual pleasure, lust or concupiscence for both the married and unmarried people alike are not something “good” or “praiseworthy” but are truly “evil of concupiscence” and the “disease of concupiscence” that arose as an evil result of the original sin of Adam and Eve.

This is also why the Holy Bible urges people to remain unmarried and in a life of chastity since the married man “is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided” (1 Corinthians 7:33). St. Paul in the Bible also warns those who would marry as opposed to those who would remain virgins that spouses “shall have tribulation of the flesh”: “But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the flesh. But I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) It is certain that St. Paul does not refer to the desire to procreate as a tribulation of the flesh. Consequently, he can be referring only to one thing—sexual pleasure. Indeed, sexual pleasure is a tribulation of the flesh that must hence be fought against in thought and deed in some way or the Devil will succeed in tempting a spouse to fall into mortal sins of impurity either with the other spouse, with himself or with someone other than his spouse. “Nothing so casts down the manly mind from it’s height as the fondling of women and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state.” (St. Augustine of Hippo, The Soliloquies 1:10; cf Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art. 3)

The sexual pleasure is very similar to the effect of a strong drug, and drugs as we all know are very easy to become addicted to by abusing them or overindulging in them. The stronger a drug is, the more is also our spiritual life hindered, and that is why the angelic life of chastity will always be more spiritually fruitful than the marital life according to God’s Holy Word in the Bible. And so, it is clear that Holy Scripture infallibly teaches that marriage and the marital life is an impediment to the spiritual life, while a life of chastity and purity “give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.” (1 Corinthians 7:35)

St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662): “Again, vice is the wrong use of our conceptual images of things, which leads us to misuse the things themselves. In relation to women, for example, sexual intercourse, rightly used, has as its purpose the begetting of children. He, therefore, who seeks in it only sensual pleasure uses it wrongly, for he reckons as good what is not good. When such a man has intercourse with a woman, he misuses her. And the same is true with regard to other things and one’s conceptual images of them.” (Second Century on Love, 17; Philokalia 2: 67-68)

Someone might say that it is the sexual member that is shameful or evil to expose to others and not concupiscence or the sexual lust. But this argument is false and easily refuted since no one who is not a complete pervert would have sex in front of other people even though their whole body was covered by sheets or blankets. This proves to us that it is the sexual pleasure that is shameful and evil, and not only the exhibition of the sexual organ. For “man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof,” (St. Thomas Aquinas) and this proves to us that not only the sensual desire is shameful, but also the very sexual act and “also of all the signs thereof”.

St. Jerome: “Thus it must be bad to touch a woman. If indulgences is nonetheless granted to the marital act, this is only to avoid something worse. But what value can be recognized in a good that is allowed only with a view of preventing something worse?”

The sexual pleasure is always an evil pleasure to experience in itself since it is a shameful and intoxicating pleasure that is very similar to the evil pleasure people experience when they abuse alcohol or drugs, and that is why it is always an evil pleasure to experience even for married couples, even though married spouses do not sin during their normal, natural and procreative marital acts since “those who use the shameful sex appetite licitly are making good use of evil.” (St. Augustine, Anti-Pelagian Writings) St. Augustine in his book On Marriage and Concupiscence, explains this evil thus: “Wherefore the devil holds infants guilty [through original sin] who are born, not of the good by which marriage is good, but of the evil of concupiscence [lust], which, indeed, marriage uses aright, but at which even marriage has occasion to feel shame.”

St. Augustine’s reference to the lawful use of “the shameful sex appetite” means that spouses are allowed to engage in marital intercourse only for the sake of conceiving a child. Spouses engaging in marital relations for any other reason than procreation are thus “making evil use of evil” according to St. Augustine. “I do not say that the activity in which married persons engage for the purpose of begetting children is evil. As a matter of fact, I assert that it is good, because it makes good use of the evil of lust, and through this good use, human beings, a good work of God, are generated.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, 3.7.15) It is thus obvious that the cause of the shame that is inherent in the sexual act, as we have seen, is “the evil of the sex appetite.” (St. Augustine, Anti-Pelagian Writings)

The third reason for why all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts are mortally sinful is that the Natural Law teaches that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54) and that even the normal, natural and procreative act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters Condemned in Decree (# 8), March 4, 1679).

The Natural Law is rooted in design. God, the Supreme Designer, has imprinted a design on all created things – including the human person, both in his spiritual and physical being – a purpose for which each has been created. Thus, with regard to the human person, the Creator has designed speech for communicating the truth and the mouth to swallow food etc. Likewise, the Creator has designed the sexual organs for something noble, namely, for procreating children. Because of this, the Church’s teaching has always been clear from the beginning that: the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54).

Any action of the sexual organisms (the private parts) or other acts that are intended to arouse sensuality that is lacking the procreative function, is always sinful and against the Natural Law. An action of the sexual faculties outside of the normal and natural marital act are lacking the procreative dimension and consequently, it would be sexual pleasure sought for itself, isolated from its procreative function – and that is always an unlawful lust. The fact that sinful spouses may engage in the normal, natural and procreative marital act before, during or after they have engaged in another kind of sinful, non-procreative and unnecessary sexual act (such as masturbation of self or of spouse, oral and anal sex, foreplay, and sensual touches and kisses) does not make these two different acts the same action, just as the fact that a person taking another footstep immediately after he have taken a previous footstep does not make the two footsteps the same action.

Lastly comes the sin of not observing the right manner of copulation, which is more grievous if the abuse regards the ‘vas’ [the vessel or the orifice of a woman] than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 12)

The Church teaches that any act which is intrinsically evil cannot be moral, regardless of circumstance or intention. Unnatural sex acts (such as oral, anal and manual sex) are intrinsically evil and therefore cannot become moral by being combined with, preceded by, or followed by, a moral act of natural marital relations performed for the primary purpose of begetting children. “No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #61)

Now (in the 20th and the 21th century) there are many ‘teachers’ who are teaching the exact opposite idea, but they have no explanation for how an act that is intrinsically evil can become good by being combined with another act. As an analogy, killing an innocent person in order to steal his money is immoral, and it does not become moral by being combined with or followed by the act of donating the money to charity. “And should we not do evil, so that good may result? For so we have been slandered, and so some have claimed we said; their condemnation is just. (Romans 3:8)

One of the greatest evidences that proves that non-procreative sexual acts are inherently sinful and that they can never be excused or justified in any circumstance is that not a single Pope or Saint in the 2000 year history of the Church ever taught that they could be done either by themselves or in relationship to the marital act but that, as we have seen, and as we will see, The Holy Bible and all Popes, Church Fathers, and Saints unanimously condemned these acts. Only in the debauched and immoral 20th century did this vile and monstrous teaching spring up from the pit of Hell, directly fulfilling biblical prophecy. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Unnatural sexual acts are inherently non-procreative; such acts are, by their very nature, not open to the possibility of conceiving a child.

But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who, in exercising it, deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose, sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54)

Unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically against nature because the conjugal act is primarily directed toward procreation – the begetting of children. Those persons (married or not) who deliberately choose sexual acts deprived of the natural power and purpose of procreation “sin against nature” and commit a shameful and intrinsically evil act.

Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine [-a heretical and false doctrine which contradicts the Church’s constant and infallible teaching that the only primary end of the marital act is the procreation of children-] regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #56)

This infallible teaching of the Church which says that “any use whatsoever of matrimony in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature,” must be understood to condemn not only contracepted sexual acts, but also any and all non-procreative sexual acts, even within marriage, including unnatural sexual acts. For all sexual acts are a deliberate use of the sexual faculty, and all unnatural sexual acts are a deliberate choice of an act that are inherently non-procreative. If the Pope had wished to narrow his statements to only contraception, he would not have said “any use whatsoever,” or if he had wished to allow unnatural sexual acts within marriage, he would not have said “any use whatsoever of matrimony.”

Instead, he unequivocally proclaimed the Magisterium’s definitive teaching, which is also found in Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Natural Law, that each and every marital sexual act must include the procreative meaning. This teaching necessarily prohibits the married couple from engaging in any kind of unnatural sexual act (with or without climax), because all such acts lack the procreative meaning. This is also why Pope Pius XI teaches that spouses are not forbidden to consider the secondary ends of marriage “SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved [that is, all sexual acts must be able to procreate in themselves, which means that no unnatural and non-procreative form of a sexual act can ever be performed without sin].”

This means that the primary end or purpose of procreation (in thought and action) can not be made subordinate or subject to the secondary ends or purposes and that the primary end must always exist for the marital act to be lawful while the secondary ends or motives are not needed at all in order to lawfully perform the marital act. This is also exactly how Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible wants us to view the sexual pleasure, since it is a higher calling to live for the Spirit than for our own selfish and fleshly desires. And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, [children] in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (The Holy Bible, Tobias 8:9)

Notice how clearly and unambiguously Pope Pius XI teaches that married people are not even allowed to “consider” the secondary ends of marriage unless they are subordinated to the primary purpose of marriage (procreation) and unless “the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved” which means that one may never perform anything other than the normal, natural and procreative marital act itself. The secondary ends “such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence” can follow after the primary end or purpose of begetting children if the spouses choose this, but the secondary ends or motives are not absolutely needed to lawfully perform the marital act in the same way as the primary purpose of begetting children, nor is the secondary motive of quieting concupiscence meritorious even though it is allowed.

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Chapter 11, 12, A.D. 401: “… nor be changed into that use which is against nature, on which the Apostle could not be silent, when speaking of the excessive corruptions of unclean and impious men. For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children] no longer follows reason but lust. … they [must] not turn away from them the mercy of God… by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of creation, that… when the man shall wish to use a body part of the wife not allowed for this purpose, the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman.”

The expression “that use which is against naturerefers to unnatural sexual acts, such as oral, anal, or manual sex (masturbation). St. Augustine condemns such acts unequivocally. He even states that such unnatural sexual acts are more damnable (i.e. even more serious mortal sins) when these take place within marriage. The reason why is that God is even more offended by a sexual mortal sin that takes place within the Sacrament of Marriage, since this offense is not only against nature, but also against a Holy Sacrament. “So then, of all to whom much has been given, much will be required. And of those to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

The Catechism of the Council of Trent: “Matrimonial faith also demands, that husband and wife be united by a certain singular, and holy, and pure love, a love not such as that of adulterers, but such as that which Christ cherishes towards his Church; for this is the model which the Apostle proposed, when he said: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25); and very great indeed was the love with which Christ embraced his Church, not a selfish love, but a love that proposed to itself the sole interest of his spouse...” (Question XXIV. — What is Faith in Matrimony, and how it is to be preserved)

Therefore, non-procreative sexual acts cannot be justified by saying that it leads to the marital act; it is by nature a separate action whose object is gravely immoral. Unnatural sexual acts are non-procreative, intrinsically evil, and always gravely immoral, regardless of intention or circumstances, even within marriage. Unnatural sexual acts cannot be justified as a type of foreplay in order to prepare for the natural marital act because the end never justifies the means. And the absence of sexual climax does not change an intrinsically evil, gravely immoral, unnatural sexual act into an act that is good or morally defensible.

Neither can one argue that these kinds of non-procreative sexual acts can be used if necessity requires it for the sexual act to be performed or if there is a problem with performing the marital act without them, for acts that are gravely immoral can never be justified in any circumstance. But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54)

Those who have a problem in performing the marital act should use a lubricant in order to be able to complete the normal, natural and procreative marital act, for this is a lawful and honorable solution to use if there is a problem to perform the marital act. “May marriage be honorable in all, and may the bed be undefiled. For God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4)

Further, the consequences of this behavior of deviant sexuality (consequences are a witness as well to the Natural Law), is disease. There is research that shows womens risk of fungal infection increases 10 fold with this type of behavior. There are other risks as well, some mouth cancers, which research is beginning to show may be a result of the sexually transmitted disease. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

The leading cause of mouth and throat cancer is not tobacco smoking or alcohol use. Oral sex is now listed as the leading cause of cancer of the mouth and throat (oropharynx cancer). A new research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and authored by Dr. Maura Gillison states that persons who had practiced oral sex are eight times more likely than those who have not had oral sex to develop human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV, the most commonly transmitted sexual disease, is the leading cause of cancer of the oropharnyx in the US. The number of people diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers in the U.S. tripled from 1998 to 2004.

St. Barnabas, Letter of Barnabas, Chapter 10:8, A.D. 74: “Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel [Leviticus 11:29]. For he means, ‘Thou shalt not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouth through uncleanness [oral sex]; nor shalt thou be joined to those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth with the body through uncleanness.’” (Chapter X. Spiritual Significance of the Precepts of Moses Respecting Different Kinds of [Forbidden] Food)

It is clear that the Church and Her Saints rejects the heretical modern-day idea that the mere deposit of semen in the correct location justifies all other sexual acts. Every single sexual act must be marital and procreative, and one is not justified in adding sexual acts (such as oral or anal sex) that are not procreative in themselves. One cannot justify a set or number of non-procreative forms of sexual acts by performing a procreative form of a sexual act before, during or after one has performed these non-procreative forms of sexual acts, because every sexual act must be able to beget children in itself. The sexual act is only allowed to be performed as long as the purpose and ability of the act itself to procreate is present, and when this intention and ability is not there, the sexual act will always be a sin.

Pope St. Clement of Rome (1st century AD): “But this kind of chastity is also to be observed, that sexual intercourse must not take place heedlessly and for the sake of mere pleasure, but for the sake of begetting children. And since this observance is found even amongst some of the lower animals, it were a shame if it be not observed by men, reasonable, and worshiping God.” (Recognitions of Clement, Chapter XII, Importance of Chastity)

The Catholic Church and Her Saints have always taught that illicit, non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts within marriage are equivalent to fornication and adultery.

St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book 1, Section 49, A.D. 393: “And it makes no difference how honorable may be the cause of a man’s insanity. Hence Xystus in his Sentences tells us that ‘He who too ardently loves his own wife is an adulterer.’ It is disgraceful to love another man’s wife at all, or one’s own too much. A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not with passion. Let a man govern his voluptuous impulses, and not rush headlong into intercourse. There is nothing blacker than to love a wife as if she were an adulteress.”

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law, Case Thirty-Two, Question IV: “Also, Jerome, [in Against Jovinian, I]: C. 5. Nothing is more sordid than to make love to your wife as you would to an adulteress. The origins of love are respectable, but its perversion is an enormity. §1. It gives no respectable motive for losing one’s self control. Hence, the Sentences of Sixtus says, "He is an adulterer who is too passionate a lover of his wife." Just as all passion for another’s wife is sordid, so also is excessive passion for one’s own. The wise man should love his wife reasonably, not emotionally. The mere stimulus of lust should not dominate him, nor should he force her to have sex. Nothing is more sordid than to make love to your wife as you would to an adulteress.”

Notice that St. Jerome states that “it makes no difference how honorable may be the cause of a man’s insanity.” In other words, the intention which motivates a man to sin is irrelevant to the morality of the act. If a sexual act is a sin, it does not matter how honorable the man’s intentions are, it is still a serious moral disorder, comparable, as a figure of speech, to the serious mental disorder of insanity. St. Jerome plainly taught that there are sexual sins and excessive passion within marriage and between spouses, just like countless of others Popes and Saints taught. He said: “Let a man govern his voluptuous impulses, and not rush headlong into intercourse.” The idea that “nothing is shameful or sinful” in the marital act as long as the marital act occurs at some point in time is plainly rejected by St. Jerome, the Church and the rest of the Saints. It is contrary to wisdom and good judgment for a man to have sexual relations with his wife in an inordinate and excessive manner. The fact of the matter is that all those who have sexual relations with their spouse in an inordinate and excessive manner, or who perform unnatural or non-procreative forms of sexual acts, are guilty of the crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by their evil, sinful and selfish acts. This truth was expressly revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in a revelation to Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) in the following words:

Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke, saying: For the sins of thy hands and arms, with which thou hast done much wickedness in embraces, touches, and other evil deeds, My hands were driven into the wood of the Cross by large nails and torn through bearing the weight of My body in Mine agony. (Blessed Angela of Foligno, 1248-1309, The Book of Divine Consolations, p. 217)

Therefore, unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts do not become permissible when these take place within marriage. Instead, unnatural sexual acts are made even more sinful when they take place within marriage because they offend not only against nature and a Holy Sacrament, but also against God and the Law written in our hearts.

And since the man who is too ardent a lover of his wife acts counter to the good of marriage if he use her indecently, although he be not unfaithful, he may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 8)

Notice in the quote above that St. Thomas held sexual sins within marriage to be worse than adultery, because the act occurs within marriage. He did not teach that all sexual acts between a husband and wife are moral as many heretical and perverted “Catholics” nowadays do. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Galatians 6:7-10)

The marital act performed for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike

The Catholic Church teaches that the normal, natural and procreative marital act when it is performed for the sole sake of pleasure, is at least a venial sin, and many times a mortal sin, provided one is not against conception or hinder it from taking place in anyway in either deed or thought.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #9, March 4, 1679: “THE ACT OF MARRIAGE EXERCISED FOR PLEASURE ONLY IS ENTIRELY FREE OF ALL FAULT AND VENIAL DEFECT.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI. (Denz. 1159)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 17, A.D. 419: “It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin. For although propagation of offspring is not the motive of the intercourse, there is still no attempt to prevent such propagation, either by wrong desire or evil appliance.”

As we can see here, it is at least a venial sin to have normal, natural and procreative marital relations merely for lustful motives, provided that the spouses are open to conception (and do not hinder it in anyway) and no other sinful deed or thought is committed during the act of marriage. From this can be understood that a couple must have a reason (other than carnal pleasure) for coming together without sin during the act of marriage. Thus, spouses are not to come together for whatever lustful reason or desire they may come to think of – for that would be, at least (if not more than) a venial sin according to the Catholic Church. All venial sins open up the soul to graver sins, and that is why one must always guard oneself very carefully from falling into venial sins.

Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604): “The married must be admonished to bear in mind that they are united in wedlock for the purpose of procreation, and when they abandon themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure. Let them realize that though they do not then pass beyond the bonds of wedlock, yet in wedlock they exceed its rights. Wherefore, it is necessary that they efface by frequent prayer what they befoul in the fair form of conjugal union by the admixture of pleasure.” (St. Gregory the Great, "Pastoral Care," Part 3, Chapter 27, in "Ancient Christian Writers," No. 11, pp. 188-189)

The Catholic Church’s condemnation of even natural and normal so-called marital relations performed solely for lustful motives shows us that the Catholic Church absolutely abhors and condemns all sexual acts that are unnecessary for conception to occur (such as oral sex or masturbation of self or of the spouse before, during or after the marital act). Every unnecessary and non-procreative form of a sexual act (such as sensual kisses, touches and masturbation) are obviously even more evil and depraved than the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure only,” which the Church condemns as a sin. This clearly shows us that Holy Mother Church absolutely condemns all sexual acts performed for the sake of sensual pleasure that goes above or beyond what is inherent in the marital act itself, and that is necessary for conception to occur.

St. Athanasius the Great (293-373): “Which use [of marriage] are you referring to? That in the Law which God allowed... or that which, while popular, is performed secretly and adulterously [even by married people]? … Blessed is the man who in his youth having a free yoke employs his natural parts for the purpose of producing children. But if for licentiousness, the punishment spoken of by the Apostle shall await the immoral and adulterous (Heb. 13:4).” (First Epistle of Athanasius the Great addressed to the Monk Amun, Quoted in The Rudder, pp. 576-77)

The Church teaches that all unnecessary and non-procreative sexual acts are sinful, both before, during and after the act of marriage, and that these acts may never be performed in any circumstance or for any reason whatsoever by anyone. For just as it is blameworthy and sinful to have sexual relations only for sensual pleasure for both the married and unmarried people alike, so too is this true with other pleasures as well, such as “eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only,” and kissing “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss”. This has always been the teaching of the Catholic Church and Her Saints.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #8, March 4, 1679: “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only, are not sinful, provided this does not stand in the way of health, since any natural appetite can licitly enjoy its own actions.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution is excluded.” Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, one of the most well known doctors of the Church, expounds on this teaching of Pope Innocent XI in his masterpiece “The True Spouse of Jesus Christ”, showing us the inherent evil of acting in accordance to our sensual desires: “Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi has condemned the proposition which asserts that it is not a sin to eat or to drink from the sole motive of satisfying the palate. However, it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault.” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, p. 282)

This condemnation of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” and kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” is not only reasonable, but part of the Natural Law, yet it may come as a surprise to many, but this is only because so many commit sins of this nature. Indeed, all people who fall into these kinds of sins have become slaves to their passions and do not order their acts in accordance with natural reason, but in accordance with their unmortified desires, like beasts, and yet, even worse than beasts.

St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1, Section 24: “Seeing then that… the faithful man descends to both [marriage and food] as matter of duty, and does not fall into them through lust. But how many are there who rush greedily to their eating and drinking, and make their whole life to consist in them, as if they were the very reason for living. For whereas men really eat to live, they think that they live to eat. These will every wise man condemn, and Holy Scripture especially, all gluttons, drunkards, gormandizers, "whose god is their belly." [Phil. 3:19] Nothing but the lust of the flesh, and not the need of refreshment, carries them to the table. … And so in that other duty of marriage, sensual men seek for wives only to satisfy their sensuality, and therefore at length are scarce contented even with their wives. … Nevertheless, if you were to say to such a man, "why do you marry?" he would answer perhaps for very shame, "for the sake of children." But if any one in whom he could have unhesitating credit were to say to him, "God is able to give, and yea, and will give you children without your having any intercourse with your wife;" he would assuredly be driven to confess that it was not for the sake of children that he was seeking for a wife. Let him then acknowledge his infirmity, and so receive that which he pretended to receive only as matter of duty.”

The Bible states that a demon of lust “hath power” over all spouses who come together for various lustful reasons in their marital acts

In the Biblical book of Tobit or Tobias, we can read about how a powerful devil or demon of lust that is called Asmodeus kills and deceives lustful people, and that this demon “hath power” over married spouses and individuals who come together for various lustful reasons in their marital acts.

Tobias 6:16-17 Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

Haydock Commentary adds: “Verse 17. Mule, which are very libidinous, [Showing excessive sexual drive; lustful.] Psalm xiii.”

The interesting thing about the sexual connection of a horse and a mule is that they cannot produce offspring, thus making their sexual relations completely sterile and unproductive. So what does this mean for marriage? It means that this verse alone proves that God’s word condemns as sinful and unlawful all human sexual relations or acts that (1) are performed for the sole motive of lust; (2) that cannot produce offspring naturally (not referring to natural infertility or defects); (3) and that are done with an intention or mindset opposed to procreating offspring. Our Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament of the Bible also connects the will to bear children to salvation, teaching us that a woman: “shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

The biblical book of Tobias describes how the pious and pure virgin “Sara daughter of Raguel” had married seven husbands, but all seven of them had mysteriously died when they first entered the nuptial chamber, that is, when they first tried to perform the marital act: “she [Sarah] had been given to seven husbands, and a devil named Asmodeus had killed them, at their first going in unto her.” (Tobias 3:8). Haydock Commentary explains the reason for this: “God justly suffers the wicked to fall victims to their iniquitous appetites. (St. Gregory, mor. ii.)”

This specific demon who is allowed to control and kill people who fall into sins of the flesh is named Asmodeus, according to Holy Scripture. Haydock Commentary adds the following about this demon: “Asmodeus, "the fire of Media." Hebrew, "king of the devils," of that country, exciting people to lust, (Menochius; Serarius, q. 8.) and destroying them. (Worthington) --- Unto her. Greek and Hebrew intimate, when they first entered the nuptial chamber, chap. vi. 14.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia gives the interesting explanation that “God allowed the demon to slay these men because they entered marriage with unholy motives,” and that “the permission given by God to the demon in this history seems to have as a motive to chasten man’s lust and sanctify marriage.” The only reason why the demon Asmodeus was allowed to kill all seven of Sarah’s husbands “at their first going in unto her,” that is, when they first tried to perform the marital act, was because they all intended to perform the sexual act for sinful, selfish, impure and lustful reasons instead of for the love of God and of children that always must be connected to the marital act. Thus, St. Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636), Doctor of the Church, could rightly say that in a true marriage “couples seek not pleasure but offspring” and that “therefore when a person is more sexually active than [is] needed for... procreation, he sins.” (St. Isidore, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis)

In the same Book of Tobit the holy angel Raphael told Tobias to marry Sarah the Virgin but Tobias was afraid to do this since he knew about the death of Sarah’s seven former husbands. St. Raphael however assured him that only those husbands and wives who are lustful and who seek fleshly pleasures are able to be controlled or killed by the demon, thus reassuring him in his holy motives.

Tobias 6:14-18,22 “Then Tobias answered, and said: I hear that she hath been given to seven husbands, and they all died: moreover I have heard, that a devil killed them. Now I am afraid, lest the same thing should happen to me also: and whereas I am the only child of my parents, I should bring down their old age with sorrow to hell [not the literal Hell, but to the place where the souls of the good were kept before the coming of Christ]. Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her. … But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.

Haydock Commentary explains: “Ver. 14. Died. Greek, "were destroyed in the nuptial chamber, (numphe). … he was permitted by God to exercise his malice against those who would have gratified their impure desires. (Calmet) --- Ver. 20. Society (copulatione.) He then obtained this blessing, though he knew not his wife till the fourth night. (Worthington) --- His marriage resembled that of the patriarchs. (Calmet)”

The archangel Raphael also told Raguel (Sarah’s father) that his daughter Sarah could only be married to a man that feared God, thus showing us the necessity of fearing God in all our actions.

Tobias 7:11-12 “Now when Raguel heard this he was afraid, knowing what had happened to those seven husbands, that went in unto her: and he began to fear lest it might happen to him also in like manner: and as he was in suspense, and gave no answer to his petition, The angel said to him: Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who feareth God is thy daughter due to be his wife: therefore another could not have her.”

This shows us that Sarah’s seven former husbands did not fear God; hence that they deserved to die. For Sarah, who was a holy and devout virgin, did not deserve to be united with such impure and unholy men that did not fear God — and especially during the marital act. For this reason, God allowed the demon Asmodeus to kill all seven of her former husbands.

Before Sarah had met with Tobias, she had fervently prayed to God and fasted for three days so as to be delivered from her reproach after she experienced the sad event of the death of her seven husbands. Her words while praying clearly shows that her intention when marrying was not to gratify pleasure (that, sad to say, is the most common reason today of why so many marry), but rather that she may be joined in wedlock in the fear of the Lord and for love of children.

Tobias 3:16 “[Sarah said:] Thou knowest, O Lord, that I never coveted a husband, and have kept my soul clean from all lust. Never have I joined myself with them that play: neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in lightness. But a husband I consented to take, with thy fear, not with my lust.”

Haydock Commentary explains: “Verse 16. Coveted, through impure love. Greek, "I am pure from all the sin of a man, and I have not defiled my name, nor the name of my father, in the land of our captivity. I am an only child," &c. (Haydock) --- Lust: a very high encomium; which Sara mentions without vanity, placing her confidence in God. (Menochius) (Proverbs xx. 9.) --- Ver. 17. Play, lasciviously, (Menochius) or dance. (Hugo.) (Exodus xxxii. 1.)”

In contrast to Sarah’s seven former husbands, Tobias was spared from being attacked and killed by Asmodeus since he was holy and desired to please God instead of his own flesh.

Tobias 8:9-10 “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever. Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.”

Haydock Commentary explains: “Ver. 9. Only. Greek, "for truth," resolving to be ever faithful to her. (Haydock) --- We cannot read the pure sentiments of Tobias and Sara, brought up in the midst of infidels, without surprise. Nothing more perfect could be required of Christians (Calmet) in the married state. (Haydock) --- St. Augustine (Doct. x. and xviii.) adduces this text to shew the true intent of marriage. --- Ver. 10. And. Greek, "Order pity to be shewn me, and that I may grow old with this woman. And she said along with him, Amen. And they both slept the night," probably on separate beds, ver. 15. (Haydock)”

While most people are not physically killed by the demon Asmodeus when performing the sexual act with unholy and sinful motives, this text from the Bible demonstrates that those who are sexually lustful with their spouse, or with other people they are not married with, die a spiritual death through their sins. Most people do not like to think about these facts, but the amount of people today who are controlled and killed bodily, spiritually and eternally by the Devil is, sad to say, far too many. For “they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul.” (Tobias 12:10) If lust is not controlled and in some sense fought against, it will almost always end in mortal sin, because all control is lost. “Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.” (Ecclesiasticus 18:30)

It is thus absolutely clear that the Holy Bible and the Christian Faith teaches usthat those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon... because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it since those kinds of sinful, selfish, and lustful “marriages” in effect are nothing but fornication in disguise of a marriage (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos #12).

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 198 A.D.): “Marriage in itself merits esteem and the highest approval, for the Lord wished men to "be fruitful and multiply." [Gen. 1:28] He did not tell them, however, to act like libertines, nor did He intend them to surrender themselves to pleasure as though born only to indulge in sexual relations. Let the Educator (Christ) put us to shame with the word of Ezekiel: "Put away your fornications." [Eze. 43:9] Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom we should take as our instructor.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children)

In conclusion, it should be totally clear that “the devil hath power” over all people who shut God out from themselves and their hearts, “as the horse and mule,” and who do things such as masturbation, oral sex, or any other act that are completely shameful, unnecessary, non-procreative and selfish (both before, during, or after the marital act) that they normally wouldn’t do if they really believed that God was present with them. Good and virtuous spouses always remember that God is present with them, and that is also why they do not stoop to the evil and unnatural sexual sins that so plague humanity today. “The activities of marriage itself, if they are not modest and do not take place under the eyes of God as it were, so that the only intention is children, are filth and lust.” (St. Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Book III, Chapter 5:21, A.D. 387)

In truth, “filth” is the most suitable word that sums up the worth of every marital act that lacks a procreative purpose. Thus, “… when it [the sexual act] is from lust or for the sake of pleasure, then the coition is a mortal sin and the man sins mortally. … And these dicta assume that the man and his wife have sex according to the order of nature, for anyone who goes against nature always sins mortally and more seriously with his wife than with anyone else and should be punished more seriouslyNote the difference between the two cases of husband-wife sex, for incontinence and for pleasure and lust… In the second case, he seeks to procure pleasure with hands or thought or passionate uses and incentives so he can do more than just have sex with his wife… [thus sinning mortally] because he acts as an adulterer when he burns like an adulterer even with his own wife.” (Gratian, On Marriage, Dictum Post C. 32. 2. 2)

That is why it is of the greatest importance that a couple learn to control their lust. Risking eternal damnation and insufferable, indescribable torments in the fires of hell for a momentary, brief, pleasure or sin is not worth it, and is a horribly bad choice to make.

Jesus Christ spoke to St. Bridget, saying: “Therefore, two holes will be opened in him. Through the first there will enter into him every punishment earned for his least sin up to his greatest, inasmuch as he exchanged his Creator for his own lust. Through the second there will enter into him every kind of pain and shame, and no divine consolation or charity will ever come to him, inasmuch as he loved himself rather than his Creator. His life will last forever and his punishment will last forever, for all the saints have turned away from him.’ My bride, see how miserable those people will be who despise me and how great will be the pain they purchase at the price of so little pleasure! (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 2, Chapter 9)

The more sexual pleasure and sensual gratification a person seeks to derive from the sexual act, the more the devil’s power over him will be increased also, and the more the sin is increased (with an intention of persevering) the more the devil’s power is increased as well, until, what was a venial and pardonable sin, becomes a mortal and damnable sin. Therefore, if a person understands that he may be living in venial or mortal sin with respect to sexual pleasure, he or she must learn to control their lust immediately, keeping it within the range of what is licit and permitted (non-sinful) within a marriage, and not going any further.

The Catechism of the Council of Trent, What Instruction is to be given touching the Use of Marriage: “The last remaining point regards the use of marriage, a subject which pastors will so treat as that no expression that may seem unfit to meet the ears of the faithful, or that could offend pious minds, or excite laughter, fall from their lips. For as "The words of the Lord are chaste words" (Psalms 6:7), so also does it eminently become a teacher of the Christian people to make use of such language as is characterized by singular gravity and integrity of soul. Two lessons of instruction are then to be specially impressed on the mind of the faithful. The first is that marriage is not to be used from motives of sensuality or pleasure, but that its use is to be restrained within those limits, which, as we have above shown, are prescribed by the Lord. They should be mindful of the exhortation of the Apostle: “They that have wives, let them be as though they had them not,” (1 Cor. 7:29) and that St. Jerome says: “The love which a wise man cherishes towards his wife is the result of judgment, not the impulse of passion; he governs the impetuosity of desire, and is not hurried into indulgence. There is nothing more shameful than that a husband should love his wife as an adulteress.””

Recent studies prove that 75% of men who died during intercourse committed adultery

Recent studies have proven that the demon Asmodeus is still very active today and that he kills a considerable amount of people who commit sexual sins of various sorts. According to these studies, the risk of a heart attack is 2.7 times greater when compared with those not engaging in sex. Of those who died during intercourse, 82-93% were male of which 75% were having extra-marital sex, usually with a younger partner, at an unfamiliar location and after excessive food and alcohol! Beware! The fact that 75% of all people who die during sexual relations are adulterers and that they were committing an act of adultery when they died is an astonishing and undeniable proof of the fact that the demon of lust, Asmodeus, still kills wicked, sinful and lustful people even today. All those unrepentant adulterers whom the demon killed are burning in Hell right now as we speak, and nothing they will ever say or do will change that fact however much they weep and plead in their eternal abode of excruciating fire.

However hard this might seem to some people, especially unbelievers, a considerable amount of people really do die of heart attacks or sudden cardiac arrest during sex. And almost all of those people who die are older married men cheating on their wives with younger women in unfamiliar surroundings. I came across this information while reading this article: Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need, by Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen, both high-ranking cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic.

They wrote: “Men with coronary heart disease do need to follow the rules. When heart attacks occur during or after sex, they almost always involve older men in extramarital affairs with young women. For those men, it would have been safer to stay at home and burn off excess energy on a treadmill in the basement.”

I wrote to Steven Nissen, and asked him to back that statement up with some data. Almost instantly he sent me two scientific papers, the first of which was “on the association of sex with cardiac events”, and the second was a scientific statement from the American Heart Association on sexual activity and cardiovascular disease. The latter states: “Of the subjects who died during coitus, 82% to 93% were men, and the majority (75%) were having extramarital sexual activity, in most cases with a younger partner in an unfamiliar setting and/or after excessive food and alcohol consumption.”

The astonishing level of people that dies during sex when committing adultery (75%) compared to those of the rest of humanity who dies during sex (25%) is irrefutable proof of God’s holy indignation and displeasure of sexual sin, and especially adultery (which even most people of the world looks upon with horror and disgust). It is a fair assumption to say that married men have much more sex with their wives than with other women, and yet 75% of all people who die in the sexual act die when they are committing adultery. This gives us solid statistical evidence that adultery and sinful sexual lust actually kills people.

You who are reading this document may not be committing the sin of adultery, but most of you are certainly committing some form or another of marital sexual sin since that is what you have been taught by the media, the world, and even by the so-called “moral theologians”, false priests and heretical bishops. In fact, an incredible 25% of all people who die during sexual activity perform some form of sexual activity other than adultery. This is not an insignificant number, but every 1 out of 4. So the scientific claim about extramarital and marital sexual activity holds true and is just another proof of how God allows demons to kill and damn people who sin sexually. “Inordinate love of the flesh is cruelty, because under the appearance of pleasing the body we kill the soul.” (Bernard of Clairvaux, A.D. 1090-1153)

All people should seriously consider and think about what it actually means to give oneself over to a devil or a demon as the Bible describes happening with those who commit sexual sin. The implications and result of giving oneself over to the devils and demons are endless but some obvious examples are murder, divorce, incest, rape, arguing, adultery, fornications, abuse, gloating, and drug and alcohol abuse. This list could obviously go on for pages. Even a worldly couple would appreciate the inestimable worth of having a peaceful home free from all strife and troubles, but most people, however, live as though they cared nothing for such things. The sexual act and the desire to please oneself sexually is so powerful to invoke the powers of darkness and devils that almost all satanic cults have sexual acts and rituals along with all kinds of abominable perversion as a prerequisite in their rituals to invoke the devils and demons of hell. These servants of Satan knows that the sexual act is especially powerful to summon various demons, and so they always try to act out their sexual perversions in order to be able to better commune with their lord and god, who is the Devil.

All people who are performing inherently shameful, unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts for lustful and selfish reasons of course knows by nature and instinct – just like the satanist do – that they are sinning against the Natural Law imprinted on their hearts. St. Augustine in his book On Marriage and Concupiscence, explains to us that the “law of righteousness [the law in our hearts] forbids allegiance” to such lusts.

Now this [shameful] concupiscence [or lust], this law of [original] sin which dwells in our members, to which the law of righteousness forbids allegiance, saying in the words of the apostle, "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof; neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:" [Rom. 6:12-13]—this concupiscence [of original sin], I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration [Baptism], does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of [this] sin to a man’s posterity [children], unless they [the children] are themselves loosed from it by regeneration. In the case, however, of the regenerate [the baptized], concupiscence is not itself sin any longer, whenever they do not consent to it for illicit works, and when the members are not applied by the presiding mind to perpetrate such deeds. So that, if what is enjoined in one passage, "Thou shalt not covet," [Ex. 20:17] is not kept, that at any rate is observed which is commanded in another place, "Thou shalt not go after thy concupiscences." [Ecclus. 18:30] Inasmuch, however, as by a certain manner of speech it is called sin, since it arose from sin [i.e., the first sin and consequent fall from grace by Adam and Eve], and, when it has the upper hand, produces sin, the guilt of it prevails in the natural man; but this guilt, by Christ’s grace through the remission of all sins, is not suffered to prevail in the regenerate man, if he does not yield obedience to it whenever it urges him to the commission of evil.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 25, A.D. 419)

The lawful quieting of concupiscence vs the sinful inflaming of concupiscence

According to authoritative Catholic teaching, a husband and wife are allowed to quiet their concupiscence as a secondary end (or motive) after the first end (or motive) of procreation. This is the authoritative teaching proclaimed by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Casti Connubii. This means that spouses are allowed to put down the flames of concupiscence and not to inflame it in any sinful way. The goal is to get the spouse to Heaven, to glorify God, and sanctify one self, and not primarily about pleasure.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 17), Dec. 31, 1930: “THE PRIMARY END OF MARRIAGE IS THE PROCREATION AND THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN... For in matrimony as well as in the use of matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider, so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved [intrinsic nature, that is, only the normal, natural and procreative marital act is allowed to be performed by the Church without sin].”

The gravity of sin when inflaming concupiscence depends on the thoughts and actual deeds that a couple consents to before, during or after the sexual act. However, while a couple are allowed to quiet their concupiscence as a secondary end that must follow and be subordinated to the primary end of begetting children, they are never allowed to prevent the conception of a child in any way, either through contraceptives, or by withdrawal, or by the use of NFP, since this is contrary to the first end or purpose of marriage and the marital act—the procreation of children. This is the infallible and binding teaching of the Catholic Church (see NFP and Contraception is Sinful Birth Control).

Now, since many couples today, and especially those who call themselves by the name of Catholic, inflame their lust to the fullest both before, during and after the procreative act just as they have been taught by the world, the media, the Vatican II and many other false, evil “traditional” sects and perverted, evil and satanic theologians and heretical laymen, we must condemn this idea in specific detail.

Notice the words of Pope Pius XI above, which said that the “quieting of concupiscence” is allowed. This means to put down the flame of concupiscence and not to inflame it in any unlawful or sinful way. Those who thus commit acts which are not necessary for the quieting of concupiscence or the completion of the marital act and the begetting of children absolutely commit sin, since they are inflaming their flesh in a totally sinful way.

The inflaming of concupiscence or sexual lust is condemned as sinful because it subordinates the primary or secondary ends (or purposes) of marriage and the marital act (the procreation and education of children, and the quieting of concupiscence) to other ends, by deliberately attempting to avoid the normal sexual procreative act as their first or only act of marriage while having sexual relations. The inflaming of concupiscence therefore inverts the order established by God Himself. It does the very thing that Pope Pius XI solemnly teaches may not lawfully be done. And this point crushes all of the arguments made by those who defend unnatural, unlawful non-procreative forms of fore-or-after-play outside of normal intercourse, because all of the arguments made by those who defend inflaming the flesh focus on the concupiscence and lust within the marital act itself, and not on the primary or secondary ends of lawful marital intercourse (the procreation and education of children, and the quieting of concupiscence).

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 54), Dec. 31, 1930: “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

Therefore, all unnatural, unnecessary and non-procreative sexual acts are intrinsically evil and against nature because the conjugal act is primarily directed toward procreation and the begetting of children. Those persons (married or not) who deliberately choose sexual acts deprived of the natural power and purpose of procreation “sin against nature” and commit a shameful and intrinsically evil act.

In truth, what these lustful couples do when they are enhancing their pleasure is not the only lawful quieting of concupiscence that Pope Pius XI spoke about, but is in fact the exact opposite, since they first inflame their lust and concupiscence before putting it out. They are therefore then, without a doubt, committing a mortal sin. For if it is even considered minimally a venial sin for spouses to come together only for normal lustful motives while performing what is intrinsic or necessary for conception to occur in the normal and natural marital act, what then must not those unnatural, unnormal, unholy and unnecessary sexual acts be that these lustful couples live out during the heat of their shameful lust? Hence it is totally clear that every sexual act whereby lust is inflamed through acts such as oral, anal or manual sexual acts instead of quenched in the natural way is contrary to the good of marriage – the HOLY sacrament – and if this is done on purpose, it must be a mortal sin.

A “venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering” according to Our Lord Jesus Christ

As we have already seen, the Church’s official teaching that condemns the statement that “the [normal, natural and procreative] act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is entirely free of all fault and venial defect shows us that all unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts are mortally sinful. This teaching of Blessed Pope Innocent XI, however, does not say that it is only a venial sin to perform the normal, natural and procreative marital act for pleasure only, but merely condemns the unnatural and selfish opinion and heresy that this vile act “is entirely free of all fault and venial defect”. This teaching of Pope Innocent XI does not specify whether even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure onlyis a mortal or a venial sin, and so, it is still possible that this act could be a mortal sin rather than a venial sin.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Subjects #9, March 4, 1679: “THE ACT OF MARRIAGE EXERCISED FOR PLEASURE ONLY IS ENTIRELY FREE OF ALL FAULT AND VENIAL DEFECT.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI. (Denz. 1159)

Although a venial sin does not separate us from God as does a mortal sin, a venial sin can still lead a person to Hell, since it might cause him to commit other graver sins, and, because he did not care to stop doing what he knew was a danger to his soul, but even took great delight in it, though he knew it was offending God. To consent to deliberate venial sins is of course very bad. We can learn this truth from Jesus Christ Himself, because according to Jesus Christ: “a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” This shocking truth was expressly revealed to St. Bridget in the following Revelation, in which Our Lord spoke, saying:

Moreover, know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 7, Chapter 27)

According to this definition by Our Lord Jesus Christ, if a person were to commit a venial sin but does not want to or intend to continue committing this sin again in the future, such a person would not be in a state of damnation because of his sin, even if it turned out that he committed it again in the future, because his will at the time was not to continue doing it.

In contrast, if another person has “the intention of persevering” in a venial sin and does not repent with a firm resolution or will to stop doing this sin again in the future, but intends to continue doing it and are unrepentant for his sin, then he is in a state of damnation.

Our Lords words are crystal clear that a “venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” Thus, the venial sin that is practiced “with an intention of persevering” and “if a human being delights in it” is made mortal, and all mortal sins must always be wiped away by perfect contrition and repentance if one wishes to be saved. Unless a person repents and firmly resolves to change and stop doing the venial sin that he had “an intention of persevering” in, he will be damned. So don’t think that you are “safe” just because youre “only” sinning venially. For the fact of the matter is that you in fact are in mortal sin and will be damned to burn in Hell for all eternity because of the venial sin if you intend to persevere in it! It is thus clear that the smallest sin, lusted after, is enough to damn anyone from the kingdom of Heaven, who does not repent.” (Jesus speaking to St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 32)

The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, has the following interesting things to say about how a venial sin can become a mortal sin, and about the evil action of choosing sin before choosing to love God:

The very fact that anyone chooses something that is contrary to divine charity, proves that he prefers it to the love of God, and consequently, that he loves it more than he loves God. Hence it belongs to the genus of some sins, which are of themselves contrary to charity, that something is loved more than God; so that they are mortal by reason of their genus… Sometimes, however, the sinner’s will is directed to a thing containing a certain inordinateness, but which is not contrary to the love of God and one’s neighbor, e.g. an idle word, excessive laughter, and so forth: and such sins are venial by reason of their genus… It is written (Sirach 19:1): "He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little." Now he that sins venially seems to contemn small things. Therefore by little and little he is disposed to fall away together into mortal sin.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q. 88, Art. 2 & 3, Reply to Objection 1/On the contrary)

And further on, he says:

Whether a venial sin can become mortal? I answer that, The fact of a venial sin becoming a mortal sin… This is possible, in so far as one may fix one’s end in that venial sin, or direct it to some mortal sin as end, as stated above (Article 2). [Excerpt from article 2:] … it happens sometimes that a sin which is venial generically by reason of its object, becomes mortal on the part of the agent, either because he fixes his last end therein, or because he directs it to something that is a mortal sin in its own genus; for example, if a man direct an idle word to the commission of adultery.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q. 88, Art. 4 & 2)

A good example that demonstrates the difference between venial and mortal sin is the sin of drunkenness. For instance, a person who only gets a “little drunk” has committed a venial sin, while the person who gets “drunk” has committed a mortal sin. However, the first moment the person who committed the venial sin of getting a “little drunk” have made up his mind (or intention) to persevere in his venial sin of drunkenness, that is, he has no intention of stopping to commit this sin against God, then this venial sin has turned into a mortal and damnable one because of his deliberate contempt and scorn of the all good God whom he is willfully offending.

These facts, then, demonstrates that all those people who have an “intention of persevering” in performing even the normal, natural and procreative marital act for the sole sake of sensual pleasure are in a state of damnation, and that they would be condemned to Hell for this sin alone. And this is just speaking about those who perform the normal sexual act without any other immoral or sinful act. Today, it is indeed true to say that a huge part of both men and women in the western world not only have an “intention of persevering” in performing the normal sexual act for the sole sake of pleasure until death, which is damnable in itself, but that almost all of them have an “intention of persevering” in committing all kinds of damnable sexual perversions in the sexual act as well, such as masturbation of self or of spouse, foreplay, anal or oral sex, and shameful and sensual kisses or touches on different body parts, etc., which are acts so shameful, detestable and wicked that they scream to Heaven for vengeance! Eternal Hell and insufferable, indescribable torments will rightly and justly be the lot of all those people!

Considering the above facts, for a person then to deliberately and consciously live in venial sin or to commit even a single venial sin (even without an intention of persevering) is of course very bad, since it has always been a wide gateway into committing more grave sins. Many people, for instance, fail to see (or don’t think about) that most mortal sinners (like alcoholics and perverts) did not start out their life in this way. In the beginning, people are generally lured by the Devil by first committing a venial sin, and then, gradually, when he’s got a grip on them and has fooled them and made them comfortable in their sin, he easily inspires them into committing graver sins, such as mortal sins. No person starts out as a rapist or a child molester. This is a gradual process of evolution in wickedness. Therefore, it is of the greatest importance to fight against all venial sins and to do one’s utmost not to consent to them.

A clearer demonstration of this fact can also be found in the following revelation in St. Bridget’s Revelations:

The Son of God speaks to the bride (St. Bridget), saying: “What are you worried and anxious about?” She answered: “I am afflicted by various useless thoughts that I cannot get rid of, and hearing about your terrible judgment upsets me.” The Son answered: “This is truly just. Earlier you found pleasure in worldly desires against my will, but now different thoughts are allowed to come to you against your will.

But have a prudent fear of God, and put great trust in me, your God, knowing for certain that when your mind does not take pleasure in sinful thoughts but struggles against them by detesting them, then they become a purgation and a crown for the soul. But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin. Accordingly, if some sinful pleasure of any kind comes into your mind, you should right away think about where it is heading and repent.

“… God hates nothing so much as when you know you have sinned but do not care, trusting to your other meritorious actions, as if, because of them, God would put up with your sin, as if he could not be glorified without you, or as if he would let you do something evil with his permission, seeing all the good deeds you have done, since, even if you did a hundred good deeds for each wicked one, you still would not be able to pay God back for his goodness and love. So, then, maintain a rational fear of God and, even if you cannot prevent these thoughts, then at least bear them patiently and use your will to struggle against them. You will not be condemned because of their entering your head, unless you take pleasure in them, since it is not within your power to prevent them.

Again, maintain your fear of God in order not to fall through pride, even though you do not consent to the thoughts. Anyone who stands firm stands by the power of God alone. Thus fear of God is like the gateway into heaven. Many there are who have fallen headlong to their deaths, because they cast off the fear of God and were then ashamed to make a confession before men, although they had not been ashamed to sin before God. Therefore, I shall refuse to absolve the sin of a person who has not cared enough to ask my pardon for a small sin. In this manner, sins are increased through habitual practice, and a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition becomes a serious one through a person’s negligence and scorn, as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.

After having committed a venial and pardonable sin, he augmented it through habitual practice, trusting to his other good works, without thinking that I might take lesser sins into account. Caught in a net of habitual and inordinate pleasure, his soul neither corrected nor curbed his sinful intention, until the time for his sentencing stood at the gates and his final moment was approaching. This is why, as the end approached, his conscience was suddenly agitated and painfully afflicted because he was soon to die and he was afraid to lose the little, temporary good he had loved. Up until a sinner’s final moment God abides him, waiting to see if he is going to direct his free will away from his attachment to sin.

However, if a soul’s will is not corrected, that soul is then confined by an end without end. What happens is that the devil, knowing that each person will be judged according to his conscience and intention, labors mightily at the end of life to distract the soul and turn it away from rectitude of intention, and God allows it to happen, since the soul refused to remain vigilant when it ought to have...” (The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Book 3, Chapter 19)

Again, Our Lord’s words are crystal clear: a deliberate venial sin becomes a mortal sin if it’s done with an intention of persevering in it. Our Lord also explained that even a slight sin without an intention of persevering in it “can become a mortal sin” if a person does not do “penance and reparation for it” and if they don’t feel any sorrow for their sin. But why? Jesus goes on to explain that as well, saying that “sins are increased through habitual practice” and that “a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition becomes a serious one through a person’s negligence and scorn, as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.” He then proceeds to describe this sorrowful and condemned person that tragically was living in sin even until death: “After having committed a venial and pardonable sin, he augmented [increased] it through habitual practice” and “Caught in a net of habitual and inordinate pleasure, his soul neither corrected nor curbed his sinful intention, until the time for his sentencing stood at the gates and his final moment was approaching.”

Considering all of the above, what then does God think of married couples who come together in the marital act in sinful lust and concupiscence and about those who work on inflaming their sinful lust rather than quieting it?

They seek a warmth and sexual lust that will perish and love flesh that will be eaten by worms. … When the couple comes to bed, my Spirit leaves them immediately and the spirit of impurity approaches instead, because they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other. … Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away.” (Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget, in the Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26)

As we can see, Jesus Christ views such foul, impure spouses as described above as eternally condemned. Therefore, a couple may not do anything before, during or after the procreative act that is against the primary or secondary purpose of marriage: the begetting of children, and the quieting of concupiscence.

So contrary to modern day notion and common opinion (even amongst those who dare to call themselves by the name of Catholic and who should live like angels), a husband and wife are never allowed to “help” themselves with their hands or do other things to enhance their lust and in this way make themselves “ready” before the act as they so call it and their shameful and sinful excuse is. If a couple really believes in God they should pray to God before coming together and God will hear their prayers and make them ready without any further need by the couple to inflame their lust in a sinful way. Lubricants are of course also acceptable and the non-sinful and honorable way to use if there is a problem to complete the marital act. However, lubricants that increase sexual pleasure and that now are being manufactured and sold are of course totally unacceptable.

Likewise, if a woman was not able to quiet her concupiscence before the completion of the procreative act, it is unlawful for her (or her husband) to help herself afterwards. If husband and wife engage in unlawful activities such as masturbation, oral sex, or any other unnecessary or non-procreative evil act, they always commit a mortal sin. Barren couples and people with defects or old age still fulfills the primary end of marriage through normal intercourse by being open to conception and desiring children and not being against conception if it should occur. Husband and wife are forbidden to indulge in all unnecessary sexual acts, that is, to masturbate themselves or their spouse or to fondle with their hands in improper, shameful bodily places (like the genital and breast area) and in this way enhance their lust. Masturbation, lewd or sensual kisses and touches is as forbidden during the procreative act as it is at any other time for any person. To avoid falling into mortal sin, a good husband and wife must learn to pray to God for relief in their concupiscence and lust. (The Most Holy Rosary is also the best weapon to use in order to conquer the Devil’s temptations.) If a pious couple really wants help from God, He will help them and remove the concupiscence and sinful lust from them. It is also many times necessary to offer up penances to God like fasting and eating less tasty food in order to acquire this goal. These small penances coupled with spiritual reading and prayer will help a couple to stem their sinful inclinations, as long as they stay out of mortal and venial sins.

God almost never allows sinners to be freed from their attachment to sin unless they first offer up “penance and reparation for it.” Our Lord is crystal clear that penance is a great necessity for freeing the soul from the bondage of sin.

Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget: “But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 3, Chapter 19)

It is also of the greatest importance that husband and wife are not influenced by the evil and demonic teachings that are rampant in the secular world – even amongst those who dare to call themselves “Catholic” or “traditional Catholic”, or even worse, “Priest” or “Bishop”. These perverted people will tell you things such as, “that almost nothing is wrong in the marital act as long as the primary purpose of the act was achieved at some point. Whatever happens before, during or afterwards, was part of that act and is therefore licit and permitted.” This statement, as we have seen, is clearly false and have been thoroughly refuted by the teaching of Pope Pius XI that condemns all non-procreative sexual acts, as well as from the teaching of Pope Innocent XI that condemns the heretical idea that the marital act performed for pleasure only is without any fault or venial defect.

In truth, all men and women of good will can of course see that the words of Holy Scripture – that prophesies and directly describes our lamentable, evil time where almost universal perversion rules all of society – has been directly fulfilled to the letter by those who hold such perverted views concerning the marital sexual act. “Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts...” (2 Peter 3:3) Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared...” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

Anyone therefore that agrees with or acts upon the teachings of such demonically inspired people will lose their souls, since they are rejecting the natural law that God has imprinted on their hearts, which tells them that such activities are inherently wrong, evil, selfish, unnecessary, and above all, shameful. “For the things that are done by them in secret are shameful, even to mention.” (Ephesians 5:12)

Some pleasures are intrinsically evil and hence always forbidden

That some pleasures are intrinsically evil is taught by the Natural Law and by the positive laws of God’s Church. Certain sins give a pleasure unique to themselves and hence are intrinsically evil pleasures. This is attested to in the following verse: “The discourse of sinners is hateful, and their laughter is at the pleasures of sin.” (Ecclesiasticus 27:14) For instance, the pleasure one gets from murdering a man is an intrinsically evil pleasure. The pleasure one gets from demeaning and degrading someone who is not as smart or rich or physically attractive as oneself is an intrinsically evil pleasure. The pleasure one gets from enjoying riotous assemblies is an intrinsically evil pleasure. “Take no pleasure in riotous assemblies, be they ever so small: for their consternation is continual.” (Ecclesiasticus 18:32) The love of money is an intrinsically evil pleasure. “There is not a more wicked thing than to love money.” (Ecclesiasticus 10:10) The pleasure one gets from mind-altering drugs such as LSD or marijuana is an intrinsically evil pleasure just as getting drunk is. When I was trying to convert a young boy, he told me that marijuana is good because God created it and it makes him feel good. I told him that God also created poison and some poisons taste good and may make you feel good for a while but will nevertheless kill you. This example applies perfectly to sexual pleasure because to some it tastes and feels good for a while but it surely kills the soul if not fought against and controlled.

King Solomon is a good example of what happens to a man who doesn’t fight against bad pleasures and that lets himself get overcome by them. Today, sad to say, most people act in the precise same way as King Solomon did, for they do not fight against or resist any of the temptations that they are tempted with, whether lawful or unlawful, but commit them without any shame or scruple or pangs of conscience whatsoever. Carnal temptations led Solomon into mortal sins of immorality which led him into mortal sins of idolatry and apostasy: “And whatsoever my eyes desired, I refused them not: and I withheld not my heart from enjoying every pleasure, and delighting itself in the things which I had prepared: and esteemed this my portion, to make use of my own labour.” (Ecclesiastes 2:10) In truth, Pope St. Gregory the Great explains in his Moral Reflections 7:7 that “Immoderate relations with women led Solomon into idolatry. His immoderate relations with and devotion to women brought Solomon to such a state that he built a temple to idols. Indeed he was so addicted to lust and reduced to such infidelity that he did not fear to construct a temple to idols before constructing a temple to God.” (Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law, Case Thirty-Two, Question IV, Part 4, C. 13)

The Fall and Original Sin of Adam and Eve is the origin and cause of fleshly lusts and sexual desires

From where comes this fleshly lust, this momentary pleasure of the flesh that so deceives us and tempts us to commit sins and excesses of various sorts? It came after Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin—after their sin of disobedience against God and His Law in the garden of Eden.

The Holy Bible expressly reveals that Original Sin and thus all the temptations and defects that we now all experience and are plagued with entered the world and became a part of all Adam’s children (and descendants) because of Adam’s first sin, and that by this sin death followed, passing upon all Adam’s children and posterity for all generations to come: “Wherefore as by one man [Adam] sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12) The only thing that saves us from this sure death is the blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Baptism that washes away the stain or guilt of Original Sin, but not its effect. In truth, for as by the disobedience of one man [Adam], many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of One [Our Lord Jesus Christ], many shall be made just.” (Romans 5:19) Gods Holy Word not only makes clear the fact that death entered the world because of Adam’s transgression or first sin, but it also makes clear that sin entered the world because of him—thus passing upon all men.

The Church of course understood from the beginning that all our fleshly lusts and desires (whether inside or outside of marriage), arose as a direct result and evil effect of the sin of Adam and Eve, and that is why the Papal Magisterium and the Saints unanimously teach this doctrine of the Christian Faith.

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 12 (c. 426 A.D.): “… lust, which only afterwards sprung up as the penal consequence of [the original] sin, the iniquity of violating it was all the greater in proportion to the ease with which it might have been kept.”

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 18:12: “‘Now, Adam had intercourse with his wife Eve.’ Consider when this happened. After their disobedience, after their loss of the Garden, then it was that the practice of intercourse had its beginning. You see, before their disobedience they followed a life like that of the angels, and there was no mention of intercourse. How could there be, when they were not subject to the needs of the body? So at the outset and from the beginning the practice of virginity was in force, but when through their indifference disobedience came on the scene and the ways of sin were opened, virginity took its leave for the reason that they had proved unworthy of such a degree of good things, and in its place the practice of intercourse took over for the future.”

St. Jerome: “Eve in paradise was a virgin… understand that virginity is natural and that marriage comes after the Fall.” (Quoted in Honest to Man: p. 120 by Margaret Knight)

St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus 1:16, A.D. 393: “And as regards Adam and Eve we must maintain that before the fall they were virgins in Paradise: but after they sinned, and were cast out of Paradise, they were immediately married.”

St. John Damascene (c. 676-749 A.D.): “Adam and Eve were created sexless; their sin in Eden led to the horrors of sexual reproduction. If only our earliest progenitors had obeyed God, we would be procreating less sinfully now.”

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 A.D.): “… the first man of our race did not await the appropriate time, desiring the favor of marriage before the proper hour and he fell into sin by not waiting the time of God’s will… they [Adam and Eve] were impelled to do it before the normal time because they were still young and were persuaded by deception.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, On Marriage XIV:94, XVII:102-103)

St. Augustine, City of God, Book 14, Chapter 26 (c. 426 A.D.): “In Eden, it would have been possible to beget offspring without foul lust. The sexual organs would have been stimulated into necessary activity by will-power alone, just as the will controls other organs. Then, without being goaded on by the allurement of passion, the husband could have relaxed upon his wife’s breasts with complete peace of mind and bodily tranquility, that part of his body not activated by tumultuous passion, but brought into service by the deliberate use of power when the need arose, the seed dispatched into the womb with no loss of his wife’s virginity. So, the two sexes could have come together for impregnation and conception by an act of will, rather than by lustful cravings.”

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 15:14: “… the consummation of that intercourse occurred after the fall; up till that time they were living like angels in paradise and so were not burning with desire, not assaulted by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature; on the contrary, they were created incorruptible and immortal, and on that account at any rate they had no need to wear clothes.”

God had originally created the sexual act between man and woman to be a perfect act of love for God through mutual devotion and union of the flesh without any shameful lust. The act would have been no more pleasing to the flesh than a hug or caress, and childbirth was not to be painful. The emphasis on the flesh, both the momentary pleasure during the act and the pain during childbirth, are evil effects of Adam and Eve’s original sin. After Adam and Eve committed the original sin they covered their private parts indicating shame and that a violation had occurred in this area not intended by God: “and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7) This strange sensation that Adam and Eve experienced, this momentary fleshly pleasure, was at the same time very shameful, something alien to them, to which they sensed a loss of control over their own bodies. “Hence, it happened that the defilements which flowed into the nature of man from Adam’s sin, especially the infirmity of the will and the unbridled desires of the soul, survive in man.” (Pope Pius XI, Divini illius magistri, Denzinger 2212)

After the fall, the sexual act became shameful and disordered since the will to produce offspring had to compete with the will of self-gratification. This quick, momentary pleasure during the sexual act placed the excitation of the flesh at the center of attention instead of the true cause, which is the love of God and the procreation of a child. Satan always promises a quick thrill while death lies underneath. Circumcision which brings pain where a pleasure never belonged is an external sign that God reclaimed dominion over those that faithfully bore it, so that the devil may not tempt them with lust.

The pleasure of the marital act was to be purely spiritual, the joy of bringing a godly child into the world who can be loved and return love, who would be a source of joy, comfort, and aid. The whole focus of attention during the marital act was to solely be the love of God and the joy of bringing a godly child into their family and the world. “For, if man had not sinned, union would have been like the union of other bodily members and would have been without the fervor and itching of pleasure just like the union of other members is. For member would have been joined to member… just like a slate to a slate.” (Gratian, On Marriage 32.2.2) Since the fall of Adam and Eve, however, the deep, spiritual love of God and of bringing a soul, a human being, into the world, had to compete with the pleasure of the flesh. It is a misplaced and inordinate pleasure that distracts from the true intention of why the marital act should be performed, and it is selfish in nature, because gratification of the flesh had entered a realm where it does not belong. The motive of bringing a child into the world had to compete with the motive of self-gratification of the flesh. Spouses who allow the motive of self-gratification (fleshly lust) to usurp the motive of pleasing God and of bringing a child into the world will be infected with the sin of self-love. They will not be able to truly love God, their children, or even themselves. “Men shall be… lovers of pleasure more than of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

One can accurately describe sexual lust and concupiscence as a cancer that started to grow in humankind at the moment that sin entered into creation. Yet many deluded and lust filled souls that live today have fooled themselves and others into believing that sexual lust inside of marriage is something good and praiseworthy, instead of something dangerous and abnormal—dangerous since it tempts us into committing sins of the flesh—abnormal since it is an evil product of original sin. These people say that one of the purposes of marriage is so that they can have sex in order to inflame their fleshly lust and that marital relations is a sign of true love between the man and the wife (as if staying chaste would be a sign of not loving each other) and that spouses are allowed to have as much sexual pleasure as they can when they have marital relations as long as they do not prevent conception. They even go so far as to say that provoking the flesh by foreplay, masturbation or fondling with the hands in improper bodily places is according to God’s will. They think that sexual pleasure is a gift from God intended to satisfy them, when it in fact is an evil product of the fall. Marital relations, however, is to be used for the love, honor and glory of God by bringing into the world godly children.

Sex was never intended by God to please or ease mankind’s lust since He willed spouses to perform the act solely with the intention of raising godly children for the love and honor of His holy name, and sexual temptations and the sexual lust didn’t even exist before the fall of Adam and Eve. After the fall however, and due to the weakness and frailty of the flesh, spouses are not forbidden to consider the secondary ends of marriage (such as the quieting of concupiscence) “so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [that is, procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preservedbut only in so far as to avoid something worse. St. Jerome explains it well: “Thus it must be bad to touch a woman. If indulgences is nonetheless granted to the marital act, this is only to avoid something worse. But what value can be recognized in a good that is allowed only with a view of preventing something worse?”

The Holy Bible itself could not be more clear that God wants us to perform the marital act only for the love and sole motive of begetting children: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, [children] in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (The Holy Bible, Tobias 8:9) The Church’s teaching is clear on this point as well, teaching that: the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children,” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54) and that is why the secondary end or purpose of quieting concupiscence must always be subordinated to the primary end or purpose of procreation.

In The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to the saint how He originally intended the marital act to be performed by good and godly spouses before the fall.

The Son of God speaks: “But now, my bride, for whose sake all these things are being said and shown, you might ask, how children would have been born by them if they had not sinned? I shall answer you: In truth, by the love of God and the mutual devotion and union of the flesh wherein they both would have been set on fire internally, love’s blood would have sown its seed in the woman’s body without any shameful lust, and so the woman would have become fertile. Once the child was conceived without sin and lustful desire, I would have sent a soul into the child from my divinity, and the woman would have carried the child and given birth to it without pain. When the child was born, it would have been perfect like Adam when he was first created. But this honor was despised by man when he obeyed the devil and coveted a greater honor than I had given to him. After the disobedience was enacted, my angel came over them and they were ashamed over their nakedness, and they immediately experienced the lust and desire of the flesh and suffered hunger and thirst. Then they also lost me, for when they had me, they did not feel any hunger or sinful fleshly lust or shame, but I alone was all their good and pleasure and perfect delight.

But when the devil rejoiced over their perdition and fall, I was moved with compassion for them and did not abandon them but showed them a threefold mercy: I clothed them when they were naked and gave them bread from the earth. And for the sensuality the devil had aroused in them after their disobedience, I gave and created souls in their seed through my Divinity. And all the evil the devil tempted them with, I turned to good for them entirely.

Thereafter, I showed them how to live and worship me, and I gave them permission to have relations, because before my permission and the enunciation of my will they were stricken with fear and were afraid to unite and have relations. Likewise, when Abel was killed and they were in mourning for a long time and observing abstinence, I was moved with compassion and comforted them. And when they understood my will, they began again to have relations and to procreate children, from which family I, their Creator, promised to be born. When the wickedness of the children of Adam grew, I showed my justice to the sinful, but mercy to my elect; of these I was appeased so that I kept them from destruction and raised them up, because they kept my commandments and believed in my promises.” (St. Bridgets Revelations, Book 1 Chapter 26)

St. Paul warns those who would marry as opposed to those who would remain virgins that spouses “shall have tribulation of the flesh”: “But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the flesh. But I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) It is certain that St. Paul does not refer to the desire to procreate as a tribulation of the flesh. Consequently, he can be referring only to one thing—sexual pleasure. Indeed, sexual pleasure is a tribulation of the flesh that must hence be fought against in thought and deed in some way or the Devil will succeed in tempting a spouse to fall into mortal sins of impurity either with the other spouse, with himself or with someone other than his spouse. There is no neutral ground with sexual pleasure—one either seek to enjoy it and hence inflame it by foreplay and other vile practices or seek to quench it and hence douse the fire of lust.

In this context, Halitgar, a ninth-century bishop who was known as The Apostle to the Danes, declared that: “God did not create men and women so that they might enjoy carnal desire or live in the delights of the flesh”, adding that: “if there had been no transgression of God’s command [in the garden of Eden by Adam and Eve], no one would experience carnal pleasure in the intercourse of the married.” In perfect agreement with 2000 years of Church tradition, The Apostle to the Danes summed up his teaching on Original Sin in the following way: “Carnal pleasure is an uncleanness of the body which comes from uncontrolled lust and the weakness of the soul which gives in to the sin of the flesh.” (Halitgar, De Vitiis et Virtutibus et de Ordine Poenitentiarum Libri Quinque)

St. Thomas Aquinas in his great work The Summa Theologica also agreed “that the infection of original sin is most apparent in the movements of the members of generation, which are not subject to reason.” He also taught that a man’s lack of rational control over his arousal and orgasm was the result of “the infection of original sin.” Although all aspects of the human soul were seen as “corrupted by original sin,” the three aspects pertaining to human sexual response were most deeply infected, namely, “the generative power, the concupiscible faculty and the sense of touch.” The sense of touch was “the most powerful incentive to concupiscence.” Thus, St. Thomas linked the physical touching of bodies, with the effects of original sin. The Angelic Doctor concluded that: “Whoever, therefore, uses copulation for the delight which is in it, not referring the intention to the end intended by nature, acts against nature.” (cf. Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5; In Sententiarum, 4.33.1.3)

In truth, all our senses were soiled by the original sin after the fall—even our thoughts. Thus, people who let themselves grow attached to pleasures and feelings of various kinds will never be able to advance very far in their spiritual life, and in their search for God, since they will always be drawn towards earthly, carnal and perishable things. We read in the book of Genesis how God cursed the earth because of Adam and Eve’s transgression:

Genesis 3:16-19 “To the woman also He [God] said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work: with labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.

There are, sad to say, too many things to recount that arose as a direct cause of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Death, injury, physical as well as emotional pain, painful childbirth, fatigue, hunger and thirst, and fleshly lusts and desires did not even exist before the fall of humanity into death and sin, and not only that, but nature also completely obeyed the will of humans. Thus, everything in nature was perfect, and matter and animals was in complete subjection to the will of man. In truth, “Matrimony was first instituted in Paradise so that the bridal chamber might be unblemished and marriage honorable, and so that conception be without lust and childbirth without pain [cf. Gen. 3:16].” (Gratian, Marriage Canons From The Decretum, C. 32, Q. 2, P. 2)

After the fall of man and his disobedience against God, all of nature – not only animals, but also the human body – started to rebel against the will of man in consequence of this first sin, the body consequently no longer being subservient to the will of man as before the fall. Thus nature started to act against man and harm him, and the body started to tempt man and disobey his will, especially in the private parts.

The Apocalypse of Moses and Life of Adam and Eve (LAE) devote a considerable space to the results of the fall. God’s judgment on the first human transgression profoundly affected both humanity and the rest of creation. The disobedience of Adam and Eve resulted in sin becoming part of the experience of all humanity (LAE 44.3). The whole human race is under God’s wrath (Apoc. Mos. 14.2; LAE 49.3; 50.2) and will face God’s judgment and destruction (LAE 49.3; 50.2; Apoc. Mos. 14.2). There are two judgments: (1) The water judgment undoubtedly refers to the flood. (2) A judgment by ‘fire’, which refers to the end of the world or eternal hell fire for the wicked and unrepentant.

Although the final judgment is expected, the books emphasize the changes that the fall brought to life in this world. When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost their original glory and were estranged from the glory of God (Apoc. Mos. 20.2; 21.6). All people lost immortality (Apoc. Mos. 28.3) and death became certain (LAE 26.2; Apoc. Mos. 14.2). Life is now full of hardship, labour, enmity, strife, disease, pain, suffering and other evils (LAE 44.2-4; Apoc. Mos. 24.2-3; 25.1-4; 28.3). Due to the fall, human life is marked by futile labour and failure: ‘those who rise up from us shall labour, not being adequate, but failing’ (LAE 44.3; cf. Apoc. Mos. 24.3). Humanity is banned from paradise, with all its pleasures and comforts (Apoc. Mos. 27–29).

There are several physical aspects to God’s curse on the human race in response to the fall: (1) death, (2) disease and bodily pains and (3) birth pangs. These affected not only Adam and Eve, but also all their descendants (LAE 34.2; 44.2 [=Apoc. Mos. 14.2]; 49.3; 50.2).

Due to the transgression of Adam and Eve, not only Adam and Eve but also all of their descendants die (LAE 26.2; Apoc. Mos. 14.2; 28.3). Human beings would not have died if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God.

The book also describes how Adam and Eve’s transgression brought disease and bodily pains. There are ‘seventy plagues’ on the body (LAE 34.2 [=Apoc. Mos. 8.2.]). Seventy is probably a symbolic number indicating that the ailments affect the entire body. Sin leads to affliction of the entire body, ‘from the top of the head and the eyes and ears down to the nails of the feet and in each separate limb’ (LAE 34.2). This is a figure of speech in which the extreme members of the body are mentioned to indicate the whole body. Prior to the fall there were no disease (LAE 34.2). When Adam is on his deathbed, Seth asks, ‘What is pain and illness?’ (Apoc. Mos. 5.5. [=LAE 30.4]; LAE 31.5). Seth’s query suggests that the curse of illness was delayed until just prior to Adam’s death, since illness was still unknown to Adam’s children at that time. Romans 5:12 say in this regard: “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” The physical curse due to the fall also brought pain in childbirth (Apoc. Mos. 25.1-3). This important change in the operation of the physical world is based on Genesis 3:16.

Nature also suffered damage as a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Immediately after Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the nearby plants in paradise lost their leaves, except for the fig tree (Apoc. Mos. 20.4). This suggest a solidarity between humanity and the natural world so that when human beings sin, nature suffers damage. By contrast, when God entered paradise to judge the original humans, the plants blossomed and prospered (Apoc. Mos. 22.3). God’s divine glory and righteousness bring healing to nature, but human unrighteousness damages the natural world.

Indeed, we see that this fact is also true after the fall since man lived to about 900 years before the flood, and that after this judgment, the human lifespan was drastically changed, undoubtedly as a direct result of the sins of men. Man’s actions are thus directly effective and causative in bringing either destruction or healing from God, and this shows us the inherent need of all men to conform to God’s Laws.

The fall brought a profound change in plant life. The curse on the ground (Apoc. Mos. 24.1-3), which is based on Genesis 3:17-19, involves several aspects. First, the Ground would require hard labour to grow crops (vv. 2-3. Second, the ground would never be as productive as before the fall (v. 2, ‘it shall not give its strength’). Third, weeds, thistles and thorns would grow easily and abundantly, but these plants would be of no value for food and would make growing food crops more difficult (v. 2). After Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, they no longer had access to many plants that grew in paradise (LAE 2.2; 4.1). Thus humans were reduced to eating the same food as animals (LAE 4.1). The only special plants Adam and Eve could take from paradise were certain aromatic spices (LAE 42.4; Apoc. Mos. 29.3-6).

The fall also brought changes to the animal world. The serpent was cursed because it allowed itself to be used as a vessel for the devil (Apoc. Mos. 26.1-4). The serpent underwent fundamental changes in its physical nature: It was forced to crawl on its belly. Although other animals did not undergo such radical physical changes, their behavior changed profoundly after the fall. Prior to the fall, animals were subservient to humanity, since the image of God is in humans (Apoc. Mos. 10.3). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the nature of animals was changed and they began to rebel against humans (Apoc. Mos. 11.3; 24.4). Animals took on some of the rebellious nature that is passed on to the descendants of Adam and Eve.

The rebellion of the animals is illustrated by the attack of a wild animal who bites Seth (Apoc. Mos. 10–12). In the Apoc. Mos., the attack is a result of a fundamental change in animals due to the fall (Apoc. Mos. 11.2-3; cf. 10.2). The type of wild animal is not specified, since it represents the fundamental change in the nature of all animals. In LAE, however, the animal is identified as a serpent (LAE 37.1; 44.1), the animal that the devil indwelt. Yet, even in the passage where the wild animal attacks Seth, the beast obeys Seth when he commands it to be silent and to leave (Apoc. Mos. 12.1-2. Thus although nature was corrupted by the fall, the damage is not comprehensive or to the same extent as for the future generations. This again suggest a solidarity between humanity and the natural world so that when human beings sin more, nature suffers more and rebels more.

It is indeed perfect justice that man, who refused to obey God, should labor under the servitude of inferior passions, desires and creatures that rebel against him – just as man rebel and rebelled against God – so that through humility and acknowledgment of our own worthlessness, sin, weakness, infirmity, and nothingness, we should again be able to humbly approach Our Lord and God “with the assistance of grace”.

Pope Pius XI, Mit brennender Sorge #25, March 14, 1937: “‘Original sin’ is the hereditary but impersonal fault of Adam’s descendants, who have sinned in him (Rom. 5:12). It is the loss of grace, and therefore eternal life, together with a propensity to evil, which everybody must, with the assistance of grace, penance, resistance and moral effort, repress and conquer.”

An accurate description or definition of the current state of humanity’s existence that best describe our state would be that we are living in exile. In truth, we are exiled from the presence of Our Lord and the Tree of Life because of the sin of our first parents. Very few people understand this great truth which says that we are living in exile and that we are enduring a most grievous punishment of exclusion from the presence of Our Lord. The direct consequence of this lack of knowledge and understanding of the state of our miserable existence, undoubtedly contributes enormously to the amount and severity of sin that people commit. The main reason behind this is that a person who knows or considers that he is in a state of punishment, or living under a curse, will almost always act more cautiously and refrain from doing more to infuriate his Lord.

In fact, the power of original sin over humanity is so great that Pope Eugene IV in The Council of Florence infallibly declared that all children are born under “the domination of the Devil” through original sin, and that the only way to save them from this lamentable state of servitude to our eternal foe, the Devil, is to give them the sacrament of Baptism, “through which they are snatched from the domination of the Devil [original sin] and adopted among the sons of God” (Denzinger 712).

But there is yet another truth very important to remember. As soon as we wish to speak of education, Our human nature, the nature of every man who comes into this world since the original sin (except for Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary) is no longer an intact or balanced nature that is subject to God. This human nature that all human beings have inherited from Adam, is a wounded, corrupted, and fallen nature, “whose will is no longer directed towards God, but is self-centered, and consequently, selfish; a nature whose tendencies and passions are no longer adapted to reason, but are carnal and opaque, permeated with the selfishness of the will.”

St. Thomas Aquinas writes concerning this: “Through the sin of our first parents, all the powers of the soul are left destitute of their proper order, whereby they are naturally directed to virtue. This destitution is called a wounding of nature. First, in so far as the reason, where prudence resides, is deprived of its order to the true, there is the wound of ignorance. Second, in so far as the will is deprived of its order to the good, there is the wound of malice. Third, in so far as the sensitive appetite is deprived of its order to the arduous, there is the wound of weakness. Fourth, in so far as it is deprived of its order to the delectable moderated by reason, there is the wound of concupiscence.” St. Thomas adds: “These four wounds, ignorance, malice, weakness and concupiscence are afflicted on the whole of human nature only as a result of our first parents’ sin. But since the inclination to the good of virtue is diminished in each individual on account of actual sin, these four wounds are also the result of other sins, in so far as, through sin, the reason is obscured, especially in practical matters, the will hardened to evil, good actions become more difficult, and concupiscence more impetuous.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q. 85, Art. 3)

Although we are born under the domination of the Devil through original sin, this “wounded” nature that we have all inherited from Adam is nonetheless redeemed by Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism. Thus since original sin, grace is not only elevating, but also healing. We are redeemed in Christ, healed by his wounds, and called to sanctity by our conformity to Christ crucified, offered in sacrifice. To resume, grace makes our human nature partake in the Divine Nature, and it is thus elevating; and since our human nature is wounded, it is also healing.

2 Peter 1:3-10 “As all things of His [Our Lord Jesus Christ’s] divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue. By whom He hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world. And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity. For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he that hath not these things with him, is blind, and groping, having forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.”

Since human nature is wounded in every man and woman as well as in all our children, education must strive to heal, to rectify, and to purify the tendencies of our fallen nature, with the grace of Jesus Christ, with authority that dares to command, and with the use of punishment when they refuse to obey. Today, there are far too many parents who, through living an ungodly and selfish life, refuse to understand the inborn weakness of our human nature, and the inherent evilness of sexual desire or concupiscence, as well as its inherent danger and potential to tempt us to commit evil acts, but in this such persons gravely err, because they do not take into account the inborn weakness of human nature, and that law planted within our members, which, to use the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘fights against the law of my mind [Rom. 7:23]’” (Pope Pius XI, Divini illius magistri, Denzinger 2214)

Baptism cleanses us from original sin, but leaves intact in us the effect of the original sin, which are the four wounds of ignorance, malice, weakness, and concupiscence. The grace that baptism gives us truly makes us children of God in Christ Jesus, and through Christ Jesus, since this grace conforms us to Christ through His passion and death, and consequently, it demands that we die on the cross to ourselves and our own will in order that we may learn “to live according to the Spirit” rather than “according to the flesh” (Romans 8:5).

St. Paul tells us: “Do you not know that all we who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, have been baptized into His death? For we know that our old self has been crucified with Him, in order that the body of sin may be destroyed.” These words are very strong: “in order that the body of sin may be destroyed, that we may no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:2-6) And also: “If you have risen with Christ (through Baptism) seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

This death of which St. Paul speaks in so many of his Epistles, is nothing other than the most necessary Christian mortification, the putting to death of our evil tendencies, our pride, of our selfishness, of our laziness, and most importantly, of our sensuality. This death is nothing other than the daily renunciation that Our Lord demands from those who want to be saved: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) Let him deny himself each day, from the cradle, early childhood, to the grave.

The Life of St. Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome, A.D. 1534: “Ever since sin so fatally disordered our nature there is a dark and profound mystery in pleasure, as there is in pain… Only Jesus, who cleared up the mystery of pain and sanctified it, has cast his light on the mystery of pleasure and purified it. He has taught us that pleasure is no longer since the Fall inseparably linked with virtue, but that the ordinary companion of virtue is suffering, so that blessed are they that suffer for justice’ sake, blessed they that mourn. (Matthew 5:5,10) And hence it follows that we should approach pleasure with self-restraint and forethought—nay, with fear and trembling; that many pleasures are evil and unholy, and those alone safe which are noble, spiritual, and restrained [that is, those pleasures that alone are safe are not sensual or fleshly]; those in short which, being bound up with some spiritual good, are accompanied by charity and are expansions of charity.” (Extracts from "St. Philip Neri", by Alfonso, Cardinal Capecelatro, transl. by Thomas Pope, Burns, Oates, & Washbourne, London, 1926. pp. 36,37)

According to the teaching of the Church, superbly articulated by the Holy Fathers, man was created for the purpose of being in communion with God in love; or according to the Apostle Peter, to partake of divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Man was supposed to move toward the goal of becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) by living in accordance with his own nature, that is, in accordance with God’s will that was innate in human nature. But his God-implanted natural motion toward the ultimate goal was interrupted by the fall. Adam’s sin and the beginning of evil in the visible world, according to Saint Maximos, consists in the misuse (use contrary to nature) of his natural powers and of God’s other creations in general. From then on, man slavishly served the irrational impulses of these powers, which impulses drove him to incline toward pleasure alone, and as far as possible to avoid pain. For fallen man “directs his whole effort toward pleasure and does all he can to avoid pain. He struggles with all his might to attain pleasure and fights against pain with immense zeal.” (“First Century of Various Texts” 53 in The Philokalia 2, p. 175.)

Man’s reward for sin is seen not only in his body’s changeable and mortal condition. Man did not simply lose the incorruptibility of his nature, but he was also condemned to passionate sexual generation in the manner of animals:

The first man was fittingly condemned to a bodily generation that is without choice, material and subject to death, God thus rightly judging him who had freely chosen what is worse over what is better… to bear the dishonorable affinity with the irrational beasts, instead of the divine, unutterable honor of being with God.” (Saint Maximos, “Peri diaforon aporion” (“On Various Perplexing Topics”), PG 91, 1348A)

In reference to the consequences of the fall, Saint Gregory of Nyssa likewise elaborates on the subject of man’s condemnation to sexual generation: “Through the beguilement of the enemy of our life, man freely acquired the bent toward what is bestial and without intelligence.” (“Pros tous penthountas” (“To Those Who Mourn”), PG 46, 521D–524A.) Elsewhere, this Holy Father characterizes all the consequences of the fall as “the putting on of the skin garments.” By “skin garments,” the Saint means the sum total of the evident signs of the corruption of human nature, namely: “copulation, conception, parturition, impurities, suckling, feeding, evacuation, gradual growth to full size, prime of life, old age, disease, and death.” (“Peri psichis ke anastaseos” (“On the Soul and Resurrection”), PG 46, 148C–149A.)

According to Saint Maximos, it is precisely through the birth from the first Adam that the sensual pleasure, as well as pain, is transmitted to all human beings; for in every birth through generation, the ancestral sin is transmitted in its entirety: “When our forefather, Adam, broke the divine commandment, in place of the original form of generation, he conceived and introduced into human nature, at the prompting of the serpent, another form, originating in pleasure and terminating through suffering in death… And because he introduced this ill-gotten pleasure-provoked form of generation, he deservedly brought on himself, and on all men born in the flesh from him, the doom of death through suffering.” (Saint Maximos, “Fourth Century of Various Texts” 44, Philokalia 2: 246–47)

Hence, it appears that herein chiefly lies the ancestral sin, with and in which every human is born, since “all those born of Adam are ‘conceived in iniquities,’ thus coming under the forefather’s sentence.” (Saint Maximos, “Peusis ke apokrises” (“Questions and Answers”) 3, PG 788B.) Elsewhere, when asked the meaning of the Psalm verse “I was conceived in iniquities, and in sin did my mother bear me” (Psalm 50:5), Saint Maximos answers: “God’s original purpose was not that we be born from corruption through marriage. But Adam sinned, and the transgression of the commandment introduced marriage.” (“Peusis ke apokrises” (“Questions and Answers”), 3, PG 788B.) It should be noted that David and the holy Fathers speak of birth “in sins” within lawful marriage. Such views on birth are seen already in the Old Testament, where special “sin offerings” are prescribed by God for the purification of a woman after she gives birth (see Lev. 12:6-8: cf. Luke 2:24). Even before Saint Maximos, Saint John Chrysostom taught the same thing:

After he was created, he lived in Paradise, and there was no reason for marriage. A helper needed to be made for him, and one was made, and even then marriage was not deemed necessary. It had not yet appeared. But, rather, they continued without it, living in Paradise as if in heaven and delighting in their converse with God . . . . As long as they were unconquered by the devil and respected their own Master, virginity also continued, adorning them more than the diadem and golden clothing adorn the emperors. But when, becoming captives, they took off this garment and laid aside the heavenly adornment and sustained the dissolution deriving from death, the curse, pain, and toilsome existence, then together with these, enters marriage, this mortal and slavish garment. Do you see whence marriage had its beginning, whence it was deemed necessary? From the disobedience, from the curse, from death. For where there is death, there also is marriage. Whereas, when the first does not exist, then neither does the second follow.” (Saint John Chrysostom, “Peri Parthenias” (“On Virginity”) 14, PG 48, 543–44)

It should be emphasized here that, according to Saint Maximos—and according to all the other Fathers of the Church—evil (that is, sin) does not exist within things themselves (for God made all things “very good”) but only in man’s misuse of them. Specifically, Saint Maximos writes:

It is not food that is evil but gluttony, not the begetting of children but unchastity, not material things but avarice, not esteem but self-esteem. This being so, it is only the misuse of things that is evil, and such misuse occurs when the intellect fails to cultivate its natural powers.” (Saint Maximos, “Third Century on Love” 4, Philokalia 2:83)

Therefore, “Self-restraint is to prevail over sensual pleasure; on the other hand, the prevalence of the latter is what I call licentiousness.” (Saint Gregory of Nazianzus the Theologian, Vol. II, “Epi Ithika” (“Moral Epopees”) 31, “Ori pachimereis,” PG 37, 651A.)

Concupiscence and sexual desire is an evil disease that transmits the Original Sin to the offspring according to the Holy Bible and the Church

Today, most people are unaware of the fact that the ancient tradition of the Church teaches that concupiscence and sexual desire actually transmits the Original Sin to the offspring, but this has always been the Church’s teaching from the very beginning of its foundation by Our Lord Jesus Christ, and it was also taught in the Old Testament long before the New Testament was revealed to us. God Himself revealed this doctrine in The Book of Psalms, teaching us that we are conceived in the iniquity of the Original Sin: “For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 50:7)

Pope Innocent III as well, taught that the “foul concupiscence” that is inherent in all marital sexual acts transmits the stain of the Original Sin to one’s children and that “the conceived seeds [of the children] are befouled and corrupted” by this “foul concupiscence.”

Pope Innocent III, On the Seven Penitential Psalms: “Who does not know that conjugal intercourse is never committed without itching of the flesh, and heat and foul concupiscence, whence the conceived seeds [of the children] are befouled and corrupted?”

Pope Pius XI confirmed this teaching by the Papal Magisterium in his authoritative encyclical Casti Connubii, teaching us that the sexual act became “the way of death by which original sin is passed on to posterity” after the fall and original sin of Adam and Eve, and that the only way to cleanse the child from the stain of the original sin is the Sacrament of Baptism, which makes all of them “living members of Christ, partakers of immortal life, and heirs of that eternal glory to which we all aspire from our inmost heart.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 14), Dec. 31, 1930: “For although Christian spouses even if sanctified themselves cannot transmit sanctification to their progeny, nay, although the very natural process of generating life [that is, the marital sexual act] has become the way of death by which original sin is passed on to posterity, nevertheless, they share to some extent in the blessings of that primeval marriage of Paradise, since it is theirs to offer their offspring to the Church in order that by this most fruitful Mother of the children of God they may be regenerated through the laver of Baptism unto supernatural justice and finally be made living members of Christ, partakers of immortal life, and heirs of that eternal glory to which we all aspire from our inmost heart.”

In St. Augustine’s time, there were many heretics just like today that praised concupiscence and sexual desire and called it a good gift from God instead of what it really is, that is, an evil effect of the original sin of Adam and Eve. By the grace of God, however, the Church from the very beginning was completely united against all of these heretics and condemned and excommunicated those who held to this impious faction and heresy.

Pelagius (350-425), a British monk teaching in Rome, had proposed a heretical and false view of human nature that included the wicked heresy that a man have a capacity for doing good apart from God’s grace. Pelagius publicly disagreed with the Church and St. Augustine’s teaching that mankind was badly crippled by sin. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that “during his sojourn in Rome he [Pelagius] composed several works… A closer examination of this work… brought to light the fact that it contained the fundamental ideas which the Church afterwards condemned as "Pelagian heresy". In it Pelagius denied the primitive state in paradise and original sin (cf. P.L., XXX, 678, "Insaniunt, qui de Adam per traducem asserunt ad nos venire peccatum"), insisted on the naturalness of concupiscence and the death of the body, and ascribed the actual existence and universality of sin to the bad example which Adam set by his first sin. As all his ideas were chiefly rooted in the old, pagan philosophy, especially in the popular system of the Stoics, rather than in Christianity, he regarded the moral strength of man’s will (liberum arbitrium), when steeled by asceticism, as sufficient in itself to desire and to attain the loftiest ideal of virtue. The value of Christ’s redemption was, in his opinion, limited mainly to instruction (doctrina) and example (exemplum), which the Savior threw into the balance as a counterweight against Adam’s wicked example, so that nature retains the ability to conquer sin and to gain eternal life even without the aid of grace.”

In 415 A.D. Saint Augustine attacked Pelagius’s teachings. By this time in his life Augustine had become a battle-hardened foe of heretics. He had defeated the Manichees and crushed the Donatists. When Pelagius began to oppose the Bible and the Church’s teaching, Augustine set out to destroy this deceiver. Contrary to Augustine, Pelagius had concluded that infants had no original sin at all. The biblical core of St. Augustine’s teaching of original sin centered on the account of the sin of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3) and St. Paul’s teaching that “through one person sin entered the world” (Rom. 5:12).

Thus he understood “that by his sin Adam fell from his original supernatural status, and that through human propagation, which involved concupiscence, the lack of grace was passed on to every human being descended from Adam.” In his confrontation with Pelagius, Augustine’s teaching concerning the effects of Adam and Eve’s sin took on hard, clear connections involving sex, sin, and shame. Augustine taught that original sin was passed on to persons at their conceptions. When spouses conceived a child, they passed on the effects of Adam’s original sin. Thus every human being received a human nature deformed by Adam’s sin. St. Augustine’s teaching about original sin was “received,” that is, accepted as doctrine by the Catholic Church. His clear explanation of original sin helped to resolve three issues. First, it explained the practice of baptizing infants that was taught from the beginning of the Church by the Apostles and Apostolic Tradition. Secondly, it explained why concupiscence remained even after baptism. This sacrament removed original sin, but not its effects. Thirdly, Augustine’s teaching about original sin provided a weapon that could be used to defeat Pelagius’ false and heretical teachings about the basic goodness of the fallen human nature.The account of Adam and Eve’s recognition of their nakedness and their subsequent sewing of fig leaves to make loincloths (Gen. 3:7) led Augustine to conclude that the human genitals were the means of transmitting original sin: “The truth, however, is, that we are ashamed of that very thing which made those primitive human beings ashamed, when they covered their loins, namely their genital organs.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence 1:24) Showing his disapproval of concupiscence, Augustine eloquently taught: “That is the penalty of sin; that is the plague and mark of sin; that is the temptation and very fuel of sin; that is the law in our members warring against the law of our mind; that is the rebellion against our own selves, proceeding from our very selves, which by a most righteous retribution is rendered us by our disobedient members.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence 2:22)

Augustine taught that in Eden the sexual act was totally under the control of the wills of both Adam and Eve because they possessed “the highest tranquility of all the obedient members without any lust.” (St. Augustine, Against Two Letters of the Pelagians 1:35) Neither the man nor the woman needed the stirrings of sexual arousal to perform the act that would conceive a child before the fall. Thus, the human experience of sexual arousal was the effect of the concupiscence that resulted from the first sin. Prior to that sin the man “would have sown the seed, and the woman received it, as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not excited by lust.” (St. Augustine, City of God, XIV:24) Human sexual arousal was both a reminder of and a punishment for the first sin. In his book On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 8, Augustine pointed out that concupiscence was comparable to a man’s limp. A limping man could still reach his destination. Reaching that destination was good, but the limp was not good. In marital relations the destination was the good of procreation. But the pleasurable orgasm that enabled conception to take place was, like the limp, not good. The pleasure of sexual spontaneity, like the man’s limp, was a defect.Augustine’s understood that Adam and Eve did not participate in sexual intercourse, as we human beings know it, until after they had sinned, teaching that in Eden the genital organs “would be set in motion at the command of the will; and without the active stimulus of passion, with calmness of mind and with no corrupting of the integrity of the body, the husband would lie on the bosom of his wife.” (St. Augustine, The City of God, XIV:26) But, after the first sin, whenever married partners felt the desire for sexual union with each other, they experienced the corrupting influence of lust at work in their sin-blighted bodies. Augustine also taught that the act of sexual intercourse was instrumental in passing on original sin. Augustine’s proof text came from Psalm 50: “For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 50:7). Thus, Augustine understood that every person after Adam and Eve was conceived in iniquity.As late as 1930 Pope Pius XI echoed St. Augustine’s teaching in his Casti Connubii: “Indeed, the natural generation of life has become the path of death by which original sin is communicated to the children.” Augustine and the North African bishops condemned Pelagius and his followers in 416. In the following year Pope Innocent excommunicated Pelagius.In 418 Bishop Julian of Eclanum, Italy, objected to the Church’s teaching that unbaptized infants share in the guilt of Adam’s sin as well as to Her teachings on marriage and concupiscence. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that “when Pope Zosimus issued, in 418, his "Epistola Tractatoria", Julianus was one of the eighteen Italian bishops who refused to subscribe to the condemnation of Pelagius which it contained. In consequence of this refusal he was exiled under the decree of the Emperor Honorius, which pronounced banishment against Pelagius and his sympathizers. Driven from Italy in 421, he commenced an active literary campaign in the interests of the new heresy and by his writings soon won for himself the position of intellectual leader of the heretical party. To him is due the credit [or blame] of having systematized the teachings of Pelagius and Coelestius. His writings, which were frankly Pelagian, were largely directed against the doctrines which St. Augustine had defended, and for several years after the expulsion of the Pelagians the history of the conflict is merely an account of the controversy between Julian and Augustine. Most of Julian’s works are lost, and are known only through the copious quotations found in the works of his great adversary. … Driven from Italy, he found refuge for a time with Theodore of Mopsuestia, who, though sympathetic, subsequently subscribed to his condemnation. At the accession of each pontiff Julian sought to have the Pelagian controversy re-opened, but this merely resulted in further condemnations by [the Popes] Celestine, Sixtus III, and Leo I.”

The heretic Julian disagreed with the Church’s teaching that the source of concupiscence was sin and that the defect of sexual activity was demonstrated by the fact that couples engaging in sex do not want to be observed by others. Calling incontinence “the mother of all vices,” Augustine referred to St. Paul’s wanting more than mere avoidance of fornication but also “a certain moderation in marriage itself,” which would be attained by setting aside “times of prayer.” Further rebuking Julian, the bishop of Hippo scolded: “You notice how you should understand with us in what disease of desire the Apostle was unwilling that one possess his vessel. … But to you lust seems culpable only toward one other than one’s wife.” Augustine then accusingly asked, “Who, then, honors marriage more: you, when you deface its dignity by making it a blameless wallowing place of carnal concupiscence; or he who… recalls that the Apostle recommended times of prayer and abstinence from the pleasure of lust, and who does not wish husbands and wives to be given up to that disease whence original sin is contracted?” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book II, Chapter 7, Section 20)

We see here the Church’s teaching about “original sin,” Her rejection of possessing one’s vessel in the “disease” of desire, Her condemnation of “the pleasure of lust,” and Her revulsion for immoderate marital relations, which St. Augustine calls the “wallowing place of carnal concupiscence.” Julian was driven from his diocese in 419. Nevertheless, he and Augustine continued to debate until 431, their debate only terminating with Augustine’s death. Just as with other heresies, St. Augustine was on the forefront in crushing this heresy of Pelagius and his followers. Clothed with the authority of the Church and Her Popes, the bishop of Hippo clearly proved that Pelagius’s teaching was a heresy, and for a long while after this, this heresy was practically abandoned by all who called themselves Christian.

To St. Augustine, concupiscence is an evil and a disease, although he did not believe the effect of it is evil when it effects procreation. In his many writings on the subject, he clearly proves how those impious heretics who teaches that sexual desire or concupiscence is “good” or not a disease are utterly false and unreasonable. He writes: “… as the Apostle says: "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry." [1 Cor. 7:9] Why do you acknowledge a necessary remedy for concupiscence, yet contradict me when I say concupiscence is a disease? If you acknowledge the remedy [marriage], acknowledge the disease [lust]. If you deny the disease, deny the remedy. I ask you at last to yield to the truth which speaks to you even through your own mouth. No one provides a remedy for health.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 15, Section 29, A.D. 421)

Indeed, St. Augustine also clearly teaches that Original Sin is transmitted through lust or concupiscence: “Wherefore the devil holds infants guilty [through original sin] who are born, not of the good by which marriage is good, but of the evil of concupiscence, which, indeed, marriage uses aright, but at which even marriage has occasion to feel shame.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 27.--Through Lust Original Sin is Transmitted.)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419: “This disease of concupiscence is what the apostle refers to, when, speaking to married believers, he says: "This is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the disease of desire, even as the Gentiles which know not God." [1 Thess 4:3-5] The married believer, therefore, must not only not use another man’s vessel, which is what they do who lust after others’ wives; but he must know that even his own vessel is not to be possessed in the disease of carnal concupiscence. … Whosoever possesses his vessel (that is, his wife) with this intention of heart [for the procreation of children], certainly does not possess her in the "disease of desire," as the Gentiles which know not God, but in sanctification and honor, as believers who hope in God. A man turns to use the evil of concupiscence, and is not overcome by it, when he bridles and restrains its rage, as it works in inordinate and indecorous motions; and never relaxes his hold upon it except when intent on offspring, and then controls and applies it to the carnal generation of children to be spiritually regenerated, not to the subjection of the spirit to the flesh in a sordid servitude” (Book I, Chapter 9.--This Disease of Concupiscence in Marriage is Not to Be a Matter of Will, But of Necessity [For the Procreation of Children])

Adultery, fornication and masturbation are examples of bad and damnable lust, hence that it is described as a disease. All kinds of lust or concupiscence (even the lawful kind) is also an evil in marriage and can easily turn into something damnable if husband and wife goes too far (as sadly happens with almost all couples today… even by those who call themselves by the name of Catholic). Just because it’s licit to perform the sexual act for procreative purposes in marriage, does not make the lust caused thereof good or praiseworthy. St. Augustine explains this well in the following quotations:

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419: “Forasmuch, then, as the good of marriage could not be lost by the addition of this evil [lust]… Since, therefore, marriage effects some good even out of that evil, it has whereof to glory; but since the good cannot be effected without the evil, it has reason for feeling shame. The case may be illustrated by the example of a lame man. Suppose him to attain to some good object by limping after it, then, on the one hand, the attainment itself is not evil because of the evil of the man’s lameness; nor, on the other hand, is the lameness good because of the goodness of the attainment. So, on the same principle, we ought not to condemn marriage because of the evil of lust; nor must we praise lust because of the good of marriage.” (Book I, Chapter 8.--The Evil of Lust Does Not Take Away the Good of Marriage)

And in another place he writes:

St. Augustine, Against Julian, A.D. 421: “I have never censured the union of the two sexes if it is lawfully within the boundaries of marriage. … I do not say that children, coming from an evil [lustful] action, are evil, since I do not say that the activity in which married persons engage for the purpose of begetting children is evil. As a matter of fact, I assert that it is good, because it makes good use of the evil of lust, and through this good use, human beings, a good work of God, are generated. But the action is not performed without evil [lust], and this is why the children must be regenerated [baptized] in order to be delivered from evil [which means that the Original Sin is the cause of lust according to Augustine].” (Book III, Chapter 7, Section 15)

In truth, sexual temptations during lawful procreative relations can also be a cause of sin for many people since it may drive them to go further than what is necessary or lawful, either before, during, or after the marital act, and this is of course also a great evil. These temptations, as we have seen, does not turn into something “good” just because a person is married, for he is still tempted to commit sin. And this is just one of the many reasons that shows why lust and sexual temptations are bad, also in marriage, for they are still defects and occasions of falling into sin and an evil product of the fall, and of original sin. Thus, “original evil is not derived from marriage, but from carnal concupiscence. This is the evil…which spouses use well when they come together only for the purpose of procreation.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 24, Section 54)

Temptations, the sexual pleasure or concupiscence are thus not something “good” or “praiseworthy” but are truly the “evil of concupiscence” and the “disease of concupiscence” that arose as an evil result of the original sin of Adam and Eve, as stated by St. Augustine: “It was, indeed, the sinful corruption which had been sown in them by the devil’s persuasion that became the means of their being born in sin; not the created nature of which men are composed. Shameful lust, however, could not excite our members, except at our own will, if it were not a disease. Nor would even the lawful and honorable cohabiting of husband and wife raise a blush, with avoidance of any eye and desire of secrecy, if there were not a diseased condition about it.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book II, Chapter 55.--Lust is a Disease; The Word "Passion" In the Ecclesiastical Sense, A.D. 420)

Thus, Augustine could rightly say that: “You [that is, Julian the heretic] exult over some words from my book, [On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 3] that "By the testimony of the Apostle, conjugal modesty is a gift of God," as though the Apostle praised the evil [of concupiscence] you praise, by which the flesh lusts against the spirit, [1 Cor. 7:7; Gal. 5:17] and which conjugal modesty uses well. I answered this in a former book. It is no small gift of God when this evil is so restrained that it is used for nothing unlawful but serves only for the generation of children who are to be regenerated [and thus rescued from original sin and the domination of the Devil through the Sacrament of Baptism]. Its force is not self-moderating, for no one abstains from unlawful acts if he follows its lead. Hence it is praised, not for its disquieting activity, but for the restrained and good use made of it by the individual. When married believers use well that evil from whose guilt they have been freed by the gift of the Savior [through baptism which removes the guilt, but not the effects of the raging lusts], then those born by the gift of that same Creator are not, as you object to me, "made subject to the kingdom of the Devil," but, rather, are prepared to be rescued from it and transferred to the kingdom of the Only-begotten. This is and ought to be the intention of godly married persons: to prepare birth for rebirth. If, however, this evil which parents sense in themselves, the evil against which, in your words, "the legion of the Apostles warred," did not pertain to the children, they would be born without it. But, since they are actually born with it, why do you marvel that they must be reborn in order to be absolved from its guilt, and either be taken from this life free from this evil or be obliged to fight against it in this life, as free men, and be rewarded as victors in the end?” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book IV, Chapter 1, Section 2-3, A.D. 421)

In truth, the main reason why so many heretics (both in former times as well as today) so fervently defends this wicked heresy concerning foul lust and concupiscence is that they want to defend or justify their unmortified, lustful, unnatural, non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts and desires, which in turn forces them to impiously assert that concupiscence is a good gift given to them by God in order to satisfy their lust instead of an evil effect of original sin that needs to be fought against, quelled and resisted: “But now note for a moment how from this law of sin, whose activity the mortal nature even of celibates is compelled to endure; upon which the chastity of marriage strives to place a rule of moderation; whence the concupiscence of the flesh and the pleasure you praise makes its attacks against the purpose of the will whenever it is aroused, even if it does not accomplish its acts… "Behold," he [David] said, "I was conceived in iniquities and in sins did my mother bear me." [Ps. 50:7] Evilly did Eve give birth, thereby leaving to women the inheritance of [original sin and pain in] childbirth, and the result that everyone formed in the pleasure of concupiscence and conceived in it in the womb and fashioned in it in blood, in it wrapped as in swaddling clothes, first undergoes the contagion of sin before he drinks the gift of the life-giving air. … Should not those first men have blushed, then, at the activity of this concupiscence, which plainly showed that they themselves were guilty, and also foretold that their children would be subject to the sin of their parents? And just as they blushed to leave exposed those parts of their bodies in which they perceived the disobedience of lust, so may you in obedience to the Catholic faith blush to praise what is shameful.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book II, Chapter 6, Section 15)

Just like Julian the heretic did at the time of St. Augustine, so many people in our own days defend and praise the evil disease of concupiscence or lust just like the ancient heretics did, rejecting the ancient teaching of the Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition as well as “all the honesty of temperance” in their marriages and teachings: “You think the Apostle’s warning against possessing one’s vessel in the disease of lust refers only to fornication, not to marriage, and thus you remove from the union of the married all the honesty of temperance, so that none could possess his vessel in the disease of lust, no matter what the passion drawing him to this in his wife. For, if you thought there should be moderation there, you could also have censured the excess of concupiscence in marriage itself, and seen that the Apostle’s "disease of lust" signifies this excess, instead of your groundless denial that "his vessel" means a man’s wife. The Apostle Peter in this matter also uses the word when he tells husbands to honor their wives as weaker vessels and as co-heirs of grace, and adds: "See to it your prayers be not hindered." [1 Peter 3:7] He [St. Paul] speaks as his fellow Apostle, who prescribed conjugal temperance for times of prayers [1 Cor. 7:5]… Let Christian marriage hear this, let it not listen to you, who would have it not restrain concupiscence, but satisfy it whenever aroused, and thus secure its dominion. Let the faithful of Christ who are bound in marriage hear this, I say, that they may by consent establish times of temperance for prayer; and when, because of their intemperance, they return from prayer to the same habit, they may also know how to say to God: "Forgive us our trespasses." [Matt. 6:12]” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 9, Section 40)

When many of these heretics hear the arguments from the Holy Scripture and the Saints, however, they resort into straw-man arguments and “they argue thus, saying: "Is not, then, marriage an evil, and the man that is produced by marriage not God’s work?" As if the good of the married life were that [evil] disease of concupiscence [i.e. lust] with which they [lustful people] who know not God love their wives—a course which the apostle forbids; [1 Thess. 4:5] and not rather that conjugal chastity, by which carnal lust is reduced to the good purposes of the appointed procreation of children.” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 38.--Original Sin Does Not Render Marriage Evil, A.D. 418)

This heretical teaching about concupiscence and original sin that is now held by many people in this world is a teaching that undoubtedly destroys the Christian Faith for many when one considers its ramifications, since if their teaching was really true, God created us in the way we are now with all the evil temptations, suffering and death that we all endure in the world. All of this evil existed from the original creation of God according to this evil and perverse teaching, which is absurd and impossible since Our Lord and God said in The Book of Genesis that all He created during the first six days of the universe “were very good”—and evil temptations of the flesh are obviously not good. “Suppose, however, that nature had not been dishonored by sin, God forbid that we should think that marriages in Paradise must have been such, that in them the procreative members would be excited by the mere ardor of lust, and not by the command of the will for producing offspring,—as the foot is for walking, the hand for labor, and the tongue for speech [so the procreative members are for producing offspring].” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 40.--Marriage Existed Before Sin Was Committed. How God’s Blessing Operated in Our First Parents, A.D. 418)

In truth, “Where God did nothing else than by a just sentence to condemn the man [Adam] who willfully sins, together with his stock [that is, all the descendants of Adam]; there also, as a matter of course, whatsoever was even not yet born is justly condemned in its sinful root. In this condemned stock carnal generation holds every man; and from it nothing but spiritual regeneration liberates him. In the case, therefore, of regenerate parents, if they continue in the same state of grace, it will undoubtedly work no injurious consequence, by reason of the remission of sins which has been bestowed upon them, unless they make a perverse use of it,—not alone all kinds of lawless corruptions, but even in the marriage state itself, whenever husband and wife toil at procreation, not from the desire of natural propagation of their species, but are mere slaves to the gratification of their lust out of very wantonness. As for the permission which the apostle gives to husbands and wives, "not to defraud one another, except with consent for a time, that they may have leisure for prayer," he concedes it by way of indulgent allowance, and not as a command; but this very form of the concession evidently implies some degree of fault. The connubial embrace, however, which marriage-contracts point to as intended for the procreation of children, considered in itself simply, and without any reference to fornication, is good and right; because, although it is by reason of this body of death (which is unrenewed as yet by the resurrection) impracticable without a certain amount of bestial motion, which puts human nature to the blush, yet the embrace is not after all a sin in itself, when reason applies the concupiscence to a good end [that is, for the motive of procreation], and is not overmastered to evil.” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 43.--Human Offspring, Even Previous to Birth, Under Condemnation at the Very Root. Uses of Matrimony Undertaken for Mere Pleasure Not Without Venial Fault, A.D. 418)

Who but an utterly disgraceful and lustful person could deny that concupiscence or sexual desire is an evil product of the fall and of original sin after seeing all this evidence? “Marriage is by all means good in its own kind, but the reason it is good is that it keeps the faith of the marriage bed; that it unites the two sexes for the purpose of begetting offspring; and that it shrinks from the impiety of separation. … After [original] sin, however, and not happily but from necessity, a combat came to marriage, so that marriage by means of its own good must now war against the evil of concupiscence, not permitting it to do anything unlawful, though concupiscence itself, acting now slackly, now with great violence, never ceases to urge marriage to the unlawful, even when marriage makes good use of the evil of concupiscence in the propagation of offspring. Who can deny this is an evil except one unwilling to hear the Apostle’s warning: "But this I say by way of concession, not by way of commandment," [1 Cor. 7:6] when the married are overcome by desire, not for offspring, but to satisfy lust for carnal pleasure?” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 16, Section 30, A.D. 421)

Legal marital relations in the Bible is described as a cause of impurity

In the book of Leviticus, the infallible Word of God describes how even legal marital relations between husband and wife makes them impure or unclean, thus describing the marital act itself as the cause of impurity, and not as something “holy” or “good,” as many people nowadays have deceived themselves into believing.

Leviticus 15:16-18,24 “The man from whom the seed of copulation goeth out, shall wash all his body with water: and he shall be unclean until the evening. The garment or skin that he weareth, he shall wash with water, and it shall be unclean until the evening. The woman, with whom he copulateth, shall be washed with water, and shall be unclean until the evening. … If a man copulateth with her in the time of her flowers, he shall be unclean seven days: and every bed on which he shall sleep shall be defiled.”

Douay-Rheims Bible Commentary explains Leviticus 15: “These legal uncleannesses were instituted in order to give the people a horror of carnal impurities.”

As we can read from these verses from Holy Scripture, God describes even legal marital relations as a cause of defilement and impurity between husband and wife and ordains that both of them shall be considered as unclean on the day they had marital relations. Leviticus also prohibits the man from seeing his wife during her infertile monthly cycle, thus diminishing the temptations of both parties. “The woman, who at the return of the month, hath her issue of blood, shall be separated seven days.” (Leviticus 15:19)

However, one must not think that the marital act is evil or impure in and of itself from the moral viewpoint when it is performed for the sake of procreation, but rather that after the fall, the human will or intent almost always yields more or less to concupiscence and self-gratification. St. Augustine explain it thus: “I do not say that nuptial union that is, union for the purpose [or motive] of procreating is evil [or sinful], but even say it is good. But…If men were subject to the evil of lust to such an extent that if the honesty of marriage were removed [such as in the case of most men and women today], all of them would have intercourse indiscriminately [by unnatural and excessively lustful sexual acts], in the manner of dogs...” (Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 7:16, A.D. 421)

The only couple who performed the marital act without this curse of concupiscence was the parents of Our Blessed Lady at the time they conceived Her, since Our Lord supernaturally protected them from feeling any concupiscence so that they would not be able to transmit the original sin to Our Lady, who would become the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why Mary was conceived free from original sin from the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother. Every child would have been born without original sin if Adam and Eve had not sinned. From this we can understand that it is very important for parents to fight against the search for self-gratification in order to draw down abundant blessings and graces from Heaven to themselves and their children.

The Natural Law

The Natural Law is the law that every person knows by instinct from birth. It is planted by the Creator in our heart, and everyone – even pagans who have never heard about God or the true Catholic religion – receives this gift from God. Examples of sins against the Natural Law that are easy to recognize are: murder, rape, theft, pedophilia, slander and lying. The conscience always convicts a person who commits such sins and thus, there can never be an excuse for people who commit them. As the Haydock Bible and Commentary correctly explains about The Natural Law and Romans 2:14-16: “these men are a law to themselves, and have it written in their hearts, as to the existence of a God, and their reason tells them, that many sins are unlawful...

The Natural Law that God has imprinted on every person’s heart teaches that some sexual acts, touches and kisses are inherently evil, unnecessary, selfish, unnatural, and shameful, while others are not. Some people, however, have hardened themselves in their sins and do not heed this warning or reproach from their conscience. But this is their own fault since they have rejected God and smothered their God given conscience through deliberate sin. This is testified to in the Bible in the following verses: “And Pharaoh seeing that rest was given, hardened his own heart, and did not hear them, as the Lord had commanded. … And the magicians said to Pharaoh: This is the finger of God. And Pharaoh heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had commanded. … And Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, so that neither this time would he let the people go.” (Exodus 8:15,19,32)

The description of a sinner “hardening” himself through sin that the Holy Scripture and spiritual writers often use to describe such people is indeed a most perfect description for this process of a sinner’s evolution in wickedness. Indeed, the more a man is of bad will, the less will also his conscience rebuke him for his sinful activities, so that a person hardened in habitual sins will many times totally cease to hear the rebuke of his God given conscience.

Then there is the matter that sexual arousal feels good. We tend to not only repeat the things that make us feel good, we often look to prolong the feeling. The problem is that repeated exposure dulls our sensitivity. It takes longer exposure or new things to fan the flames again. If you have ever ridden a roller coaster, you know the first ride is a major thrill; but part of the thrill comes from not knowing what to expect. Hence, after repeated rides, the roller coaster becomes mundane. It hasn’t changed, but we become calloused to its thrills. That is why people search out new roller coasters to ride. When people chase after sexual thrills, one of the things that lends excitement to the act is the newness of the feelings. But after a while, you will know just what to expect but you want those feelings you had when it was new. Hence, you engage in it longer or you go further toward intercourse because it adds new dimensions that you haven’t experienced before. Just because you haven’t gone too far in the past doesn’t mean you won’t gradually creep up to too far in the future. This is why it is absolutely imperative for married spouses to never allow their lusts or desires to gain control over their wills, and why they must be obedient to the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible which tells spouses to practice chastity from time to time in order to be better disposed for prayer and other spiritual works. In truth, when we indulge our sensual appetites, we forge and make our own chains, binding ourselves to the World, the Devil and Hell. “Out of a forward will lust had sprung; and lust pampered had become custom; and custom indulged had become necessity. These were the links of the chain; this is the bondage in which I was bound.” (Confessions of Augustine, Book VIII, Chapter V)

It is of course necessary for salvation that all men should strive to conform to the divine and natural plan, “and since man cannot hold in check his passions, unless he first subject himself to God, this must be his primary endeavor, in accordance with the plan divinely ordained.” And how this is to be done in marriage, Pope Pius XI explains, is by restraining the unlawful, “unbridled lust, which indeed is the most potent cause of sinning against the sacred laws of matrimony.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 96-100), Dec. 31, 1930: “In order, therefore, to restore due order in this matter of marriage, it is necessary that all should bear in mind what is the divine plan and strive to conform to it. Wherefore, since the chief obstacle to this study is the power of unbridled lust, which indeed is the most potent cause of sinning against the sacred laws of matrimony, and since man cannot hold in check his passions, unless he first subject himself to God, this must be his primary endeavor, in accordance with the plan divinely ordained. For it is a sacred ordinance that whoever shall have first subjected himself to God will, by the aid of divine grace, be glad to subject to himself his own passions and concupiscence; while he who is a rebel against God will, to his sorrow, experience within himself the violent rebellion of his worst passions.

And how wisely this has been decreed St. Augustine thus shows: "This indeed is fitting, that the lower be subject to the higher, so that he who would have subject to himself whatever is below him, should himself submit to whatever is above him. Acknowledge order, seek peace. Be thou subject to God, and thy flesh subject to thee. What more fitting! What more fair! Thou art subject to the higher and the lower is subject to thee. Do thou serve Him who made thee, so that that which was made for thee may serve thee. For we do not commend this order, namely, ‘The flesh to thee and thou to God,’ but ‘Thou to God, and the flesh to thee.’ If, however, thou despisest the subjection of thyself to God, thou shalt never bring about the subjection of the flesh to thyself. If thou dost not obey the Lord, thou shalt be tormented by thy servant."

This right ordering on the part of God’s wisdom is mentioned by the holy Doctor of the Gentiles [St. Paul], inspired by the Holy Ghost, for in speaking of those ancient philosophers who refused to adore and reverence Him whom they knew to be the Creator of the universe, he says: "Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies among themselves;" and again: "For this same God delivered them up to shameful affections." And St. James says: "God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble," without which grace, as the same Doctor of the Gentiles reminds us, man cannot subdue the rebellion of his flesh.

Consequently, as the onslaughts of these uncontrolled passions cannot in any way be lessened, unless the spirit first shows a humble compliance of duty and reverence towards its Maker, it is above all and before all needful that those who are joined in the bond of sacred wedlock should be wholly imbued with a profound and genuine sense of duty towards God, which will shape their whole lives, and fill their minds and wills with a very deep reverence for the majesty of God. Quite fittingly, therefore, and quite in accordance with the defined norm of Christian sentiment, do those pastors of souls act who, to prevent married people from failing in the observance of God’s law, urge them to perform their duty and exercise their religion so that they should give themselves to God, continually ask for His divine assistance, frequent the sacraments, and always nourish and preserve a loyal and thoroughly sincere devotion to God.”

St. Paul teaches us of God’s purpose on marriage and sexuality, saying: “May marriage be honorable in all, and may the bed be undefiled. For God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4) Haydock Commentary explains this teaching of God in the Holy Bible: “Or, let marriage be honorable in all. That is, in all things belonging to the marriage state. This is a warning to married people, not to abuse the sanctity of their state, by any liberties or irregularities contrary thereunto. (Challoner) --- As marriage is a great sacrament, (Ephesians 5) married persons should be careful to honor and respect it, by chaste and prudent behavior; (see 1st Peter 3, and 1st Thessalonians 4) but it too often happens that by criminal incontinence they change a great sacrament into a great sacrilege.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication; That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor: Not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God… because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification.”

No good Christian can doubt that all selfish, unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts must be totally excluded from a marriage that is “honorable in all” that the apostle spoke about, and that all selfish, immoderate or unnatural sexual acts “that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.” (Ephesians 5:12)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10,15-20 “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. … [Know you not that] the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Now God hath both raised up the Lord, and will raise us up also by his power. Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. Or know you not, that he who is joined to a harlot, is made one body? For they shall be, saith he, two in one flesh. But he who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit. Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.”

Haydock Commentary explains: “Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ....and the temple of the Holy Ghost. Man consists of soul and body; by baptism he is made a member of that same mystical body, the Church, of which Christ is the head: In baptism both the soul and body are consecrated to God: they are made the temple of the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as the spirit and grace of God inhabits in men, who are sanctified. Christ redeemed both our souls and bodies, both which he designs to sanctify, and to glorify hereafter in heaven; so that we must look upon both body and soul as belonging to Christ, and not as our own. --- Shall I, then, taking the members of Christ, make them the members of an harlot, by a shameful and unlawful commerce? --- Such sins are chiefly to be avoided by flight, and by avoiding the occasions and temptations. Other sins are not committed by such an injury done to the body, but by an abuse of something else, that is different from the body, but by fornication and sins of uncleanness, the body itself is defiled and dishonored, whereas the body ought to be considered as if it were not our own, being redeemed by our Savior Christ, consecrated to him, with an expectation of a happy resurrection, and of being glorified in heaven. Endeavor, therefore, to glorify God in your body, by employing it in his service, and bear him in your body by being obedient to his will. (Witham) --- We know and we believe that we carry about Jesus Christ in our bodies, but it is the shame and condemnation of a Christian to live as if he neither knew or believed it. … Whoever yields to impurity, converts his body into the temple of Satan, glorifies and carries him about, tearing away the members of Jesus Christ, to make them the members of a harlot.”

Sacred Scripture uses the term fornication in a more general sense that encompasses all sinful sexual acts. The argument is that God is Holy and that we also must be holy. “Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) The body of each and every Christian is a part of Christ, and is a Temple of the Holy Spirit. We are joined to the Lord with a unity of heart and mind that makes us one in spirit with our Savior, who is God Incarnate, who Himself has a human body and soul. Therefore our bodies, as well as our souls, should be treated as a holy means to glorify God. This understanding of the body is incompatible with the use of the body for mere sexual pleasure or mutual sexual gratification, in any situation, even within marriage, and is directly contrary to the Divine and Natural Law.

Unnatural, immoderate and non-procreative sexual acts within marriage are in fundamental conflict with this call from Scripture to “be holy” and to avoid all sexual sins because the body is a part of the body of Christ and is a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Did Christ teach His disciples to commit such acts within marriage? If you think so, then you do not know Christ. Would the Holy Spirit guide a married couple to commit such acts within the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which is bestowed on the couple by the Holy Spirit? If you think so, then you understand neither the Spirit nor the holiness of the Sacraments. You have been bought at the great price of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Do not sin against Christ, the Natural Law and against the Sacrament of Marriage by committing unnatural or excessive lustful sexual acts.

The entire moral law is found implicitly in the single act of Jesus Christ dying on the Cross for our salvation. Look at a crucifix and consider the self-sacrifice and selfless love with which Christ lived and died for you. Do you really think that, within the Sacrament of Marriage established by this same Savior, Christ would permit unnatural, shameful or immoderate sexual acts of any kind, at any time, under any conditions whatsoever? Are such sexual acts compatible with the pure, holy, selfless, self-sacrificing love, which encompasses the entire moral law as well as our salvation? Certainly not.

Putting forward the question concerning sexual pleasure and the Natural Law: “Can a husband use his wife only for delight or principally for delight”, St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) shows us a response or defense that lustful and wicked husbands commonly use in order to excuse their sexual sins, saying: “Why can’t I take delight in my own goods and my own wife?” St. Bernadine, however, answers the wicked man that the wife is not the husband’s but God’s and that it is a sin (by implication mortal sin) to have sexual intercourse too frequently, with inordinate affection, or with dissipation of one’s strength.

So contrary to what most deceived people think today, spouses are not married or given to each other to live out, increase or excite their shameful, sexual perversions, but they are married for the purpose of chastity, procreation and honorable companionship, and for the honor and glory of Our Lord: “For she was espoused to her husband to be his partner in life, and for the procreation of children, not for the purposes of indecency and laughter; that she might keep the house, and instruct him also to be grave, not that she might supply to him the fuel of fornication.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Homily V, 1 Thessalonians iv. 1-8, Ver. 8)

All the Saints in the 2000 year history of the Catholic Church as well as the Catholic Magisterium of the Popes (as we have seen), taught that the seeking of pleasure only in natural intercourse, as well as seeking pleasure in unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts, was a selfish insult to God, the “Supreme Lord of our body” and an abuse of the generative power (and thus an abuse of the natural law) in the private parts: “As the Apostle says (1 Cor. 6:20) in speaking against lust, ‘You are bought with a great price: glorify and bear God in your body.’ Wherefore by inordinately using the body through lust a man wrongs God Who is the Supreme Lord of our body. Hence Augustine says (De Decem. Chord. 10 [Serm. ix (xcvi de Temp.)]): ‘God Who thus governs His servants for their good, not for His, made this order and commandment, lest unlawful pleasures should destroy His temple which thou hast begun to be.’” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I:II, q. 153, art. 3, obj. 2)

In truth,If it is a sin for a man to be intimate with his wife except through a desire for children, what can men think or what hope can they promise themselves, if being married, they commit adultery? By this means they descend to the depths of hell, refusing to hear the Apostle when he says: ‘The time is short; it remains that those who have wives be as if they had none’; [1 Cor. 7:29] and: ‘every one of you learn how to possess his vessel in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who have no hope.’ [1 Thess. 4:4,5,12]” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 42:4, c. 470-543 A.D.)

Nature teaches us that the sexual act is shameful

It is very easy to prove that the marital act is shameful. For no one (if not totally depraved) would have sex in front of their children, friends or parents. Neither would they want people to talk openly about their sex life. They would rather die than allow themselves to be seen or heard in this way. If a person walked in on them during the act or if someone openly talked about their sex life, they would wish to sink through the floor through shame. But how is it that they refuse to feel any shame if no human person other than their spouse is present? Is God not present with them? Does God not see their every thought as well as their deeds? Of course He does! He sees everything!

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 41, Art. 3, Reply to Objection 3: “The shamefulness of concupiscence that always accompanies the marital act is a shamefulness not of guilt [if no sin is committed of course], but of punishment inflicted for the first sin, inasmuch as the lower powers and the members do not obey reason.”

Someone might say that it is the sexual member that is shameful or evil to expose to others and not concupiscence or the sexual lust. But this argument is easily refuted and false since no one who is not a complete pervert would have sex in front of other people even though their whole body were covered by sheets of blankets. Even those people who are not complete perverts would never kiss each other for the sake of venereal pleasure if other people were in their vicinity, and this is true even though they have all of their clothes on. This proves to us that it is the sexual pleasure that is shameful, and not only the exhibition of the sexual organs. For, as Augustine remarks: “whenever this process is approached, secrecy is sought, witnesses removed, and even the presence of the very children which happen to be born of the process is avoided as soon as they reach the age of observation.” (Book II, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Chapter 42)

All couples that sin during sexual relations have clearly suppressed the natural feeling of shame in their hearts and shut God out from themselves and closed their conscience in order to enjoy their sinful and filthy deed to the fullest. If an acknowledgment would be made by the spouses that God is present with them before having marital relations and while having it, this thought that God is present would hinder them in their concupiscence and keep them from sinning. Most couples, however, want to sin or do something immoral and unlawful against God and their conscience before, during or after marital relations; and because of this, they choose to forget about God and the natural shame that normally accompany the sexual act.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art 4: “I answer that, As stated above (Objection 2), "pudicitia" [purity] takes its name from "pudor," which signifies shame. Hence purity must needs be properly about the things of which man is most ashamed. Now men are most ashamed of venereal acts, as Augustine remarks (De Civ. Dei xiv, 18), so much so that even the conjugal act, which is adorned by the honesty [Cf. Q. 145] of marriage, is not devoid of shame: and this because the movement of the organs of generation is not subject to the command of reason, as are the movements of the other external members. Now man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof, as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. ii, 6).”

According to St. Thomas, normal spouses are thoroughly ashamed from simply committing the act. But not only from committing the act, but also from thinking about committing the act and from “all the signs thereof.” This natural shame could only occur or be retained if people do not live lustful lives or have sex often.

Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 27 (c. 203 A.D.): “Nature should be to us an object of reverence, not of blushes. It is lust, not natural usage, which has brought shame on the intercourse of the sexes. It is the excess, not the normal state, which is immodest and unchaste: the normal condition has received a blessing from God, and is blessed by Him: “Be fruitful, and multiply, (and replenish the earth.)” [Genesis 1:28] Excess, however, has He cursed, in adulteries, and wantonness [that is, sexually lawless or unrestrained, loose, lascivious, lewd and wanton behavior], and chambering [wantonness, impurity].”

A good sign that a couple is living in sexual sin is that the natural shame that is inherent in the marital act have been extinguished partly or completely. The evidence for this is that St. Thomas explains to us that there is a “shamefulness of concupiscence that always accompanies the marriage act”. Because of this, all those who have ceased to experience this shame that is natural and inherent in the marital act, should seriously pray to God that he may heal them and help them regain this shame that is so good and helpful in reproving peoples’ consciences against committing sexual sins.

For most people, this process of smothering their shame and God-given conscience does not happen immediately overnight but slowly over time as they progress and evolve in wickedness by committing acts that are unlawful and unnecessary. Not only those who commit perverted sexual acts will experience a decrease in the natural shame, but also those who have sex too often and who overindulge in it.

Tobias 6:16-17 Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

In contrast to the wicked described above, the godly who have not shut God out from themselves and their hearts clearly understand in their conscience that God will approve of them if they do what is lawful and that He will disapprove of them if they do something unlawful. That is why only the ungodly (who have repressed the natural thought of God’s presence) could ever fall into grievous mortal sins such as striptease, dressing sensual or masturbation. The godly couple who fears God and who has the thought of that God is present with them would never do such things, for they would feel guilt and be thoroughly ashamed of committing such acts as the ungodly do; because they understand that God sees them and that He is present with them. Since the godly couple are not selfish pleasure seekers, the natural feeling of shame for any deviation from what is inherent in the marital act will always be there and help them to keep them from sinning. “Do not, I pray, put off modesty at the same time that you put off your clothes; because it is never right for the just man to divest himself of continence.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X)

Ask yourself, dear reader, has the thought of God or that He is present with you ever even entered your mind or heart when you are having marital relations? If not, then what sinful act or inordinate love of pleasure kept the thought of God away from you? By asking these questions, one will quickly learn what deeds and inordinate pleasures must be avoided and controlled, and what deeds should be kept during marital relations.

St. Augustine, On the Shame of Nakedness (c. 420 A.D.): “This kind of shame—this necessity of blushing—is certainly born with every man, and in some measure is commanded by the very laws of nature; so that, in this matter, even virtuous married people are ashamed. Nor can any one go to such an extreme of evil and disgrace, as, because he knows God to be the author of nature and the ordainer of marriage, to have intercourse even with his wife in any one’s sight, or not to blush at those impulses and seek secrecy, where he can shun the sight not only of strangers, but even of all his own relatives. Therefore let human nature be permitted to acknowledge the evil that happens to it by its own fault, lest it should be compelled either not to blush at its own impulses, which is most shameless, or else to blush at the work of its Creator, which is most ungrateful. Of this evil, nevertheless, virtuous marriage makes good use for the sake of the benefit of the begetting of children. But to consent to lust for the sake of carnal pleasure alone is sin...” (St. Augustine, Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Book I, Chapter 33)

There are some more facets of this topic of shame that everyone should consider. Spouses do naturally hate to even think that their respective other could commit adultery with another person. They naturally hate it. Likewise, parents naturally feel a revulsion or aversion thinking about the fact that their children will have marital relations, especially fathers for their daughters. Everyone knows by natural instinct that the marital act plucks the innocence from people and that it is shameful. And so, parents do not like to think on this topic. But while they feel a revulsion for this topic, they feel no shame in lusting after their own spouse or after other people that they are not married with, which of course is someone else’s daughter or son too. Every person on the face of this earth is the earthly or fleshly child of God. God created both their souls as well as their bodies. Everyone knows by natural instinct that the sexual act is shameful in its essence, and that is why they cannot stand the thought that their spouse is committing adultery or that their children are having or will have marital relations.

From this we can learn how God – who has planted this revulsion in the parents for the sexual act – wished to teach the parents how they should act in their own life. Do unto others as you would have others do to you was the saying of our Lord! All husbands and wives knows that their spouse has a father and mother who thinks about them in the same protective way that they think about their own children, and yet, these parents feel no shame in themselves when seeking sexual pleasure with their own spouse or with others. But as soon as their own spouse or child is implicated in the thought process, then there immediately arises a sense of incredible shame and disgust. This shame is only natural and good. However, the sad part is that the spouses have repressed the thought that the marital act is shameful with respect to themselves too, while acknowledging this natural fact when it concerns others.

The undeniable truth is that a man by his very nature is ashamed of sexual lust. And he is rightly ashamed because there is here involved an inward rebellion which is a standing proof of the penalty which man is paying for his original rebellion against God. For, lust is a usurper, defying the power of the will and playing the tyrant with man’s sexual organs. It is here that man’s punishment particularly and most properly appears, because these are the organs by which that nature is reproduced which was so changed for the worse by its first great sin—that sin from whose evil connection no one can escape, unless God’s grace expiate in him individually that which was perpetrated to the destruction of all in common, when all were in one man, and which was avenged by God’s justice.” (St. Augustine, The City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 20, c. 426 A.D.)

Parents certainly would not like that their child were thought upon in a shameful, sexual or lustful way by other individuals, and both fathers and mothers are naturally endowed with the dislike of this, and yet, they refuse to acknowledge that the object of their own sexual desires is also a child to other parents, who thinks in the exact same way that their children do not deserve to be thought of in a sexual or lustful way. By this rejection of what they know is true and natural, the Devil is allowed to lead them into committing more and more perverted sexual sins as they evolve in wickedness. Indeed, spouses who try to suppress their shame will almost always fall into graver sexual sins of various kinds.

St. Augustine, writing on the evil of lust in marriage, says that it ought not to be ascribed to marriage, and that when “marriage blushes for shame [this] is not the fault of marriage, but of the lust of the flesh”: “The evil [of lust], however, at which even marriage blushes for shame is not the fault of marriage, but of the lust of the flesh. Yet because without this evil it is impossible to effect the good purpose of marriage, even the procreation of children, whenever this process is approached, secrecy is sought, witnesses removed, and even the presence of the very children which happen to be born of the process is avoided as soon as they reach the age of observation. Thus it comes to pass that marriage is permitted to effect all that is lawful in its state, only it must not forget to conceal all that is improper. Hence it follows that infants, although incapable of sinning, are yet not born without the contagion of sin, not, indeed, because of what is lawful, but on account of that which is unseemly: for from what is lawful nature is born; from what is unseemly, sin. Of the nature so born, God is the Author, who created man, and who united male and female under the nuptial law; but of the sin the author is the subtlety of the devil who deceives, and the will of the man who consents.” (On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 42, A.D. 418)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book II, Chapter 37, A.D. 420: “Show me, he [the Manichean heretic] says, any bodily marriage without sexual connection. I do not show him any bodily marriage without sexual connection; but then, neither does he show me any case of sexual connection which is without shame. In Paradise, however, if sin had not preceded, there would not have been, indeed, generation without union of the sexes, but this union would certainly have been without shame; for in the sexual union there would have been a quiet acquiescence of the members, not a lust of the flesh productive of shame.”

The intention of the spouses performing the sexual act defines the moral goodness or evilness of the act

Someone might ask: “Then how is one going to make children since the act is shameful in its essence?” I answer that, when the act is done not for self-gratification but for a pure love of God and of children — then there is no sin committed by the spouses.

It is the intention behind the external deed of sexual intercourse that determines the sinfulness or goodness of the act. However, as with all things that are extremely pleasurable, the risk of becoming a slave under this sensual delight is very great, actually bigger than most things that exist on this Earth. It is no sin for the spouses to experience sensual pleasure in the flesh during the marital act (since this is a natural effect of the deed). The sin rather lies in the will or intent that resolves to love or cherish this sexual pleasure that is earthly and fleeting. The Holy Bible is clear that covetousness is a sin of idolatry. That is why all couples who cherish or love sexual pleasure, and unlawful and unnecessary sexual acts, in truth are fittingly and rightly described as idolaters.

Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.

Ephesians 5:3-5 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

The Haydock Bible Commentary explains Ephesians 5:3-5:

Ver. 3. Covetousness. The Latin word is generally taken for a coveting or immoderate desire of money and riches. St. Jerome and others observe, that the Greek word in this and divers other places in the New Testament may signify any unsatiable desire, or the lusts of sensual pleasures; and on this account, St. Jerome thinks that it is here joined with fornication and uncleanness [i.e., sexual sins]. --- Ver. 5. Nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols. It is clear enough by the Greek that the covetous man is called an idolater, whose idol is mammon; though it may be also said of other sinners, that the vices they are addicted to are their idols. (Witham)”

The Haydock Bible Commentary explains Colossians 3:5:

Your members,...fornication, uncleanness, &c. He considers man’s body as made up of sins and sinful inclinations. (Witham) --- It is not to bring back Judaism we practice abstinences and fasts, nor with the same motive as the Jews, but to accomplish the precepts of mortifying the irregular desires of the flesh among which gluttony must find a place. In a mortified body sensuality is more easily subdued. (Haydock)”

Whenever the human will decides to seek the enhancement of sexual pleasure (or of any other unreasonable pleasure, such as “eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only”), God sees that His creation loves an idol of sorts. It becomes a kind of idolatry of corruptible flesh the moment spouses perform the marital act for the sake of self-gratification instead of for the love of God and love of children. The sin when having marital relations lies in the thought and action that seeks to do more than what is necessary or permitted for conception to occur. Sin will always be decided in the intent, but too few people seem to understand this truth today. Thus it is the will, thought or intent to enjoy, love, and as it were, worship this sexual pleasure, that makes it sinful.

This can be proven by an example. Consider how a man that is sick and suffers much pain is allowed by divine permission and justice to take morphine or other painkillers since he is in need of them. His reason when taking these drugs is not self-gratification but the alleviation of the pain that he experiences. This example could be likened with lawful marital relations, which is permitted and non-sinful as long as the spouses have intercourse for a just and reasonable cause.

However, whenever the sick person mentioned above would have become well and yet continued to use morphine or other painkillers without any need to do so – and for the mere sake of getting high and for pleasure – he would have committed the sin of drug abuse. His just reason for using the painkiller became unjust the very moment he became well and did not need to use it anymore. The same can be said about a couple who is having sex often and without a just cause. For just as drug addicts fool themselves into believing that they cannot live without the intake of the drugs they are addicted to — so too do many couples deceive themselves into believing that they need to have sex often and that they cannot live in any other way, claiming that they need their sexual fix just as the drug addict would.

Spouses should hate, despise and fight against the sexual pleasure according to the teaching of the Holy Bible and the Saints

From the beginning, the Holy Bible, the Church, and all Her Saints taught all people, whether married or unmarried, that the best thing to do is to hate and despise the sexual pleasure, since by this virtuous act, all people, and especially the married, would be better able to control and resist the sexual pleasure and concupiscence so as to become victorious over the flesh rather than being defeated by its desires and vices.

This is also exactly how Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible wants us to view the sexual pleasure, since it is a higher call to live for the Spirit than for our own selfish desires: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, [children] in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (The Holy Bible, Tobias 8:9)

This teaching of God in the Holy Bible is of course also taught in the New Testament Bible of Our Lord Jesus Christ, teaching us that “it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you to be without solicitude.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-32)

In truth, there are “many [virtuous and chaste people who] in humility and steadfastness persevere in their course [of virtue] to the end, and are saved. There are apparent diversities in these societies [of good Christians]; but one charity unites all who, from some necessity, in obedience to the apostle’s injunction, have their wives as if they had them not, and buy as if they bought not, and use this world as if they used it not.” (St. Augustine, Against Faustus, Book V, Section 9, A.D. 400)

Agreeing with the Holy Bible, St. Francis de Sales also stressed that making use of something, in this case the use of wives by their husbands, did not mean enjoying what one uses: “It is a great evil of man, says St. Augustine, to desire to enjoy the things which he should only use.” Accordingly, people “should enjoy spiritual things, and only use corporal, of which when the use is turned into enjoyment, our rational soul is also changed into a brutish and beastly soul.” (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to a Devout Life, Chapter XXXIX. Of The Sanctity Of The Marriage Bed)

Romans 8:1, 4-9, 12-13 “There is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh. … That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit. For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace. Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. And they who are in the flesh, cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. … Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.”

Haydock commentary explains Romans 8: “Ver. 5. &c. For they who are according to the flesh. That is, who live according to the false, vain, and deceitful maxims and customs of carnal men, which he also calls the prudence of the flesh: and this prudence he calls death, as leading men to eternal death. Such carnal men relish nothing else but such pleasures. But they who are and live according to the spirit, mind the things which are of the spirit, fix their hearts on the things that belong to God, and his service; and this wisdom of the spirit, in which they experience much greater pleasure, leads them to eternal life, and to eternal peace in the enjoyment of God. The false wisdom of the flesh is an enemy of God, cannot be subject to the law of God, because the maxims of the flesh, and of the world, are so opposite to those of the gospel, and to the doctrine of Christ. (Witham) --- They who are subject to the flesh, by having their affections fixed on the things of the flesh, that is, carnal men, whilst they are such, cannot please God: for this prudence of the flesh makes them the enemies of God. (Estius)”

The Church understood from the beginning that the inspired words in Holy Scripture, which teaches us that: “It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor. 7:1) meant that the sexual marital act was especially powerful in influencing a man or a woman to “walk according to the flesh” and thus fall into sins of the flesh and die spiritually. For it is written: “The soul that sinneth, the same shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

Carrying on the Apostolic Tradition from the beginning, St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) understood that St. Paul was advising the married to engage in the procreative act while renouncing the enjoyment of sexual pleasure. According to St. Clement, Paul speaks “not to those who chastely use marriage for procreation alone, but to those who were desiring to go beyond procreation, lest the adversary should arise a stormy blast and arouse desire for alien pleasures.” Thus, according to Clement’s treatise “On Marriage,” Satan is the source of a couple’s desire for sexual delight and “alien pleasures.” Furthermore, when Clement considered the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” he understood it as God’s commanding husbands to engage in intercourse “only for the purpose of begetting children.” St. Clement also pointed out that in all the Jewish scriptures there was not a single instance in which “one of the ancients approached a pregnant woman” and taught that the avoidance of sexual relations from the time one’s wife became pregnant to the time of the child’s weaning was “a law of nature given by God.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XI, Section 71, 72)

Being a champion of virtue and the highest moral perfection, St. Clement could thus safely assert that: “The human ideal of continence… teaches that one should fight desire and not be subservient to it so as to bring it to practical effect. But our [Christian] ideal is not to experience desire at all. Our aim is not that while a man feels desire he should get the better of it, but that he should be continent even respecting desire itself. This chastity cannot be attained in any other way except by God’s grace. That was why he said "Ask and it shall be given you."…Where there is light there is no darkness. But where there is inward desire, even if it goes no further than desire and is quiescent so far as bodily action is concerned, union takes place in thought with the object of desire, although that object is not present.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter VII, Section 57)

St. Clement’s divinely inspired teaching that echoes the teaching in the biblical books of Tobit and St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians clarifies the Scriptural truth that “we should do nothing from desire” which in fact is the most perfect and evangelical teaching that should influence and direct all our deeds on this earth. St. Clement of Alexandria writes, “Our will is to be directed only towards that which is necessary. For we are children not of desire but of will. A man who marries for the sake of begetting children must practice continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife, whom he ought to love, and so that he may beget children with a chaste and controlled will.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter VII, Section 58)

If those wondrous words of the Holy Spirit that “we should do nothing from desire” truly influences and directs all our actions and thoughts, the Devil would never be able to cast us down to Hell and eternal torment which all people deserve who live for the sake of the flesh instead of for the spirit. “For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.” (Romans 8:13) Indeed, St. Clement rejected as “vulgar and plebeian” any efforts to seek pleasure in the marital act. Although he praised the values of mutual assistance and support, he also held “that ‘voluptuous joy’ had no proper place in Christian life.” In sum, “Christian couples will never have intercourse simply because they enjoy it and each other; they must make love only to beget a child.” In truth, the man who marries should do so “for the sake of begetting children” while practicing “continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife” and begetting “children with a chaste and controlled will” for the glory of God. Thus, St. Clement and the rest of the Church understood the inherent danger in living after our sensual desires. (Cf. The Paedagogus or Instructor, Book II, Section 83; The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter VII, Section 58)

St. John Chrysostom, carrying on the apostolic tradition of despising our fleshly lusts and desires, writes that: “Our soul hath by nature the love of life, but it lies with us either to loose the bands of nature, and make this desire weak; or else to tighten them, and make the desire more tyrannous. For as we have the desire of sexual intercourse, but when we practice true wisdom we render the [sexual] desire weak, so also it falls out in the case of life; and as God hath annexed carnal desire to the generation of children, to maintain a succession among us, without however forbidding us from traveling the higher road of continence; so also He hath implanted in us the love of life, forbidding us from destroying ourselves, but not hindering our despising the present life.” (Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, Homily LXXXV, John xix. 16-38, Ver. 24)

St. Augustine also agreed with this, teaching that the “lover of the spiritual good” hates and neglects the pleasures of the flesh: “What lover of the spiritual good, who has married only for the sake of offspring, would not prefer if he could to propagate children without it [lust] or without its very great impulsion? I think, then, we ought to attribute to that life in Paradise, which was a far better life than this, whatever saintly spouses would prefer in this life, unless we can think of something better.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book IV, Chapter 13, Section 71, A.D. 421) “Thus a good Christian is found to love in one and the same woman the creature of God, whom he desires to be transformed and renewed [in Heaven]; but to hate the corruptible and mortal conjugal connection and carnal intercourse: i.e. to love in her what is characteristic of a human being, to hate what belongs to her as a wife. … It is necessary, therefore, that the disciple of Christ should hate these things which pass away, in those whom he desires along with himself to reach those things which shall for ever remain; and that he should the more hate these things in them, the more he loves themselves.” (St. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, Book 1, Chapter 15:41, c. 394 A.D.)

Indeed, “The chaste are not bound by a necessity to depravity, for they resist lust lest it compel them to commit unseemly acts; yet not even honorable procreation can exist without lust. In this way in chaste spouses there is both the voluntary, in the procreation of offspring; and the necessary, in lust. But honesty arises from unseemliness when chaste union accepts, but does not love, lust.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 9, Section 37)

Thus the conception of children is “the one alone worthy fruit…of the sexual intercourse.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 1) No other aspect of the marital act can be described as “worthy.” Therefore, when a husband engages in marital relations during those times when his wife is pregnant, nursing, or menstruating, the husband or the wife or both are seen as seeking the unworthy fruit of sexual pleasure: “There also are men incontinent to such a degree that they do not spare their wives even when pregnant. Therefore, whatever immodest, shameful, and sordid acts the married commit with each other are the sins of the married persons themselves, not the fault of marriage.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 5) St. Augustine with the rest of the Church always regarded marital intercourse as sinful whenever husband and wife “indulged” in marital intimacy without the intention to conceive a child. According to Augustine, there are two forms of marital intercourse, the necessary and the unnecessary. The only “necessary” marital intercourse is intercourse for begetting children. Such “intercourse for begetting is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage.” “Unnecessary” or blameworthy intercourse is simply lust: “But that which goes beyond this necessity, no longer follows reason, but lust.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 11)

Therefore, St. Augustine concluded that marital intercourse could be totally excluded from marriage without doing any harm to the marriage itself. Augustine found the three goods of marriage exemplified in the virginal marriage of Mary and Joseph: “This is why I said the full number of the three goods of marriage is found in what I declared by the Gospel was a marriage: ‘Faithfulness, because no adultery; offspring, our Lord Christ; and sacrament, because no divorce.’” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 10, Section 46)St. Augustine taught that engaging in intercourse with one’s spouse because of sexual need or desire occupied the bottom rung of the ladder of marital morality. This was a “sin” according to him. Higher up was intercourse to generate children, exemplifying the good use of the evil of concupiscence. Here there was no sin. Then came the top rung. Couples engaging in “angelic exercise” had “freedom from all sexual intercourse.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 8) It is thus clear that continence from all intercourse [within our without marriage] is certainly better than marital intercourse itself which takes place for the sake of begetting children.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 6, in "The Fathers Of The Church – A New Translation Volume 27")

According to the teaching of the Church, the good of offspring is expendable when the greatest good of avoiding marital intercourse is chosen. This is also why the Church and The Council of Trent infallibly teaches in Session 24, Canon 10 that it is “better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony”, which, as we have seen, is a restatement of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words in the Holy Bible (1 Corinthians 7). St. Augustine offered married couples striving for the “better and more blessed” way some suggestions for ridding the elements of sexual desire and sexual pleasure from their lives. He proposed that a person’s love of heavenly realities would develop in direct proportion to a person’s hatred of earthly realities. Since there would be no sexual intercourse in the next life, Augustine taught that the virtuous husband would do well to hate sexual union in this earthly life. Being a lover of virtue, the bishop of Hippo wanted the husband to “love” the spouse created by God while hating “the corruptible and mortal relationship and marital intercourse.” St. Augustine reiterated: “In other words, it is evident that he loves her insofar as she is a human being, but he hates her under the aspect of wifehood.” (St. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, Book I, Chapter 15, Section 40-42)

The idea of marriage as a partnership in which sexual tenderness played a role is totally absent from St. Augustine’s or any other of the Saints’ writings. This novel and heretical idea was completely unheard of in Christianity until impious and lustful heretics, like the members of Gnostic sects, tried to justify all kinds of abominable and vile sexual acts with or without a spouse. Indeed, the Church’s view on sexuality has been clear from the beginning, teaching us that both married and unmarried persons who love each other passionately or immoderately exceeds the bounds of moderation and heaps up the uncleanness of a more bestial intemperance.” (St. Augustine, On the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, in "The Fathers of the Church", 19, 28, 139)

Like the rest of the fathers, Augustine wanted a strict control over the act of marital intercourse “lest there be indulgence beyond what suffices for generating offspring.” St. Augustine himself had quite the experience of unlawful sexual indulgence and was well aware of the fact that sexual pleasure indulged in – and not restrained – holds us in bondage and is immensely powerful in taking over and control our soul: “Because of a perverse will was lust made; and lust indulged in became custom; and custom not resisted became necessity. By which links, as it were, joined together (whence I term it a “chain”), did a hard bondage hold me enthralled. Thus came I to understand, from my own experience, what I had read, how that ‘the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.’…‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death’ but Thy grace only, through Jesus Christ our Lord?” (The Confessions of Augustine, Book VIII, Chapter 5)

He added that marital chastity fights valiantly for and demanded an end to spousal intercourse when a wife was “no longer able to conceive on account of age” since nature itself teaches that it’s unnecessary to perform the marital act at this time. In sum, the only time marital intercourse was good and lawful was the one instance when the married couple used their marriage bed as a place to conceive a child:

It, [conjugal chastity] too, combats carnal concupiscence lest it exceed the proprieties of the marriage bed; it combats lest concupiscence break into the time agreed upon by the spouses for prayer. If this conjugal chastity possesses such great power and is so great gift from God that it does what the matrimonial code prescribes, it combats in even more valiant fashion in regard to the act of conjugal union, lest there be indulgence beyond what suffices for generating offspring. Such chastity abstains during menstruation and pregnancy, nor has it union with one no longer able to conceive on account of age. And the desire for union does not prevail, but ceases when there is no prospect of generation.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 21, Section 43)

It is thus clear that “Marriage is good, as long as sexual relations are for procreation and not for pleasure. … The law of nature recognizes the act of procreation: have relations with your wife only for the sake of procreation, and keep yourself from relations of pleasure.” (St. Athanasius the Great, Fragments on the Moral Life, Section 2)

St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:25: “It was thus [from duty] those holy men of former times, those men of God sought and wished for children. For this one end—the procreation of children—was their intercourse and union with their wives. It is for this reason that they were allowed to have a plurality of wives. For if immoderateness in these desires could be well-pleasing to God, it would have been as much allowed at that time for one woman to have many husbands, as one husband many wives. Why then had all chaste women no more than one husband, but one man had many wives, except that for one man to have many wives is a means to the multiplication of a family, whereas a woman would not give birth to more children, how many soever more husbands she might have. Wherefore, brethren, if our fathers’ union and intercourse with their wives, was for no other end but the procreation of children, it had been great matter of joy to them, if they could have had children without that intercourse, since for the sake of having them they descended to that intercourse only through duty, and did not rush into it through lust. So then was Joseph not a father because he had gotten a son without any lust of the flesh? God forbid that Christian chastity should entertain a thought, which even Jewish chastity entertained not! Love your wives then, but love them chastely. In your intercourse with them keep yourselves within the bounds necessary for the procreation of children. And inasmuch as you cannot otherwise have them, descend to it with regret. For this necessity is the punishment of that Adam from whom we are sprung. Let us not make a pride of our punishment. It is his punishment who because he was made mortal by sin, was condemned to bring forth only a mortal posterity. This punishment God has not withdrawn, that man might remember from what state he is called away, and to what state he is called, and might seek for that union, in which there can be no corruption.”

St. Augustine, in his work On Marriage and Concupiscence continues to explain the reason why all should despise and hate the concupiscence and sexual desire of the flesh:

But what in this action does it effect [sometimes even against our own will], unless it be its evil and shameful desires? For if these [evil lusts and desires] were good and lawful, the apostle would not forbid obedience to them, saying, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey the lusts thereof." [Rom. 6:12] He does not say, that you should have the lusts thereof, but that you should not obey the lusts thereof; in order that (as these desires are greater or less in different individuals, according as each shall have progressed in the renewal of the inner man) we may maintain the fight of holiness and chastity, for the purpose of withholding obedience to these [evil and shameful] lusts [caused by original sin]. Nevertheless, our wish ought to be nothing less than the nonexistence of these very desires [which war against the Spirit], even if the accomplishment of such a wish be not possible in the body of this death. This is the reason why the same apostle, in another passage, addressing us as if in his own person, gives us this instruction: "For what I would," says he, "that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." [Rom. 7:15] In a word, "I covet." For he was unwilling to do this, that he might be perfect on every side. "If, then, I do that which I would not," he goes on to say, "I consent unto the law that it is good." [Rom. 7:16] Because the law, too, wills not that which I also would not. For it wills not that I should have concupiscence, for it says, "Thou shall not covet;" and I am no less unwilling to cherish so evil a desire. In this, therefore, there is complete accord between the will of the law and my own will. But because he was unwilling to covet, and yet did covet, and for all that did not by any means obey this concupiscence so as to yield assent to it, he immediately adds these words: "Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me" [Rom. 7:17].” (On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 30.--The Evil Desires of Concupiscence; We Ought to Wish that They May Not Be, A.D. 419)

Finally, Athenagoras the Athenian in his A Plea for the Christians (c. 175 A.D.), writes on the elevated sexual morality of the Christians:

Therefore, having the hope of eternal life, we [Christians] despise the things of this life, even to the pleasures of the soul, each of us reckoning her his wife whom he has married according to the laws laid down by us, and that only for the purpose of having children. For as the husbandman throwing the seed into the ground awaits the harvest, not sowing more upon it, so to us the procreation of children is the measure of our indulgence in appetite. Nay, you would find many among us, both men and women, growing old unmarried, in hope of living in closer communion with God. But if the remaining in virginity and in the state of an eunuch brings nearer to God, while the indulgence of carnal thought and desire leads away from Him, in those cases in which we shun the thoughts, much more do we reject the deeds. For we bestow our attention, not on the study of words, but on the exhibition and teaching of actions,—that a person should either remain as he was born, or be content with one marriage...” (A Plea for the Christians, Chapter XXXIII)

A great and edifying example of how good and virtuous spouses should view the marital sexual act and sexual pleasure is like a man that is tied to a chair and drugged with heroin or other substances against his will. This man would not commit any sin or fault even though his body became incredibly high or intoxicated by the drug and his body enjoyed the pleasure to the fullest. This is because his will refused to accept the drug intake that was forced on him. Spouses should view the marital act in the exact same way. They should hate the pleasure that is included in the marital act with their will, while accepting that their body must experience a delight of sorts for conception to occur. Just like the man that was tied to the chair and drugged against his will, they should not be accepting of the dose of pleasure that is given them, even though their body experiences the pleasure.

Spouses should thus not accept the dose of pleasure that is given them as anything else than an evil and unwelcome product of the fall of Adam and Eve, and of original sin. Although their body will be experiencing the pleasure, their will and heart should be firmly set against it, without seeking after it.

Sexual pleasure is not love or a cause of holiness but a “tribulation of the flesh” that makes a person “divided” according to the Holy Bible

Today, there are many heretical people who argue that the marital act is holy in itself, and that it brings us closer to God. This, however, is a direct contradiction of Our Lord’s words in the Holy Scripture and the Natural Law which teaches us that such shall have tribulation of the flesh [that is, those who are married and perform the sexual act]” (1 Corinthians 7:28) and that the married life makes a person “divided”. Strangely enough, this heresy that extols the sexual experience as a way to achieve holiness or oneness with God is not new, since those people who teach this heresy today are in perfect agreement with a second century heretical Gnostic cult that opposed the early Christian Church by advocating participation in the sexual experience. While little is known about their liturgies, it seems that sexual orgasm was regarded as a means of revelation according to their teachings. These impious heretics were reported as making a parody of the Christian meal, the agape, which followed the celebration of the Eucharist. Deploring such activity, the holy Bishop St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 A.D.) noted that “they have impiously called by the name of communion any common sexual intercourse.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter IV, Section 27)

Indeed, “They [the heretics] maintain that one should gratify the lusts and passions, teaching that one must turn from sobriety to be incontinent. They set their hope on their private parts. [Phil. 3:19] Thus they shut themselves out of God’s kingdom and deprive themselves of enrollment as disciples, [Rev. 20:12, 15; 21:27] and under the name of knowledge, falsely so called, they have taken the road to outer darkness. [Matt. 8:12] "For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is holy, whatever is righteous, whatever is pure, whatever is attractive, whatever is well spoken of, whatever is virtuous, and whatever is praiseworthy, think on these things. And whatever you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, this do. And the God of peace shall be with you." [Phil. 4:8-9] And Peter in his epistle says the same: "So that your faith and hope may be in God, because you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth," [1 Peter 1:21] "as obedient children, not behaving after the fashion of the lusts in which in your ignorance you formerly indulged; but as he who has called you is holy, so also must you be holy in all your conduct; as it is written, 'Be ye holy for I am holy'" [1 Peter 1:14-16 (Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 20:7)].” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XVIII, Section 109-110)

Because of many false and heretical teachings, almost every spouse now equates love with lust. How to enjoy sex more with your husband or wife is all over the TV, radio, music, newspapers, and magazines. If one spouse does not sexually gratify the other, then the unsatisfied spouse cries out that the other spouse does not love him or her. How perverse this is and totally destructive to true love! How in the world can a shameful momentary sexual pleasure to the flesh be compared to true love—the love that spouses are supposed to have for one another, 24 hours a day and in every thought and deed of the day, even during hard times when they must suffer. And if one spouse cannot give sexual pleasure to the other for whatever reason, the non-satisfied spouse looks elsewhere to another man or woman or to an animal or inanimate object to get that sexual pleasure and so-called love that the inadequate spouse cannot give. How great indeed are the evils caused by spouses who indulge in sexual pleasure instead of fighting against it, instead of quieting it! Satan, indeed, has power over them to cause all kinds of trouble and sins in their life (Tobias 6:16-17, 22; 8:9). In truth, such spouses are like drug addicts that use each other to get their sexual “fix”. What a sick love they have: to equate sexual lust or concupiscence with love! Indeed, “Those who copulate not to procreate offspring but to satisfy lust seem to be not so much spouses as fornicators.” (Gratian, Decretum 2.32.2.1)

For instance, Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary never needed to perform the sexual act in order to foster their love for one another or in order to grow in holiness. And no married couple could ever have a greater love for one another than these two holiest Saints in Heaven! One must realize that the Holy Family was completely chaste for a purpose, to designate God’s goal for families—that is, to remain chaste as much as possible and only have relations with the intention of bearing children.

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 13, A.D. 419: “The entire good, therefore, of the nuptial institution was effected in the case of these parents of Christ [Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary]: there was offspring, there was faithfulness, there was the bond. As offspring, we recognize the Lord Jesus Himself… because He who was to be without sin, and was sent not in sinful flesh [sinful because of original sin], but in the likeness of sinful flesh, [Rom. 8:3] could not possibly have been made in sinful flesh itself without that shameful lust of the flesh which comes from [original] sin, and without which He willed to be born, in order that He might teach us, that every one who is born of sexual intercourse is in fact sinful flesh [but made pure through baptism], since that alone which was not born of such intercourse was not sinful flesh. Nevertheless conjugal intercourse is not in itself sin, when it is had with the intention of producing children; because the mind’s good-will leads the ensuing bodily pleasure, instead of following its lead [that is, the sexual act is no sin when spouses spouses perform the normal, natural and procreative marital act while also directly desiring the procreation of children before the marital act]; and the human choice is not distracted by the yoke of [original] sin pressing upon it, inasmuch as the blow of the sin [of concupiscence] is rightly brought back to the purposes of procreation.”

St. Aquinas made some astute observations on the nature of the love of friendship. “Perfect love,” wrote Aquinas, “is that whereby a man is loved in himself, as when someone wishes a person some good for his own sake; thus a man loves his friend. Imperfect love is that whereby a man love something, not for its own sake, but that he may obtain that good for himself; thus a man loves what he desires.” (Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I:II, q. 17, art. 8) Therefore, St. Thomas divided love into two categories, the love of friendship, which was pure and the true kind of love, and the love of fleshly desire or concupiscence, which was an impure, selfish and false kind of love. And so, a good husband and wife “must love each other not as adulterers love, but as Christ loved the Church.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, #23)

So why has sex become equated with “love”? Because it tends to pleasure and appease man’s senses. That’s why. But this is a dangerous love and not a true love for it is only an external form of love based on a pleasurable, intimate act—and one cannot truly foster a true love for one another based on one act that is often violent and bestial in nature. Many people, for example, have sex often but they don’t truly love one another because of it as one would think they should do if sex now really was an expression of love; hence that the majority of couples today are divorcing, committing adultery or fornicating or entering second sinful unions that are not marriages. They do not really love one another but rather only love the other person in so far as he or she can fulfill their pleasures in life. “Men shall be lovers of themselves... and lovers of pleasures more than of God.” (2 Timothy 3:4)

St. Augustine rightly points out that true love is not founded on selfishness but on a love for the person—an inherent truth about love that is found in the Natural Law—which sadly is something that most people totally lack today since almost all are selfish pleasure-seekers: “I shall win my point that the love of the world by which a man is a friend of this world is not from God, and that the love of enjoying any creature whatsoever without love of the Creator is not from God; but the love of God which leads one to God is only from God the Father through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit. Through this love of the Creator everyone uses even creatures well. Without this love of the Creator no one uses any creature well. This love is needed so that conjugal modesty may also be a beatific good; and that the intention in carnal union is not the pleasure of lust but the desire for offspring.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book IV, Chapter 3, Section 33, A.D. 421)

In contrast to the selfish pleasure-seekers mentioned above, other people might have sex more seldom or never and yet show true love to one another in other ways, such as through appreciation, affection and self-sacrifice, and by doing things together or by being intimate and caring in other ways. This is true love because this love is not centered on self-love or self-gratification that the worldly and impure couple seek after. This true love is sadly never found amongst the worldly people who equates true love with self-gratification. That is why they can go and abort their babies as if they were trash since having children doesn’t fit their sinful lifestyle; and why they can commit adultery and be unfaithful or abusive and dishonest etc., for their love is not centered on real love that seek to please others, but is self-centered and selfish in nature. When Pope Pius XI speaks of charity, it is not charity “founded on a mere carnal and transitory desire nor does it consist in pleasing words only, but it is a deep-seated devotion of the heart” and a love free from selfishness.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 23), Dec. 31, 1930: “This conjugal faith, however, which is most aptly called by St. Augustine the "faith of chastity" blooms more freely, more beautifully and more nobly, when it is rooted in that more excellent soil, the love of husband and wife which pervades all the duties of married life and holds pride of place in Christian marriage. For matrimonial faith demands that husband and wife be joined in an especially holy and pure love, not as adulterers love each other, but as Christ loved the Church. This precept the Apostle laid down when he said: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the Church," [Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19] that Church which of a truth He embraced with a boundless love not for the sake of His own advantage, but seeking only the good of His Spouse. The love, then, of which We are speaking is not that based on the passing lust of the moment nor does it consist in pleasing words only, but in the deep attachment of the heart which is expressed in action, since love is proved by deeds. This outward expression of love in the home demands not only mutual help but must go further; must have as its primary purpose that man and wife help each other day by day in forming and perfecting themselves in the interior life, so that through their partnership in life they may advance ever more and more in virtue, and above all that they may grow in true love toward God and their neighbor, on which indeed "dependeth the whole Law and the Prophets." [Matt. 22:40] For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God’s grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints.”

Love is a constant theme in modern culture. Modern music, cinema, newspapers, radio, and television constantly assault our senses with stories and features about love. Unfortunately, the attributes of authentic human love, that is, the values of fidelity, exclusiveness, dependability, stability, childbearing, the establishing of a nuclear family and love of children are downgraded, while the values of sexual compatibility, amorous passion, and emotional ecstasy are given special attention. In modern parlance, the term “making love” has come to mean having sexual intercourse, and its value is measured solely in terms of erotic intensity and sexual climax. This understanding of “lovemaking” makes no attempt to characterize sexual intercourse as an expression of genuine love of God and of children. It completely ignores the fact that the only primary purpose of the marital act is the procreation of children. Contemporary society has, in essence, separated love from sex, thus creating a chasm of moral ambiguity from which emerges a plethora of disordered sexual desires and carnal appetites.

Hence, Saint Augustine rightly remarks, “Evil [sexual] union is the work of the men operating evilly from their good members. The condition of the newborn is the work of God operating well from evil men. If you say that, even when there is adultery, the union is good in itself, since it is natural, but adulterers use it evilly, why will you not acknowledge that in the same way lust can be evil, yet the married may nevertheless use it well for the purpose of begetting children? Will you assert there can be evil use of good, but there cannot be good use of evil? We see how well the Apostle used Satan himself, when he delivered a man over to him for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord, and when he delivered others up to him that they might learn not to blaspheme [1 Cor. 5:5].” (Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 7, Section 16, A.D. 421)

Pope Gregory XVI, in his encyclical “Mirari Vos” that condemned all forms of liberalism as well as religious indifferentism, firmly rejected this kind of lustful and selfish pseudo-marriage that so many in today’s world enter into, and directed all the faithful to hold fast to the teaching of the Church:

Recalling that matrimony is a sacrament and therefore subject to the Church, let them consider and observe the laws of the Church concerning it. Let them take care lest for any reason they permit that which is an obstruction to the teachings of the canons and the decrees of the councils. They should be aware that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon contrary to the discipline of the Church or without God’s favor or because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it [that is, the procreation and education of children, faithfulness, and mutual love and help].” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos #12, Aug. 15, 1832)

But why does he say this? Because all those kinds of selfish, lustful and impious “marriages” devoid of God mentioned above in effect are nothing but fornication in disguise of a marriage. “It seems evident that a woman taken merely to have sex is not a wife, because God instituted marriage for propagation, not merely for satisfying lust. For the nuptial blessing [in Gen. 1:28] is, "Increase and multiply."… It is shameful for a woman when her marriage bears no fruit, for this alone is the reason for marrying… bearing children is the fruit of marriage and the blessing of matrimony is without doubt the reason that Mary’s virginity defeated the Prince of this World. Thus anyone who joins himself to another, not for the sake of procreating offspring, but rather to satisfy lust is less a spouse than a fornicator. … As no congregation of heretics can be called a Church of Christ because they do not have Christ as their head, so no matrimony, where one has not joined her husband according to Christ’s precept, can properly be called marriage, but is better called adultery.” (Gratian, Marriage Canons From The Decretum 32.2.1.1-2)

Most people living today, especially those in the more developed nations, have become totally perverted through the media, television, music, magazines, internet sites, billboard ads, and posters. Almost everywhere one looks today, one will see impurities along with men and women who are scantily clothed or literally naked. The world has changed much over the years. Few people consider and think about how much the world have changed in a comparatively short time, but the world was very different just a 100 years ago. Back then, there were no sexual education; neither were there (generally) any pornography or immoral movies, series and magazines; and one would never find billboards plastered with images of literally naked or semi-naked women at totally public places for everyone to see, no matter the age. Before in time, one could indeed go and shop for food or clothing in total peace of mind without having to worry about seeing half naked, sensual women and men being displayed all over the place. This doesn’t exist today, at least not in the western culture. But however bad that is, it cannot be compared to the sheer horrors of the media. In the media, perverted viewers observe perverted characters and families and imitate them. This destroys their conscience as they imitate them and their sinful behavior and sexual perversions.

One can only shudder in horror over the number of people that actually have imitated what they have heard, read or seen in the media, magazines and television that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Who among men who frequently watch media can honestly say that he hasn’t learned to commit some new sin that he before didn’t know about through the media? The media is indeed the devil’s favorite playground in the total and complete destruction of human morality. In fact, the media has such power to normalize trends and sinful behaviors – as one frequently witness when fans starts to behave and dress as their “idols” seen on the media – that it has normalized and preconditioned peoples minds into believing that it’s totally normal to act like this and that everyone commits such acts as are shown and promoted. A few examples one almost always encounters are: immodest dress (hence the reason why virtually the whole world has gone from being somewhat modestly dressed to half-naked in just 50 years or so), homosexuality, cursing, taking God’s name in vain, tips or recommendations on how to increase sexual pleasure, or the constant viewing of lustful kisses, touches, and unlawful and mortally sinful sexual practices. Such depraved sexual sins were much more, if not totally uncommon before since most, if not all people, were ignorant about them, and as a result, were less likely to know even how to commit them.

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage (c. 198 A.D.): “For the marriage of other [sinful, selfish and lustful] people is an agreement for indulgence; but that of philosophers leads to that agreement which is in accordance with reason, bidding wives adorn themselves not in outward appearance, but in character; and enjoining husbands not to treat their wedded wives as mistresses, making corporeal wantonness their aim; but to take advantage of marriage for help in the whole of life, and for the best self-restraint.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

It is the purpose behind the marital act, the will of not wanting to live a sensual life, the thought of wanting to have children for the glory and honor of God—that produces the good fruits in parents. It is not merely a natural act or process that achieves this good fruit, but again, the intention. True love thus resides in the will or thought, and not first and foremost in an external deed. This is not to say, however, that an external act if performed with a good intention cannot be a sign of true love, because it can (examples being alms-giving or other good and charitable deeds), and in this sense intimacy can be called love, but only in so far as it is not selfish or self-centered in nature.

St. Robert Bellarmine, The Art of Dying Well, Chapter XV, On Matrimony: “There are three blessings arising from Matrimony, if it be made a good use of, viz: Children, fidelity, and the grace of the sacrament. The generation of children, together with their proper education, must be had in view, if we would make a good use of matrimony; but on the contrary, he commits a most grievous sin, who seeks only carnal pleasure in it. Hence Onan, one of the children of the patriarch Juda, is most severely blamed in Scripture for not remembering this, which was to abuse, not use the holy Sacrament. But if sometimes it happen that married people should be oppressed with the number of their children, whom through poverty they cannot easily support, there is a remedy pleasing to God; and this is, by mutual consent to separate from the marriage-bed, and spend their days in prayer and fasting. For if it be agreeable to Him, for married persons to grow old in virginity, after the example of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, (whose lives the Emperor Henry and his wife Chunecunda endeavoured to imitate, as well as King Edward and Egdida, Eleazor a knight, and his lady Dalphina, and several others,) why should it be displeasing to God or men, that married people should not live together as man and wife, by mutual consent, that so they may spend the rest of their days in prayer and fasting?”

Just as an external deed can be done for a good cause, so it can also be done for an evil cause, even if it outwardly appears to be good or devout. For example, if someone were to give alms in order to achieve human praise and glory from other men and not from God, this deed of alms-giving would be worthless before God and would in no way profit the giver for salvation, but would actually only increase his torment in Hell, since it was a sin of vanity and vainglory. Therefore, a physical deed can never be meritorious in itself, but it is the intention behind the deed that defines its goodness or badness of the action. This truth is important to make clear since so many people today erroneously seem to believe that the sexual act in itself is a source of love.

Matthew 6:1-4 “Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven. Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.”

Spouses who love their spouse with an adulterous love are adulterers

According to the teachings of the Doctors, Theologians and Saints of the Catholic Church, any man who is a too ardent lover of his spouse, (that is, he or she who loves his wife’s or husband’s body too much or the lust or pleasure that he or she receives from them too much or more than he loves God or his spouse’s soul,) is an adulterer of his God and of his wife.

St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book 1, Section 20, 40, A.D. 393: “Do you imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children? . . . He who is too ardent a lover of his own wife is an adulterer [of his God and wife].”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 8: “And since the man who is too ardent a lover of his wife acts counter to the good of marriage if he use her indecently, although he be not unfaithful, he may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.”

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law, Case Thirty-Two, Question IV: “Also, Jerome, [in Against Jovinian, I]: C. 5. Nothing is more sordid than to make love to your wife as you would to an adulteress. The origins of love are respectable, but its perversion is an enormity. §1. It gives no respectable motive for losing one’s self control. Hence, the Sentences of Sixtus says, "He is an adulterer who is too passionate a lover of his wife." Just as all passion for another’s wife is sordid, so also is excessive passion for one’s own. The wise man should love his wife reasonably, not emotionally. The mere stimulus of lust should not dominate him, nor should he force her to have sex. Nothing is more sordid than to make love to your wife as you would to an adulteress.”

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law, Case Thirty-Two, Question VI: “‘You shall not commit adultery.’ [Ex. 20:14]… You ought to excel over your wife in virtue (for chastity is indeed a virtue). Are you captive to the impulses of lust? Do you expect your wife to be victorious in this while you lie vanquished? As the head of your wife, you lead her to God. Would you be willing to follow a head like yourself? The husband is the head of the wife [Eph. 5:23]. So where the wife behaves better than the husband, the home is turned upside down on its head. If the husband is the head, the husband should behave better, and so lead his wife in all good deeds.”

People who are in a marriage should ask themselves these questions: “Whom do I love during the act of marriage: God and my spouse in all honesty and virtue, or my spouse’s body and the lust I derive from it?” “Have the thought of God or that He is present ever even entered my mind during marital relations?” “Have this absence of God’s presence in my mind also driven me into committing shameful sins by inflaming my concupiscence in unlawful ways?” In truth, those couples who doesn’t shut God out from themselves or their hearts during marital relations will undoubtedly be less likely to fall into other sins during the act of marriage. Saint Alphonsus, in his great book called the True Spouse of Jesus Christ, explains this crucial truth to us.

St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, On the Presence of God: “The Saints by the thought that God was looking at them have bravely repelled all the assaults of their enemies… This thought also converted a wicked woman who dared to tempt St. Ephrem; the saint told her that if she wished to sin she must meet him in the middle of the city. But, said she, how is it possible to commit sin before so many persons? And how, replied the Saint, is it possible to sin in the presence of God, who sees us in every place? At these words she burst into tears, and falling prostrate on the ground asked pardon of the saint, and besought him to point out to her the way of salvation.” (True Spouse of Jesus Christ, p. 497)

And Gratian says that: “Unbridled desire and shameful employment of marriage are licentiousness and impurity… Second [in Gal. 5:19], the works of the flesh are called "impurity," and "licentiousness," its companion, is included with it. In the Old Law, the Scriptures generally include these among those horrible crimes committed in secret, which are said to be so filthy as to pollute the mouth that speaks of them, or the ears that hear of them. It says [Lev. 15:31], "You shall teach the children of Israel to take heed of uncleanness," including in this passage all unbridled desires, even those acts within marriage that are not performed as though God were present, with shame and modesty, for the sake of children. Such are called licentiousness and impurity.” (Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law, Case Thirty-Two, Question IV, Part 4, C. 12)

If it’s God we love the most, then it must naturally be Him that we are seeking to please, and not ourselves, our flesh, or our spouse. Our Lord God Jesus Christ Himself taught us this specific truth in the holy gospels, saying: “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37)

St. Clement of Alexandria, in his book “The Instructor” shows us very clearly how “he violates his marriage adulterously who uses” the marital sexual act in a forbidden, obscene or lewd way:

For many think such things to be pleasures only which are against nature, such as these sins of theirs. And those who are better than they, know them to be sins, but are overcome by pleasures, and darkness is the veil of their vicious practices. For he violates his marriage adulterously who uses it in a meretricious way, and hears not the voice of the Instructor [the Lord], crying, "The man who ascends his bed, who says in his soul, Who seeth me? darkness is around me, and the walls are my covering, and no one sees my sins. Why do I fear lest the Highest will remember?" [Sirach 23:18] Most wretched is such a man, dreading men’s eyes alone, and thinking that he will escape the observation of God. "For he knoweth not," says the Scripture, "that brighter ten thousand times than the sun are the eyes of the Most High, which look on all the ways of men, and cast their glance into hidden parts." [Sirach 23:27-28] Thus again the Instructor threatens them, speaking by Isaiah: "Woe be to those who take counsel in secret, and say, Who seeth us?" [Isaiah 29:15] For one may escape the light of sense, but that of the mind it is impossible to escape. For how, says Heraclitus, can one escape the notice of that which never sets? Let us by no means, then, veil our selves with the darkness; for the light dwells in us. "For the darkness," it is said, "comprehendeth it not." And the very night itself is illuminated by temperate reason. The thoughts of good men Scripture has named "sleepless lamps;" although for one to attempt even to practice concealment, with reference to what he does, is confessedly to sin. And every one who sins, directly wrongs not so much his neighbor if he commits adultery, as himself, because he has committed adultery, besides making himself worse and less thought of. For he who sins, in the degree in which he sins, becomes worse and is of less estimation than before; and he who has been overcome by base pleasures, has now licentiousness wholly attached to him. Wherefore he who commits fornication is wholly dead to God, and is abandoned by the Word as a dead body by the spirit. For what is holy, as is right, abhors to be polluted. But it is always lawful for the pure to touch the pure. Do not, I pray, put off modesty at the same time that you put off your clothes; because it is never right for the just man to divest himself of continence. For, lo, this mortal shall put on immortality; when the insatiableness of desire, which rushes into licentiousness, being trained to self-restraint, and made free from the love of corruption, shall consign the man to everlasting chastity. "For in this world they marry and are given in marriage." But having done with the works of the flesh, and having been clothed with immortality, the flesh itself being pure, we pursue after that which is according to the measure of the angels.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children, c. 198 A.D.)

Indeed, “The good of marriage remains a good, as it has always been a good among the People of God. … Now it allows human beings to procreate children, not like animals by merely copulating with females, but in a decent conjugal order. Nevertheless, when a Christian mind focuses on celestial things, it wins a victory beyond all praise. Yet, since, as the Lord says [Mt. 19:11-12], not all can accept this message, let those who can do so, and let those who cannot be content to marry. Let them weigh well what they have not chosen, and persevere in what they have embarked on. Let no opportunity be given to the Adversary, and let Christ be robbed of no offering. If purity is not preserved in the conjugal bond, one should fear damnation.” (Gratian, Marriage Canons From The Decretum, Case Twenty-Seven, Question I, Part 2, C. 41)

In a sense, one can truly say that the person who sets his heart on loving a physical pleasure with his will – whatever it may be – worships and loves a kind of idol. That is why we as humans must always do our utmost to try to escape or minimize the pleasures that are addictive to us. For the stronger a pleasure is and the more delightful it is to our senses, the more potential there is for it to become a sin and for a person to grow attached to it. St. Thomas Aquinas writes concerning this, “If the sexual pleasure is sought beyond the limits of integrity proper to marriage, in the sense that in conjugal relations the spouse sees in the partner not any more the characteristics proper to the spouse, but only a female/woman and is disposed to do with her the same things even if she were not his wife, he has sinned mortally.” (In Sententiarum, d.31, q.2, art, 3) Also, “It is needed to be said that a man seeks in the wife pleasure as from a prostitute when he looks at her with the same look with which he would look at a prostitute.” (Ibid., d.31, q.2, art, 3) And so, “Self-restraint is to prevail over sensual pleasure; on the other hand, the prevalence of the latter is what I call licentiousness.” (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Vol. II, Epi Ithika or Moral Epopees 31, Ori pachimereis, PG 37, 651A.)

Hierarchy of sexual sins, licentiousness and illicit marital relations

Thomas N. Tentler, author of Sin and confession on the eve of the Reformation, and who studied the topic of the hierarchy of sexual sins developed in the Catholic Church from confession manuals, have listed the rank ordering of sexual sins committed by married and unmarried people. Now this is interesting, for this is how Catholic priests (before the beginning stages of the Great Apostasy) would have viewed and judged many of the sexual acts people today commit without any shame. Many of the things you perhaps would think are acceptable, will be seen are not — and in fact to be totally sinful. This will give us an overview on what is acceptable and what is not while having marital relations. The sins are ordered in 16 categories and applies to both the married and unmarried. They are as follows:

(1) unchaste kiss, (2) unchaste touch, (3) fornication, (4) debauchery, (5) simple adultery (one partner married, one single), (6) double adultery (both partners married), (7) voluntary sacrilege (one partner under religious vows), (8) rape or abduction of virgin, (9) rape or abduction of wife, (10) rape or abduction of nun, (11) incest, (12) masturbation, (13) improper sexual position (even between spouses), (14), improper orifice or opening (most heinous crime between spouses), (15) sodomy (homosexuality), (16) bestiality.

There are obviously many other mortal sins included in the above categories that are not directly listed by name. So what other mortally sinful sexual activities or acts not listed above are commonly practiced today between married and unmarried people? The following list are only some of the most common examples of sins many people today are guilty of when they are having marital relations. It must of course be understood that if we have not listed some other sin that you might be doing that are lustful and shameful, it is still forbidden and a mortal sin to commit it. All of the following deeds are forbidden and are illicit marital relations, and must therefore be considered as the mortal sin of lust. Mortal sins always lead a soul to Hell unless one performs an Act of Contrition which includes Perfect Contrition and performs the other acts the Church requires for salvation.

  • Striptease.

  • Dressing sensual (both before, during or after marital relations).

  • Sex games (or sexual role play).

  • Sex toys (or other objects used for this purpose).

  • Sensual, foul, unchaste or dirty talking (both before, during or after marital relations).

  • Uncontrollable or unrestrained moaning. This is always a mortal sin if it’s done intentionally or with the intention to inflame one’s own or the other spouse’s lust. Most women can control themselves, but many choose not to since they are promiscuous. Some women indeed are very cruel and want to hurt others when it comes to this, and one can only say that such women who act in this way are abominable and demonic since they are searching for a foul pleasure and since they are hurting and killing their husband’s soul.

  • The shaving of the genital hair (can be mortally sinful or non-sinful depending on the reason why it is done). If it’s done with the intention of enhancing sexual pleasure and/or for seeing more of the spouse, it is always a mortal sin.

  • Inappropriate sexual position. This is often a sign of passion according to St. Thomas Aquinas, and if so, it is a mortal sin. (See next section for appropriate sexual position according to the teaching of the Church.)

  • Aphrodisiacs or substances used to enhance lust. If the intention of the spouses when using aphrodisiacs is the enhancement of their shameful and damnable lust, they are absolutely committing a mortal sin. The only exception to this would be if a husband couldn’t achieve an erection and so took a substance that helped him achieve this end. In this case it wouldn’t even be a venial sin since his intention for using it is not to increase his pleasure, but rather to conceive children and fulfilling the marital duty. However, a husband must never use pills or compounds that he knows will increase his lust. There are many pills and natural herbs that can be used to achieve an erection without necessarily increasing the pleasure (such as PDE-5 inhibitors). Erection first and foremost has to do with blood-flow, and so that is what should be looked for in herbs, medicines and supplements.

  • Pausing, interrupting or prolonging the marital act (can be mortally sinful or non-sinful depending on the intention). It is always a mortal sin if it’s performed with the intention of increasing length or intensity of the sexual pleasure or for making the wife or husband reach climax outside of the natural, normal marital act. It is unnatural to interrupt the sexual act for the sake of mere pleasure. It is also a sign of passion, which is mortal (see St. Thomas in next section). For when a husband or wife engages in acts of unnatural prolonging or interrupting of the marital sexual act, they are no longer following the primary or secondary purpose of the sexual act (procreation and quenching of lust), but are rather following the motive of satisfying and inflaming their shameful and damnable lust as their (new) primary end or motive during marital relations. That’s why it’s a mortal sin to interrupt the act of marriage for the above mentioned reasons. Further, consider that the Catholic Church teaches that even the normal marital act when performed for the sole sake of pleasure is at least a venial sin, but spouses who are interrupting the marital act for the sake of lust are not even performing the normal and natural marital act, but are hindering or interrupting it. As a consequence, they are committing an action that is inherently sinful and unnatural. Resting or taking pauses however is not sinful whenever the situation demands it. For example, the intercourse could be giving the wife pain or be perceived as dangerous to the child in the womb or be exhausting the husband who, in sincerity, is trying to finalize the act but cannot do it. All of these and similar examples are not sinful, because they are not performed for the sake of lust. Hence, it is the evil intention of enhancing sexual pleasure while refusing to consummate the marital act in the natural way, by unreasonably interrupting it, or by unreasonably holding on too long, that makes the deed of prolonging marital relations sinful. For everything not following reason in the marital act, as explained by St. Thomas Aquinas in the beginning of this article, is sinful.

  • Masturbation of self or spouse (before, during or after the act of marriage). Masturbation has always been considered as a mortal sin in the Catholic Church and it doesn’t cease to be a mortal sin just because the spouses are married. Despite this ancient, constant and infallible dogmatic moral teaching of the Catholic Church on the evilness and total sinfulness of masturbation—not only the perverted, evil Vatican II “Catholics” and “do what do wilt” satanic protestants, but even many so-called “traditional Catholic” couples—actually believe that masturbation is right to do within the marriage act! Although they know and even admit that it’s a mortal sin to masturbate outside of the marriage act, they nevertheless believe that it is right to do within the marriage act — and that it is an exception. But what Church teaching or saint can they cite to support this heresy? None! Only evil, perverted and heretical theologians (or other heretical modern “Catholic” laymen’s private opinions) during the last 100 years or so, can they even cite to support this teaching. This fact, then, is quite telling, and it proves that this teaching is directly inspired by the Devil from the pits of Hell, since it was totally unheard of before the beginning stages of the Great Apostasy and the modern world. Those who teach that such a degraded and debauched lifestyle is “good”, “right” or “moral” are complete perverts and their opinions are utterly worthless. All masturbatory touching of the genitals of oneself or one’s spouse (i.e. manipulative sexual acts), is immoral and a mortal sin. Any type of masturbatory touching is immoral (regardless of whether or when climax occurs) because it is an act that is not natural, procreative or necessary for conception to occur and is, therefore, an unreasonable act.

  • Kisses, touches, hugs, caresses etc. (can be sinful or non-sinful). All kisses, touches, hugs, and caresses performed for the sake of lust or sensual pleasure is mortally sinful and must always be avoided at all cost by all people at all times. Natural touches, kisses, hugs, caresses, embraces and the like (such as those performed by family members and by lovers in public) are not sinful provided they are not performed for the sake of sensual or lustful reasons. Spouses must be aware though, for even though it is not sinful to embrace one another out of affection and love during the marital act, excess or unreasonability in embracing happens easily during the heat of concupiscence, and this is certainly sinful. Also, if spouses hug or kiss each other out of affection and they perceive that their lust is aroused by this act, they must immediately cease with this deed that is arousing their lust or be guilty of the mortal sin of unlawfully inflaming their lust. The more spouses indulge in these lawful embraces and are careless therein, the more likely it will become sinful. So to be on the safe side and to become perfect, spouses should never touch, kiss or even see each other naked during intercourse. Kissing and touching before intercourse are also particularly problematic as they lead to intercourse that is not governed by a desire to procreate. Spouses should also never walk around at home undressed or partially dressed. Women especially should never walk in their underwear or naked in the presence of their husband, as this behavior without a doubt will incite his lust. This specific problem we have today of people walking around naked or dressed like whores in public or at home was typically unheard of before in society, as most men and women in the past was much more well dressed and modest, even at home. As an example demonstrating this fact, consider how women’s underwear looked like just 200 years ago. Believe it or not, but these underwear were in fact more modest than what many women wear as skirt or dress in public today!

  • Unnatural sexual acts (always gravely sinful). An unnatural sexual act or touch is any type of sexual act that is not natural, reasonable, or procreative. Some examples of unnatural sexual acts include shameful acts with the mouth, sodomy, acts performed on different parts of the body not intended for this purpose, and manipulative sexual acts (i.e. masturbation of self or the spouse). All unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral because these acts lack the natural and procreative meaning, and therefore right reason, which are required by God for sexual acts to be moral. These acts are not procreative because they are not the type of act that is inherently directed at procreation. This is not the type of sexual union intended by God for human persons. Unnatural sexual acts are not justified by being done within marriage, nor by the circumstance that these acts occur in connection to or the context of natural marital relations, because the moral law requires each and every sexual act to be not only reasonable and marital, but also natural and procreative. All unnatural sexual acts and embraces are thus intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral due to the deprivation of the procreative purpose and right reason that always must accompany the marital act.

Examples of things a couple could do to inflame concupiscence accidentally (and that are bad, since it enhance lust!) but that are perhaps not sinful in every case depending on the intentions of the spouses while they’re doing it, is to have marital relations in light instead of in darkness, to come together naked or partially naked instead of clothed, or to touch each other more than what is absolutely necessary during the marital act by hugs and the like. All of these things however should be avoided by the spouses as much as possible in order to cultivate a virtuous, honorable and good marriage. In truth, the inflaming of concupiscence usually starts out as a venial sin, and if continued always ends in mortal sin, because all control is lost. “Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.” (Ecclesiasticus 18:30)

Appropriate sexual position

Christian moralists, canonists, and theologians from the patristic period onward commonly maintained that only one posture was appropriate and natural for human sexual intercourse.

St. Albertus Magnus the Great, Doctor of the Church, (c. 1206-1280): “Nature teaches that the proper manner is that the woman be on her back with the man lying on her stomach.” (Commentarii in IV Sententiarum (Dist. XXIII-L))

Deviation from this was sanctioned only when illness or physical obesity necessitated or when there was danger of smothering the foetus in the advanced stages of pregnancy.

Many readers will undoubtedly question why the missionary position would be considered as the only appropriate form of sexual intercourse between a husband and wife. The simple answer to this question is because of the natural order of the hierarchy so established by God, because in marriage the husband is the head of the wife.

Ephesians 5:23 “Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the savior of his body.”

The missionary position is simply a bodily manifestation of this. If it were otherwise, the woman would be more like a man (more like the head and in control) and the man more like a woman (more submissive and receptive), which is contrary to nature.

Genesis 1:27 “And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.”

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches the same concept in his “Summa Theologica”:

These species are differentiated on the part of the woman rather than of the man, because in the venereal act the woman is passive and is by way of matter, whereas the man is by way of agent [in way of acting]...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1)

Thus, the Catholic Church teaches that any sexual position performed by the spouses where the woman is by way of agent, (that is, when she is more in control of the sexual act with her movements) is contrary to nature and tradition, in addition to the natural hierarchy so established by God.

But there are also other reasons why the Church commonly have recommended only the missionary position. The most obvious reason, of course, is because these other positions or “experimentations” are usually more “exciting” to people who practice them, since it enhances their lust and gives them greater levels of pleasure or enjoyment than they otherwise would have, in addition to making the act more bestial. So that’s why Church tradition holds as contrary to nature those other positions. The Church has as it’s main goal the preservation of morality and the salvation of souls, and not that of appeasing stiff-necked, lust-seeking couples who are searching for new ways to damn themselves. The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, who was well aware of the sexual depravity of humankind, wonderfully refers to these most obvious reasons in his writings as well.

St. Thomas Aquinas, In Libros Sententiarum, Chapter IV, Section 31, 2, 3: “Marital relations are contrary to nature when either the right receptacle or the proper position required by nature is avoided. In the first case it is always a mortal sin because no offspring can result, so that the purpose of nature is completely frustrated. But in the second case [of inappropriate sexual positions] it is not always a mortal sin, as some say, though it can be the sign of a passion which is mortal; at times the latter can occur without sin, as when one’s bodily condition does not permit any other method. In general, this practice is more serious the more it departs from the natural way.”

St. Thomas Aquinas’ mentor, St. Albertus Magnus the Great, also a Doctor of the Church, taught that to depart from the “natural position” for human intercourse, the husband on top of his wife, was to become like the “brute animals.” (Albert the Great, On the Sentences, 4.31.24) St. Thomas Aquinas elaborated on that concept, teaching that: “by not observing the natural manner of copulation, either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation,” the married couple commits sin by going “contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I:II, q. 154, art. 11)

In truth, “Some, then, as we have shown, have tried to go beyond what is right and the concord that marks salvation which is holy and established. … They have abandoned themselves to lust without restraint and persuade their neighbors to live licentiously; as wretches they follow the Scripture: "Cast your lot in with us; let us all have a common purse and let our moneybag be one." [Prov. 1:14] On account of them the same prophet gives us advice saying: "Go not in the way with them, withdraw thy foot from their steps. For not unjustly are nets spread out to catch birds; for they are guilty of bloodshed and treasure up evil for themselves" [Prov. 1:15-18] that is, they seek for immorality and teach their neighbors to do the same. According to the prophet they are "fighters struck with their own tails" (ourai), to which the Greeks give the name kerkoi. Those to whom the prophecy refers might well be lustful, incontinent, men who fight with their tails, children of darkness and wrath… And again in anger at such people he directs that we should "have no fellowship with any one called a brother if he is a fornicator or covetous man or idolater or reviler or drunkard or robber; with such a man one ought not even to eat." [1 Cor. 5:11] "For I through the law am dead to the law," he says, "that I may live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live," meaning that I used to live according to my lusts, "but Christ lives in me," and I am pure and blessed by obeying the commandments; so that whereas at one time I lived in the flesh carnally, "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God" [Gal. 2:19-20].” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XVIII, Section 105-106)

Kisses and touches performed for sensual motives is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church and Her Saints for both married and unmarried alike

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded.” – Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

The Church’s moral teaching that condemns kisses “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” might come as a surprise to many married couples who thought that this was lawful to do within a marriage. Now some people will indeed be quick to suggest that this statement only applies to unmarried people. However the truth of the matter is that there is not a single indication in the decree that even remotely suggests this. This objection is also easily refuted by considering the wording and reason behind the decree, which of course applies both to the married and unmarried people. Note that “pollution” is an older term used to describe “ejaculation” or “discharge of semen” other than during lawful sex.

The Free Dictionary, The Origin & History, pollution: c.1340, "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, defilement" (late 14c.), from L.L. pollutionem (nom. pollutio) "defilement," from L. polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate,"

Therefore, according to the above Church condemnation, even if spouses or unmarried people do not consent to do anything more than the act of kissing itself and don’t commit any other sexual sin or act, it would still be considered as a mortal sin for them to be kissing “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” even if “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded.” This, of course, is true both before, during, and after the marital act, and applies both to married and unmarried people alike. Thus, spouses may never kiss each other in a sensual way or in this way provoke themselves into sexual lust or “pollution,” either as an act that is separated completely from the marital act or as an act that is committed in relationship to the marital act (foreplay), even if pollution or ejaculation is excluded.

Again, the condemned proposition specifically mentioned that kisses “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is mortally sinful even though “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded” so that no one, whether married or unmarried, should get the idea that they would be allowed to kiss another person for sensual pleasure as long as they did not proceed any further than that.

This point is important to mention since many lustful couples use all kinds of unnecessary acts before, during and after sexual relations. They try to excuse these shameful acts by claiming that they cannot complete the sexual act without them. However, their sinful excuse is condemned by this decree alone.

Now, the main reason for why the act of kissing for the sake of venereal pleasure is mortally sinful according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the saints, and theologians, is because it’s lust and serves no reasonable purpose other than wickedly arousing the selfish sexual desire of the spouses while not being able to effect the conception of a child. This fact then shows us that sensual kissing is a completely selfish and unnecessary act with no other purpose than to inflame a person’s shameful lust, which is contrary to virtue and the good of marriage. Again, unless husband or wife are totally degenerated, the mere thought of having sex with their spouse should be enough to inflame their lust and make them ready—at least on the part of the husband. And if this is true with mere thoughts, how much more with kisses and touches?

There can be no doubt about the fact that many men who are ignorant about sex and women would be in danger of “pollution” by the mere thought of, or act of, sensual kissing or touching. It happens even today amongst some men, mostly in young men who are unlearned in the ways of lust—if one can call it that. That’s why the condemned proposition that tried to excuse this mortal sin even mentioned if “pollution is excluded,” as if wanting to argue that only ejaculation or climax (or pollution) was the mortal sin and not also the evil intention of seeking the pleasure. However, as we all could see above, whether pollution actually happens or not, sensual kisses was still condemned as a mortal sin according to God’s Holy Law.

The fact that many men today have no danger of pollution from sensual kisses or touches does not make it lawful or right either. Because it is obvious that the act is not made lawful just because some men have hardened their hearts and become perverted. Simply said, all kisses and touches performed for the sake of sensual or fleshly pleasure is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church.

Lustful kisses and touches between spouses are definitely mortal sins

Master Jean Charlier de Gerson (13 December 1363 – 12 July 1429), French scholar, educator, reformer, and poet, Chancellor of the University of Paris, a guiding light of the conciliar movement and one of the most prominent theologians at the Council of Constance, had the following interesting things to say about lustful kisses, touches, contraception and about sensually arousing oneself:

Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes: “Several doctors [of Divinity] maintain that willingly fostering wicked carnal thoughts in order to enjoy oneself is a deadly sin, even without doing the deed. Be sure, however, that kisses, gazes, and fondling, mainly caused by such wicked and lustful thoughts, without anything more, is an even greater sin. … it is even worse if these kisses do not respect the honesty which is usually kept in public.

“… You have committed the sin of lust: If you have fondled and stroked yourself on your shameful member until you obtain the dirty carnal pleasure. If you initiated such sins with others, by words, kisses, fondling, or other signs, or immodest paintings. … If you committed this sin differently from Nature ordered, or against the honesty that belongs to marriage. … If you wanted to be desired and lusted after for your beauty, your behavior, your clothes, makeup, dancing or dissolute gazes.

“… What a young boy should tell in confession: I sometimes stroked myself or others, urged by disorderly pleasure; I fondled myself, in my bed and elsewhere, something I would not have dared to do if people had been there. Sometimes the priest cannot absolve such fondling. If they are not confessed and the details given, whatever the shame, one cannot be absolved, and the confession is worthless: one is destined to be damned for ever in Hell. The action and the way it has been done must be told.

“… Is it a sin to kiss? I answer that kisses between spouses who maintain the same modesty as the kiss of peace at church, or who do them openly, are without sin. If they do them so immodestly [and lustfully] that I cannot be more precise, it is an abominable deadly sin. If kisses are made between strangers and publicly, as a sign of peace, by friendship or kinship, without wicked thought, there is no sin. They could be dangerous between clerics, or people of the same sex or lineage, or in a secret place, and in a prolonged way.

“… Is it a mortal sin to eat and drink in order to carnally arouse oneself? Yes, if it is out of wedlock, and even with one’s spouse, if it is to enjoy a pleasure which is not required in marriage.

“… The fifth commandment is: thou shall not kill. … They commit this sin who succeed, in whatever way, in preventing the fruit which should come from carnal intercourse between man and woman [such as by NFP, contraception or abortion]. … It is forbidden for two people, married or not, to do any kind of lustful fondling without respecting the way and the vessel Nature requires for conceiving children [that is, one cannot perform “extra” sexual acts not able to procreate in themselves or that are not intended for procreation]. It is worse when it is outside of the natural way [unnatural sexual acts], either if it is out of wedlock or even worse, within it [that is, all unnecessary and non-procreative sexual acts within marriage are considered as worse sins than when they are committed outside of marriage].

Is it permitted for spouses to prevent the conception of a child? No: I often say that it is a sin worse than murder [hence that contraception or NFP is equivalent to murder]. It is a sin which deserves the fires of Hell. Briefly, any way of preventing conception during intercourse is dishonest and reprehensible.”

Lustful kisses and touches are mortal sins against the Natural Law

It is clear from the evidence thus far covered that sensual kisses and touches are not only mortal sins, but in fact also sins against the Natural Law. That means that any person who thinks it’s right to kiss or touch for the sake of carnal pleasure or lust is a heretic against the Natural Law, and as such, are therefore outside the Church of God and thus excluded from salvation. Everyone without exception who have kissed or touched someone or something for the sake of sensual pleasure proved by their deed that their primary or secondary purpose for doing this inherently evil, selfish and shameful deed was not the lawful motive to procreate or quench concupiscence, but rather the sinful and unlawful gratification and excitation of their shameful lust like brute beasts without any reason. No, it would be an insult to beasts to call these vile spouses beasts! It would be more accurate not to call them beasts, but demons, since beasts have no reason, and thus are blameless. In truth, such husbands and wives are lower in their actions than the beasts of the Earth! “Bodies corrupted by lust are the dwelling places of devils.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Gospel, Matt. 11:2-10)

Everyone without exception that kisses and touches “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises” from these acts, are committing a mortal sin against the Natural Law. How so, you might ask? Well, I answer that it is easy to prove. First of all, acts of lust for the sake of pleasure are completely selfish, shameful and unnecessary for conception to occur. Second, consider how people will not kiss or touch their spouse in a sexual way or for carnal pleasure in front of other people (unless they are totally degenerated). And consider that they would be very ashamed if their parent, child or friend walked in on them when they were committing this shameful, selfish and unnecessary act with their spouse. It is thus clear that their conscience tells them that it is an inherently evil, shameful and unnecessary act; and yet, though they know this truth in their conscience, they nevertheless refuse to feel this very same shame when they are committing this act of lust in the presence of God and Mary and all the Saints and Angels in Heaven.

Sad to say, a little known truth known today taught by the Saints is also that sinful sexual lusts and acts blinds people from perceiving spiritual truths and facts (see The evil of lust makes man blind to spiritual things) and that is why people can sin so boldly against their natural conscience and God since they have allowed their conscience to be smothered by their evil lusts.

Some people may object that there are many other events that are shameful and that are not yet inherently sinful such as soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people against one’s own will. This objection, however, fails to notice the obvious difference between 1) people committing acts of lust with a desire or longing; and 2) events which are shameful but who are not desired or longed for by a person in a sensual way.

Acts of lust are acts performed for the sake of a pleasure and are performed with the will and purpose of satisfying a sensual desire while the events or acts of soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people is not a desire or lust that is sought after. Thus, these people do not desire that these events should happen. If those people who endured the events of soiling their clothes or naked exhibition against their will would sensually desire or lust for that these shameful events would happen in the same way that a man or a woman lust for and desire that acts of lust happen, they would indeed be declared the most disgusting perverts. Who but a complete and satanic pervert would sensually desire or lust after soiling their pants or being exhibited naked?

When Our Lord was going to be crucified, He was forced to be without any covering for His private parts for a while before someone handed Him something to cover Himself with. Our Lord was obviously ashamed for having to appear naked before a lot of people, but He didn’t desire that this should happen, and most importantly, He didn’t lust at it when it happened! and so, there was no fault in Him. If, however, a person should lust or desire (in a sensual way) that he or she should appear naked before other people (such as nude models), he or she would commit a mortal sin and be a pervert.

Consequently, it is not a mere shameful act that is sinful, but the shameful act that is performed with the intention of pleasing oneself sensually—that is sinful. Kissing for the sake of a venereal pleasure is a completely selfish act that only serves to increase lust, and as such, is against the natural law just like gluttony is against the natural law. It is indeed very similar to the sin of gluttony. One could say that those who commit this sin are gluttonous in the marital act. It is completely self evident that no one ever needed to break God’s law by kissing or touching their spouse in a sexual way in order to perform the marital act. No one ever needed to kiss or touch in a sensual way in order to be able to make a child. This is just a selfish, shameful and condemned excuse used by sexually perverted, morally depraved people in order to try to enhance or inflame their sexual pleasure. Kisses and touches must not and cannot be used to satisfy sensual pleasure as is totally clear from the above Church condemnation and from the words of Jean Gerson (and as we will see, St. Thomas Aquinas).

A good example of how people who get married today sin by kissing each other is the kiss that the husband and wife perform after the wedding ceremony. It is obvious that those who kiss each other in a lascivious and shameful manner are following what they have learned from the world and the media by watching perverted and evil shows, series and films, and that as a consequence of watching this filth, their shame and conscience have been completely smothered due to their lust and sensuality. Only people who have had their conscience seared with a hot iron could ever dare to kiss another human being in a shameful and lascivious manner, or for the sake of venereal pleasure, and this is much more true in the case of those who do this evil deed in public and in front of other people, and by this act, maliciously tempt other people to sins of impurity and sensual thoughts and desires. People who get married as well as anyone else who want to show affection towards someone close to them must instead learn to kiss them in a pure way as brothers and sisters kiss each other, or as modest married people in public kiss each other, for this is the only kind of kiss that God allows.

Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book I, Chapter 29, A.D 207: “For He [God] bestowed His blessing on matrimony also, as on an honorable estate, for the increase of the human race; as He did indeed on the whole of His creation, for wholesome and good uses. Meats and drinks are not on this account to be condemned, because, when served up with too exquisite a daintiness, they conduce to gluttony; nor is raiment to be blamed, because, when too costly adorned, it becomes inflated with vanity and pride. So, on the same principle, the estate of matrimony is not to be refused, because, when enjoyed without moderation, it is fanned into a voluptuous flame. There is a great difference between a cause and a fault, between a state and its excess. Consequently it is not an institution of this nature that is to be blamed, but the extravagant use of it; according to the judgment of its founder Himself, who not only said, "Be fruitful, and multiply," [Genesis 1:28] but also, "You shall not commit adultery," and, "You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife;" and who threatened with death the unchaste, sacrilegious, and monstrous abomination both of adultery and unnatural sin with man and beast.”

St. Thomas Aquinas condemns lustful kisses and touches for married and unmarried people alike as mortal sins

Now we shall look at what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about kisses and touches.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4:

Whether there can be mortal sin in touches and kisses?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is no mortal sin in touches and kisses. For the Apostle says (Eph. 5:3): "Fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints," then he adds: "Or obscenity" (which a gloss refers to "kissing and fondling"), "or foolish talking" (as "soft speeches"), "or scurrility" (which "fools call geniality---i.e. jocularity"), and afterwards he continues (Eph. 5:5): "For know ye this and understand that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is the serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God," thus making no further mention of obscenity, as neither of foolish talking or scurrility. Therefore these are not mortal sins.”

[St. Thomas Aquinas] Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle makes no further mention of these three because they [kisses and touches] are not sinful except as directed to those that he had mentioned before [i.e. fornicators, unclean and covetous people (married people can of course also be unclean and covetous too as we have seen)].”

Objection 2: Further, fornication is stated to be a mortal sin as being prejudicial to the good of the future child’s begetting and upbringing. But these are not affected by kisses and touches or blandishments. Therefore there is no mortal sin in these.”

[St. Thomas Aquinas] Reply to Objection 2: Although kisses and touches do not by their very nature hinder the good of the human offspring, they proceed from lust, which is the source of this hindrance: and on this account they are mortally sinful.” --- [Notice that St. Thomas here said that kisses and touches was mortal sins in the general sense if “they proceed from lust”, and that he did not say that “it depends on whether they occur in the context of marriage/fornication or not” or that “this is what decides or determines whether it becomes sinful.” Thus, it is totally clear from this definition of St. Thomas that he views the lustful intention when performing these acts as the source of the mortal sin itself, and not simply because they occur in context of marriage or not (as we shall also see further down).]

[St. Thomas Aquinas general reply to all the objections:] On the contrary, A lustful look is less than a touch, a caress or a kiss. But according to Mat. 5:28, "Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." MUCH MORE THEREFORE ARE LUSTFUL KISSES AND OTHER LIKE THINGS MORTAL SINS.” --- [This means that St. Thomas views lustful kisses “and other like things” as worse sins than adultery or fornication! This is probably due to the fact that St. Thomas views sexual sins that cannot serve for procreation as worse sins than those that can.]

Further, Cyprian says (Ad Pompon, de Virgin., Ep. lxii), "By their very intercourse, their blandishments, their converse, their embraces, those who are associated in a sleep that knows neither honor nor shame, acknowledge their disgrace and crime." Therefore by doing these things a man is guilty of a crime, that is, of mortal sin.”

I answer that, A thing is said to be a mortal works/sin in two ways. First, by reason of its species, and in this way a kiss, caress, or touch does not, of its very nature, imply a mortal sin, for it is possible to do such things without lustful pleasure, either as being the custom of one’s country, or on account of some obligation or reasonable cause. Secondly, a thing is said to be a mortal sin by reason of its cause: thus he who gives an alms, in order to lead someone into heresy, sins mortally on account of his corrupt intention. Now it has been stated above [I-II, Q. 74, A. 8], that it is a mortal sin not only to consent to the act, but also to the delectation [or pleasure] of a mortal sin. Wherefore since fornication is a mortal sin, and much more so the other kinds of lust [1] it follows that in such like sins [that is, sins of lust] not only consent to the act but also consent to the pleasure is a mortal sin. Consequently, when these kisses and caresses are done for this pleasure [lust] it follows that they are mortal sins, and only in this way are they said to be lustful. Therefore in so far as they are lustful, they are mortal sins.”

[1].and much more so the other kinds of lust…” i.e., lust committed both inside and outside of marriage. And by the way, St. Thomas also views sexual sins committed within a marriage as worse sins than those committed outside of marriage, as we shall see further on.

And for those objecting that St. Thomas was referring only to the unmarried people here since he mentioned the word “fornication” in some instances (but not others), we will provide the following quote by him refuting this argument:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64. Art. 1, Reply to Objection 3: “If the husband [refuses to pay the marital debt without a just cause] . . . then he sins, and his wife’s sin, should she fall into FORNICATION [adultery, impure thoughts or masturbation] on this account, is somewhat imputable to him. Hence he should endeavor to do his best that his wife may remain continent.”

Hence, it is totally clear from above that when St. Thomas was mentioning the word “fornication,” he was using it to refer to the sins of the unmarried and married people alike. And we know that this is the case, for when St. Thomas condemned lustful kisses and touches above as mortal sins – in the Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4 – we know that he was referring to both, since, as he said, all fornicators, all unclean people and all covetous was included in this category of mortal sinners (see objection 1 and reply to objection 1).

The main point we can gather from this explanation of St. Thomas that he so eloquently gives to us is that kisses and touches for sensual pleasure is completely unnecessary for procreation of children and serves nothing but a shameful, selfish, sinful and condemned lust. They are therefore mortal sins and are unreasonable and unnatural.

Athenagoras the Athenian (c. 175 A.D.): “On behalf of those, then, to whom we apply the names of brothers and sisters, and other designations of relationship, we exercise the greatest care that their bodies should remain undefiled and uncorrupted; for the Logos again says to us, “If any one kiss a second time because it has given him pleasure, [he sins];” adding, “Therefore the kiss, or rather the salutation, should be given with the greatest care, since, if there be mixed with it the least defilement of thought, it excludes us from eternal life.”” (A Plea for the Christians, Chapter XXXII.--Elevated Morality of the Christians)

About sexual thoughts and fantasies inside and outside of the marital act

It is of the Divine law that a person may never willfully entertain sexual thoughts in his mind, even about his wife, outside of the marital act. If a person willfully entertains sexual thoughts outside of the marital act or unnecessarily puts himself into sexual temptations when there is no need to, he or she commits a mortal sin. Consequently, one may not even entertain or consent to sexual thoughts about one’s own wife or husband outside of the marital act, but must resist these thoughts or temptations as one would resist the thought of adultery or fornication: “Several doctors [of Divinity] maintain that willingly fostering wicked carnal thoughts in order to enjoy oneself is a deadly sin, even without doing the deed. Be sure, however, that kisses, gazes, and fondling, mainly caused by such wicked and lustful thoughts, without anything more, is an even greater sin. … it is even worse if these kisses do not respect the honesty which is usually kept in public.” (Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes)

For instance, it would be quite sick for a husband not to resist sexual thoughts about his wife or to continually entertain such thoughts while at work or while on a trip, because while at work or while on a trip there is no chance for him to lawfully quiet his concupiscence and perform the marital act for procreational purposes. That’s why dwelling on such thoughts only would distract him spiritually and temporally and could even lead him into committing other sins, such as masturbation or adultery (in thought as well as in deed). All who do not wish to be damned must thus resist sexual thoughts and temptations outside of the marital act and may not entertain them in anyway.

It is of course one thing to be tempted to have sexual relations with one’s own wife or someone else (which is not sinful) and a whole other thing to consent to having sex with them in one’s thought or mind (which is sinful). Thus, a husband and wife may never consent to any sexual thoughts or fantasies about their spouse outside of the normal and natural marital act. However, that is not to say that it’s licit to think about bad or illicit things or give consent to them during the marital act—as so many evil and heretical people and so-called theologians actually teach today—for that is not what it means. What it means is simply that a person can only fully consent to, and give way to, sexual thoughts and desires (about their spouse) during the sexual act without committing any sin, so long as these thoughts range within what is lawful, natural, reasonable and necessary for the completion of the marital act to occur.

St. Thomas Aquinas wonderfully explains this thought process further to us in his Summa Theologica:

Accordingly a man who is thinking of fornication, may delight in either of two things: first, in the thought itself [by merely thinking about it but not necessarily giving consent to it or the pleasure derived from it], secondly, in the fornication thought of. Now the delectation [pleasure] in the thought itself results from the inclination of the appetite to the thought; and the thought itself is not in itself a mortal sin; sometimes indeed it is only a venial sin, as when a man thinks of such a thing for no purpose; and sometimes it is no sin at all, as when a man has a purpose in thinking of it; for instance, he may wish to preach or dispute about it. Consequently such affection or delectation [pleasure] in respect of the thought of fornication is not a mortal sin in virtue of its genus, but is sometimes a venial sin and sometimes no sin at all: wherefore neither is it a mortal sin to consent to such a thought [it only becomes a mortal sin if one consents to and wants to have the illicit pleasure in the thought]. In this sense the first opinion is true. But that a man in thinking of fornication [or other unreasonable or sinful sexual acts] takes pleasure in the act thought of, is due to his desire being inclined to this act. Wherefore the fact that a man consents to such a delectation [pleasure], amounts to nothing less than a consent to the inclination of his appetite to fornication [or other sinful sexual acts]: for no man takes pleasure except in that which is in conformity with his appetite. Now it is a mortal sin, if a man deliberately chooses that his appetite be conformed to what is in itself a mortal sin. Wherefore such a consent to delectation [or pleasure] in a mortal sin, is itself a mortal sin, as the second opinion maintains.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q 74, Art. 8)

Thus, if even pleasurable sexual thoughts outside of the marital act of one’s own legitimate spouse is sinful if not fought against, how much more must not the sensual thoughts of one’s neighbor be? If even kisses between married spouses for the purpose of carnal pleasure is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church, how much more must not the perversions of the marital acts be that so many spouses today practice?

St. Augustine, On the Morals of the Catholic Church, Chapter 30, Section 62, A.D. 388: “For to Christians this rule of life is given, that we should love the Lord Our God with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and our neighbor as ourselves... God alone, to find whom is the happiest life, must be worshiped in perfect purity and chastity... in chaste and faithful obedience, not to gratify passion, but for the propagation of offspring, and for domestic society.”

Foreplay is intrinsically evil

The Catholic Church teaches that foreplay between spouses is intrinsically evil. Hence, any sexual activity that cannot procreate if procreation were possible is intrinsically evil and thus a mortal sin.

Tobias 8:9 “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity [children], in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

Therefore, any sexual activity between spouses for any purpose outside of sexual intercourse is intrinsically evil because any such sexual activity cannot procreate even if the wife was fertile and hence the primary motive of procreation cannot be present.

They seek a warmth and sexual lust that will perish and love flesh that will be eaten by worms. … When the couple comes to bed, my Spirit leaves them immediately and the spirit of impurity approaches instead because they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other.… Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent.” (Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget – Excerpt from The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26)

Saint Augustine of Hippo, in his moral treatise ‘On the Good of Marriage,’ writes on the subject of sexual intercourse within marriage.

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 11, A.D. 401: “… nor be changed into that use which is against nature, on which the Apostle could not be silent, when speaking of the excessive corruptions of unclean and impious men.… by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife.”

The expression ‘that use which is against nature’ refers to unnatural sexual acts, such as oral, anal, or manual sex (masturbation). Saint Augustine condemns such acts unequivocally. He even states that such unnatural sexual acts are more damnable (i.e. even more serious mortal sins) when these take place within marriage. The reason why is that God is even more offended by a sexual mortal sin that takes place within the Sacrament of Marriage, since this offense is not only against nature, but also against a Holy Sacrament. “So then, of all to whom much has been given, much will be required. And of those to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law: “Also, Jerome, [on Ephesians 5:25]: C. 14. The procreation of children in marriage is praiseworthy, but a prostitute’s sensuality is damnable in a wife. So, as we have said, the act is conceded in marriage for the sake of children. But the sensuality found in a prostitute’s embraces is damnable in a wife.”

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 12, A.D. 401: “For, whereas that natural use, when it pass beyond the compact of marriage, that is, beyond the necessity of begetting, is pardonable in the case of a wife, damnable in the case of an harlot; that which is against nature is execrable when done in the case of an harlot, but more execrable in the case of a wife…. But, when the man shall wish to use the member of the wife not allowed for this purpose, the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman.”

In this passage, St. Augustine first compares natural and normal sexual relations within marriage done out of impure desires to the same natural sexual acts outside of marriage. He teaches that having natural and normal sexual relations within marriage, when done to satisfy a somewhat impure desire, is pardonable, that is, a venial sin, but that natural sexual relations outside of marriage is damnable, which means a mortal sin. Then St. Augustine goes on to consider ‘that which is against nature,’ that is, unnatural sexual acts such as oral and anal sex, foreplay, kisses and touches for sensual pleasure, and masturbation of self or of spouse. He condemns such unnatural sexual acts as ‘execrable’ (utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent). Therefore these acts are among the worst of the sexual mortal sins. He also teaches that unnatural sexual acts within marriage, far from being permitted because they take place within marriage, are even worse, calling them ‘even more execrable,’ than the same unnatural sexual acts outside of marriage. Again, this is because the sin is not only against nature, but against a Holy Sacrament instituted by Christ Himself for the sake of our salvation.Therefore, unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts do not become permissible when these take place within marriage. Instead, unnatural sexual acts are made even more sinful when they take place within marriage because they offend against both nature and a Holy Sacrament.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 8: “And since the man who is too ardent a lover of his wife acts counter to the good of marriage if he use her indecently, although he be not unfaithful, he may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.”

Notice in the quote above that St. Thomas held sexual sins within marriage to be worse than adultery, because the act occurs within marriage. He did not teach that all sexual acts between a husband and wife are moral as many perverted “Catholics” nowadays do.

The phrase ‘if he use her indecently’ refers to unnatural sexual acts within marriage. This is clear because the good of marriage emphasized by St. Thomas is the procreation of children (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 2). St. Thomas could not be referring to natural marital relations when he says ‘if he use her indecently’ because even natural marital relations done with some disorder of desire still retains the procreative function. But unnatural sexual acts lack this meaning, and so are contrary to the good of marriage. The use of unnatural sexual acts within marriage is therefore worse than adultery.

St. Thomas again condemns this same type of act later in the same question.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 12: “Lastly comes the sin of not observing the right manner of copulation, which is more grievous if the abuse regards the ‘vas’ [the woman] than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances.”

First, the word ‘vas’ is Latin for vessel, referring to the use of other bodily orifices for sexual acts. If a husband treats his wife lustfully or inordinately during natural marital relations, (or if he sees his wife as a mere sexual object given him to satisfy his lust) he sins. But he commits a more grievous offense, which is called “abuse” by St. Thomas, if he sins by committing unnatural sexual acts (that is, using any part of the body as a ‘vessel’ or ‘means’ for achieving sexual arousal). Here St. Thomas explicitly (but in discrete language) condemns the sin of unnatural sexual acts within marriage.

Second, it is clear (in the quote from article 8 above) that St. Thomas taught that a married couple is not justified in committing any unnatural sexual acts whatsoever within marriage. Otherwise, he would not have taught that a man who is too ardent a lover of his wife commits a sin that is like adultery and yet worse than adultery. Therefore, those who claim that there are no sins for a husband and wife having sexual relations with each other are in error.

Third, neither does St. Thomas even consider the absurd argument that acts which are intrinsically evil and gravely immoral by themselves could become good and moral when combined in some way with natural marital relations open to life. If this were the case, St. Thomas could not have compared a man who is too ardent a lover of his wife to an adulterer. For if he took the position of certain heretical modern-day commentators, he would have to say that a husband’s ardent love would be entirely justified, as long as “the semen are not misdirected.” Notice that St. Thomas takes no such position. He does not sum up the marital act as merely the proper direction of semen, as so many persons teach today.

In fact, the Angelic doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, defines lust in the following manner:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 153, Art. 3: “I answer that, The more necessary a thing is, the more it behooves one to observe the order of reason in its regard; wherefore the more sinful it becomes if the order of reason be forsaken. Now the use of venereal acts, as stated in the foregoing Article, is most necessary for the common good, namely the preservation of the human race. Wherefore there is the greatest necessity for observing the order of reason in this matter: so that if anything be done in this connection against the dictate of reason’s ordering, it will be a sin. Now lust consists essentially in exceeding the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts. Wherefore without any doubt lust is a sin.”

According to St. Thomas, whenever spouses go beyond “the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts” during marital relations, they committed the sin of lust. St. Thomas continues to expound on this teaching in the following question:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1: “I answer that As stated above (Question 153, Article 3), the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason. … Reply to Objection 6. According to a gloss on this passage [Galatians 5:19] "lust" there signifies any kind of excess.”

What, then, is excess in the marital act? Again, let’s ask St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1: “Reply to Objection 5. As a gloss says on this passage, "uncleanness" stands for lust against nature… Reply to Objection 6. We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.”

Notice that St. Thomas even rejects as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth” and so, it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts are sinful and against nature. And the infallible word of God of course agrees with this truth of nature, teaching us that: “The works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury [lust]... Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19, 21)

In order for a sexual act to be moral, each act must be natural, marital, and procreative. When considering whether or not an act is natural, marital, and procreative, each sexual act must be considered by itself. One cannot combine or string together several sexual acts, where only some are open to life, and then justify one act by combination with another act. One cannot precede, combine, or follow an act of natural marital relations with a sexual act that is unnatural or not open to life, and then justify one by the other. Indeed, “There would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is condemned by God.” (Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, Book V, Chapter VIII, A.D. 307)

Therefore the excuse that some spouses must perform sexual activities outside of normal and natural sexual intercourse as a preparation for sexual intercourse is condemned by the Church. It is a sinful excuse that allows spouses to perpetuate their sexual perversions by sexually abusing their body parts that have nothing whatsoever to do with procreation. If people practice any variation of foreplay, they will without a doubt be cast to Hell to suffer and burn for all eternity.

Ephesians 5:3-12 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; Proving what is well pleasing to God: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.”

Oral and anal sex and stimulation is intrinsically evil and against the Natural Law

St. Barnabas, Letter of Barnabas, Chapter 10:8, A.D. 74: “Moreover, he [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel [Leviticus 11:29]. For he means, ‘Thou shalt not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouth through uncleanness [oral sex]; nor shalt thou be joined to those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth with the body through uncleanness.’” (Chapter X.--Spiritual Significance of the Precepts of Moses Respecting Different Kinds of [Forbidden] Food)

Very simply, the mouth and the anus have a purpose. Nature tells us that God made the mouth for the intake of food and drink, and the anus for the excretion of feces. Moreover, nature tells us that if we begin to use the mouth and the anus in improper ways, then bodily infection, disease, and death may be the result.

St. Augustine, On The Good of Marriage, Section 11-12, A.D. 401: “For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children] no longer follows reason, but lust. … [And] they [must] not turn away from them the mercy of God… by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of creation, that… when the man shall wish to use a body part of the wife not allowed for this purpose, the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman.”

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1871, was the founder of the Redemptorists and one of the Church’s greatest moral theologians. St. Alphonsus, answering all those perverse persons who claim that one may perform anal sex or that this evil act is only a venial sin, writes: “[Q.] Whether a man sins mortally by beginning intercourse in the posterior receptacle (the anus), so as to consummate it afterwards in the appropriate receptacle (the vagina)?” The answer given to that question is: “… it is more generally and truly affirmed [to be a mortal sin] by [theologians], because coitus itself of this kind (even if without insemination) is true sodomy, although not consummated, just as copulation in the natural vessel of another woman is true fornication, even if insemination does not take place.” Thus, it is clear that St. Alphonsus Liguori’s teaching correspond perfectly with the Natural Law, which teaches that any kind of anal penetration is a mortal sin and an intrinsically evil act that can never be excused.

St. Theodore of Tarsus (A.D. 602-690), Archbishop of Canterbury, in The Penitential of Theodore, which is based directly on his teachings written down by his pupil, says the following concerning these evil sins: “‘He who ejaculates into the mouth of another shall do penance for seven years; this is the worst of evils.’ Elsewhere it was his judgment that both participants in the offense shall do penance to the end of life; or twelve years, or as above seven.” (The Penitential of Theodore, Chapter 2, Of Fornication)

And, as we have seen, St. Thomas Aquinas brands as an unnatural sin the behavior of a man and woman who “do not observe the right manner of copulation”. But he adds that such a sin “is more grievous if the abuse regards the receptacle (vas) than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances”. The only “fitting receptacle” was of course the wife’s vagina. Any place else was called an “unfitting receptacle” (vas indebitum). “Lastly comes the sin of not observing the right manner of copulation, which is more grievous if the abuse regards the ‘vas’ [vessel, orifice] than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 12)

The mouth and the anus were not made to stimulate the genital organs. Nothing could be more evident than this fact. Catholic Tradition and the Natural Law clearly teach us that oral and anal stimulation are sinful, lustful acts and deviant sexual behavior. Those who promote such perversions or believe them to be not sinful are guilty of the mortal sin of heresy for denying the Natural Law and, as such, are outside the Catholic Church.

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 20, A.D. 419: “God forbid that a man who possesses faith should, when he hears the apostle bid men love their wives, [Col. 3:19] love that carnal concupiscence in his wife which he ought not to love even in himself; as he may know, if he listens to the words of another apostle: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever, even as also God abides for ever." [1 John 2:15-17]. . . . Now this concupiscence, this law of sin which dwells in our members, to which the law of righteousness forbids allegiance, saying in the words of the apostle, "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof; neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:" [Rom. 6:12-13]. . . . But what in this action does it effect, unless it be its evil and shameful desires? For if these were good and lawful, the apostle would not forbid obedience to them, saying, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey the lusts thereof." [Rom. 6:12] He does not say, that you should have the lusts thereof, but that you should [not] obey the lusts thereof; in order that (as these desires are greater or less in different individuals, according as each shall have progressed in the renewal of the inner man) we may maintain the fight of holiness and chastity, for the purpose of withholding obedience to these [evil and shameful] lusts.”

Evil theologians say sodomy between spouses is not mortally sinful

The worst mortal sin in regard to forbidden sexual activity between spouses is sodomy (also known as the sin of Sodom), which is one of the four sins that cry out to God for vengeance.

Penny Catechism (A Catechism of Christian Doctrine), 16th century: Q. 327. Which are the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance? A. The four sins crying to heaven for vengeance are: 1. Wilful murder (Gen. iv); 2. The sin of Sodom (Gen. xviii); 3. Oppression of the poor (Exod. ii); 4. Defrauding laborers of their wages (James v).”

Yet in spite of this dogmatic teaching on morals, Fr. Heribert Jone, in every edition of his book Moral Theology from 1929 onwards, teaches that a husband can sodomize his wife and his wife can allow it and neither commit mortal sin as long as he consummates his act naturally with the intention to procreate. And the pervert Jone teaches that this act is not sodomy at all because the husband does not spill his seed when sodomizing his wife. Note that the term “imperfect sodomy” used by Fr. Jone means the mortal sin of sodomy between persons of the opposite sex, and “perfect sodomy” is the mortal sin of sodomy between those of the same sex.

Moral Theology, Fr. Heribert Jone, 1951: “I. Imperfect Sodomy, i.e., rectal intercourse, is a grave sin when the seminal fluid is wasted: Excluding the sodomitical intention it is neither sodomy nor a grave sin if intercourse is begun in a rectal manner with the intention of consummating it naturally or if some sodomitical action is posited without danger of pollution…” (“3. The Sins of Married People,” Section 757.)

Hence the pervert Fr. Jone says that rectal intercourse between a husband and wife is not a grave sin as long as the husband does not spill his seed when sodomizing his wife. And according to the pervert Fr. Jone, this is not even sodomy! One must ask, then, “What is it?” and “What is the purpose of this filthy and perverted act?” It is sodomy, plain and simple! And the purpose is to mock God and to degrade and disgrace the wife. Not only is this sodomitical act by the spouses contrary to nature and cries out to God for vengeance, but it is also physically destructive to the health of both spouses.

However, Fr. Jone contradicts his above teaching within his same book. In Section 230 he gives the correct definition of sodomy as follows.

Moral Theology, Fr. Heribert Jone: “230. – II. Sodomy. 1. Definition. Sodomy is unnatural carnal copulation either with a person of the same sex (perfect sodomy) or of the opposite sex; the latter of heterosexual sodomy consists in rectal intercourse (imperfect sodomy). Either kind of sodomy will be consummated or non-consummated according as semination takes place or not.”

Therefore, whether the seed is spilled during sodomy or not, it is still sodomy, but one is called consummated sodomy and the other is non-consummated sodomy. Hence in Section 230 he correctly teaches that a husband who sodomizes his wife but does not consummate the sodomy is still guilty of sodomy, which he correctly classifies as non-consummated sodomy. His teaching in this section contradicts what he teaches in Section 757 when he says that the husband’s non-consummated sodomy is not sodomy at all. Nature itself tells even a pagan that any form of rectal intercourse for any reason as well as any kind of sexual activity outside what is necessary for procreation is intrinsically evil and selfish.

It is a sad thing that the world and so called Catholics have fallen into such a state of degradation that one is even forced to have to remark on such obvious truths from the Natural Law that all people know about. In marriage the husband and wife face the ever-present temptation to sin by seeking sexual pleasure with each other. However, as we have seen, the Catholic Church have always condemned the evil and perversity of all unnatural sexual acts within or without marriage. Because they understood the evil of such acts in former times, it was more common to see holy pictures depicting the fact that those wretched people who committed “sins of lust within the holy state of Matrimony” were especially guilty of the brutal scourging and crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A good example demonstrating this was pictures of a Roman soldier beating Jesus with a whip with the caption saying that: “Christ expiated sins of the flesh by enduring the merciless scourging at the pillar.” And that: “Sins of lust within the holy state of Matrimony play their cruel part in these sufferings of our Divine Savior.” In truth, married people are especially guilty for the torture and crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ since their sin is not only against the Natural Law, but also against the Holy Sacrament of Marriage.

And it should come as no surprise to those who heed the words of the Blessed and Ever Virgin Mary who said that massive immorality prevailed among most priests in 1846 and that their behavior “will put an end to faith little by little”, which we are now seeing being fulfilled before our eyes.

Our Lady of La Salette (1846), in a Revelation approved by the Church spoke, saying: “The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked lives, by irreverence and their impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, their love of honors and pleasures, the priests have become cesspools of impurity… The chiefs, the leaders of the people of God have neglected prayer and penance, and the devil has bedimmed their intelligence. They have become wandering stars which the old devil will drag along with his tail to make them perish… In the year 1864, Lucifer together with a large number of demons will be unloosed from hell; they will put an end to faith little by little, even in those dedicated to God. They will blind them in such a way, that, unless they are blessed with a special grace, these people will take on the spirit of these angels of hell; several religious institutions will lose all faith and will lose many souls… Evil books will be abundant on earth and the spirits of darkness will spread everywhere a universal slackening in all that concerns the service of God… Rome will lose the faith and become the see of Antichrist The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay...”

To those who have attentively read the Book of Lamentations, it should come as no surprise that God’s chosen people have yet again returned to their own vomit of paganism and the sins of Sodom. “And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment.” (Lamentations 4:6) Sad to say, “But those who, giving the rein to lust, either wander about steeping themselves in a multitude of debaucheries, or even in regard to one wife not only exceed the measure necessary for the procreation of children, but with the shameless license of a sort of slavish freedom heap up the filth of a still more beastly excess, such men do not believe it possible that the men of ancient times used a number of wives with temperance, looking to nothing but the duty, necessary in the circumstances of the time, of propagating the race; and what they themselves, who are entangled in the meshes of lust, do not accomplish in the case of a single wife, they think utterly impossible in the case of a number of wives.” (St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 19, Section 28.--Wicked Men Judge Others by Themselves, A.D. 397)

Marital relations during a woman’s infertile period should be avoided

As recorded in the Old Testament Scripture and in order to increase even more virtue and grace in God’s chosen people, God defined most exquisite laws about when and how marital relations are to be performed. For instance, He commanded that the woman shall be considered unclean at the time of her infertile monthly cycle and also seven days after it, thus prohibiting marital relations during the infertile monthly period. A woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days long, and the menstrual phase is about 5 days. Adding 7 days after the menstrual phase in accordance with God’s word would mean that a woman should remain chaste for 12 days out of 28 days during her menstrual cycle.

The Holy Bible, Leviticus 15:19-28 “The woman, who at the return of the month, hath her issue of blood, shall be separated seven days. Every one that toucheth her, shall be unclean until the evening. And every thing that she sleepeth on, or that she sitteth on in the days of her separation, shall be defiled. He that toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes: and being himself washed with water, shall be unclean until the evening. Whosoever shall touch any vessel on which she sitteth, shall wash his clothes: and himself being washed with water, shall be defiled until the evening. If a man copulateth with her in the time of her flowers, he shall be unclean seven days: and every bed on which he shall sleep shall be defiled. The woman that hath an issue of blood many days out of her ordinary time, or that ceaseth not to flow after the monthly courses, as long as she is subject to this disease, shall be unclean, in the same manner as if she were in her flowers. Every bed on which she sleepeth, and every vessel on which she sitteth, shall be defiled. Whosoever toucheth them shall wash his clothes: and himself being washed with water, shall be unclean until the evening. If the blood stop and cease to run, she shall count seven days of her purification.”

This means that God commanded the man and his wife to only have marital relations on the days that are most favorable for begetting children. This was practiced and followed by the Jews many thousands of years before the medical knowledge was learned that conception do not normally occur during these time periods, thus showing us, once again, that the Christian God is the One and only true God who possess all knowledge in Heaven and on Earth. May the Holy Trinity be blessed for all eternity! By commanding such wondrous laws that inspires to perfection, God limited the time a couple could have marital relations, thus decreasing their carnal temptations. For what reason did he do this, someone might ask? The answer is very simple, for it is very obvious that a man or a woman who have sex often will be tempted either to start loving the sexual pleasure or to commit various sexual sins or to have sex with other people that they are not married with, while people who are completely chaste or who have sex very seldom will be stronger in resisting unclean temptations. Sexual pleasure is easier to get addicted to than most drugs, and so, it is very important to guard oneself from being overcome by it. This teaching from the Holy Bible clearly shows us that God does not want spouses to perform the marital act during a woman’s infertile period.

St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 21, Section 43, A.D. 421: “It, [conjugal chastity] too, combats carnal concupiscence lest it exceed the proprieties of the marriage bed; it combats lest concupiscence break into the time agreed upon by the spouses for prayer. If this conjugal chastity possesses such great power and is so great gift from God that it does what the matrimonial code prescribes, it combats in even more valiant fashion in regard to the act of conjugal union, lest there be indulgence beyond what suffices for generating offspring. Such chastity abstains during menstruation and pregnancy, nor has it union with one no longer able to conceive on account of age. And the desire for union does not prevail, but ceases when there is no prospect of generation. … there must be warfare against evil of concupiscence, which is so evil it must be resisted in the combat waged by chastity, lest it do damage.”

If spouses wish to nurture virtue, and if there is a mutual consent for abstaining from marital relations, then both husband and wife can separate from each other any amount of time they decide in order to cultivate virtue and evangelical perfection. By God’s holy inspiration, we pray and beg that all may consider to do this from time to time.

1 Corinthians 7:1-10 “Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency. But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I. But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt. But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband.”

Many Christian writers have written about the depth of love existing between those blessed and holy spouses who renounce marital intercourse, in order to try to help and inspire married people to seek the higher spiritual things. Stories about loving spouses in sexless or spiritual marriages appears from the beginning of the Church. In one story the bones of a spouse who had lived in a spiritual marriage moved over to make room for her husband’s recently deceased body and in another story a wife’s corpse was embraced by her departed husband’s arm when she was placed in the tomb. In truth, such couples perceived their lives of sexual abstinence as an anticipation of Heaven. Denying their sensual and fallen nature, they embraced a state of spiritual holiness and loved each other in a perfect and true love, rather than in an impure and selfish love that, sad to say, almost all of humanity now does. Ida of Boulogne (1040–1113) endured rather than enjoyed marital relations and Waletrude “abhorred sexual relations, though she loved her husband in a spiritual way”.

In answering the question, “Whether carnal intercourse is an integral part of this sacrament [of Matrimony]?” St. Thomas Aquinas replied: “A sacrament by its very name denotes a sanctification. But matrimony is holier without carnal intercourse… Therefore carnal intercourse is not necessary for the sacrament.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 42, Art. 4)

Gratian, Medivial Marrriage Law 32.1.11: “Hence Augustine writes, in Against Julian, I: ‘True marriage does not consist in mere intercourse between a male and a female. Contrary to your raving, true marriage does not consist merely of intercourse between a male and a female, although, without that, marriages could not procreate children. Other elements are essential to marriage, and these distinguish marriage from adultery. For example, fidelity to the conjugal yoke, actions directed to the procreation of children, and (here is the greatest difference) the good use of something evil, that is, the good use of carnal desire, something which the adulterer misuses.’ Gratian: ‘The goods he commends here must be distinguished from their misuse.’”

Path to purity and perfection

An honest person should now be able to see clearly that “the devil has power” over all those who come together in the marital act for the sake of fleshly lust. St. Raphael the Archangel, one of the seven archangels that stand before God’s throne, reveals what God’s will is for spouses in the use of the marital act:

Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. … And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 6:16-17, 22; 8:9)

According to God’s holy will, spouses are to engage in the marital act for the “love of posterity” (children), not for lust. No, contrary to what most people today say, the Holy Bible is clear that spouses are to come together “only for the love of posterity” if they want to please Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Word of God in the Bible is indeed true when it says that “the devil has power” over all spouses who come together for the purpose of gratifying their fleshly pleasures, giving “themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding”.

The goal of every true Catholic is to be a Saint. That means they must strive to be perfect and holy as God is perfect and holy. “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) “It is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

In this path to perfection, the lustful aspect, the love of the momentary pleasure of the flesh is fought against, conquered, and thus utterly despised. “Flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world.” (2 Peter 1:4) To say that this cannot be achieved is to deny the power of God and His grace. “Being confident of this very thing: that he who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) The weapons of the Catholic faith: grace, persevering prayer, sacrifice, mortification, and penance are more than sufficient to conquer any sin, sinful inclination, or fault and reach perfection in a short time.

Not many people, however, seek after perfection or even the beginning stages of perfection, and this is the tragic reason for that the greater number of Catholics will be eternally condemned. Sad to say, but most people give to their flesh whatever it wants, whenever it desires it, all day long. Food, media, music, sensual pleasure or what have you, and these are just some of the many reasons why they cannot control their lust. If they would start praying the Holy Rosary and doing penances like fasting and other works of abstinence and piety and cease with all deeds of sin and vanity, their fleshly lust would in many cases be smothered or decreased. But penances and mortifications are utterly despised by the natural man, and so, only a few elect souls ever reach the point where they can experience that their fleshly lusts and desires are decreased or smothered.

All sins, including sexual sins that men and women commit are controllable as long as one choose to cut of all deliberate sin and occasions of sin, like the media, food or friends etc. But since most people do not avoid all their sinful and worldly activities totally, and especially the direct occasions of their sin—that is, the things which are the cause for their falls into sin—they do not experience an alleviation in their temptations. Many people who are living in sexual sins or fleshly desires indeed tries in some ways to end their sins, but since they do not cut off the occasions of their sins completely, they fail sooner or later. The consequence of their failure in attempting to stop sinning (and that they do not experience a decrease of their fleshly lusts and desires) is that many people fall into the abominable sin of accusing God for their sins, perversely claiming that they cannot stop sinning and extricate themselves from a life of sin. Others inspired by their father the devil tries to excuse the severity of their crimes, claiming that God is merciful to this passion. Indeed, “Our relentless enemy [the devil], the teacher of fornication, whispers that God is lenient and particularly merciful to this passion, since it is so very natural. Yet if we watch the wiles of the demons we will observe that after we have actually sinned they will affirm that God is a just and inexorable judge. They say one thing to lead us into sin, another thing to overwhelm us in despair.” (St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step Fifteen, On Chastity)

Contrary to those wretches who try to excuse or blame God for their sins and failures, the Holy Bible and the Teaching of the Church, however, teaches us that all sin is a direct product of man’s perverted will, and at the moment of death such blasphemers who question God’s goodness, or who tries to excuse their vile and unnatural sexual crimes, shall be forever damned and banished by God’s justice to the boiling kettle that is Hell.

James 1:13-15 “Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man. But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured. Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death.”

Our Lord is perfectly able to help us to conquer our temptations as long as we are doing our part and perform acts of virtue. The only thing that stands in the way of our salvation is not a lack of grace from God, but rather our own sloth in prayer, spiritual reading and cutting of all the occasions of sin. For “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented. And especially them who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government, audacious, self willed, they fear not to bring in sects, blaspheming.” (2 Peter 2:9)

The reasons of why spouses as well as all others fall into sin of various kinds are almost innumerable today, and the reason for this is since debauchery and sensuality almost rule the whole earth as though it was built in the very law and fabric of society. In general, however, one can say that a human deed becomes more dangerous and potent to damn a person the more pleasure one seeks to derive from it. St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church, in his admirably written “Orations of St. Gregory Nazianzen,” gives us a thorough and almost perfect description of the causes that strengthen the power of sin in our members and mind and that weaken our resolve against our enemy, the Devil. “Let us not adorn our porches, nor arrange dances, nor decorate the streets; let us not feast the eye, nor enchant the ear with music, nor enervate the nostrils with perfume, nor prostitute the taste, nor indulge the touch, those roads that are so prone to evil and entrances for sin; let us not be effeminate in clothing soft and flowing, whose beauty consists in its uselessness, nor with the glittering of gems or the sheen of gold [Rom. 13:13] or the tricks of color, belying the beauty of nature, and invented to do despite unto the image of God; Not in rioting and drunkenness, with which are mingled, I know well, chambering and wantonness, since the lessons which evil teachers give are evil; or rather the harvests of worthless seeds are worthless. Let us not set up high beds of leaves, making tabernacles for the belly of what belongs to debauchery. Let us not appraise the bouquet of wines, the kickshaws of cooks, the great expense of unguents. Let not sea and land bring us as a gift their precious dung, for it is thus that I have learned to estimate luxury; and let us not strive to outdo each other in intemperance (for to my mind every superfluity is intemperance, and all which is beyond absolute need), and this while others are hungry and in want, who are made of the same clay and in the same manner.” (Orations of St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration XXXVIII, Section V)

St. Caesarius of Arles in his sermons also admonishes and warns us not to get controlled by our desires, and teaches us of the strong effects they have in influencing our lives for the worse, but that we are able to control and become master over it, and that it is how we live our life that determines whether we are able to gain the victory and control over them. “Now, someone says: I am young; I can in no way control myself. Perhaps you do not control yourself because you eat more than is necessary, and drink more wine than you should. Perhaps you even occupy your mind with shameful thoughts, neither fearing nor blushing to willingly and frequently utter dissolute words or to hear them from others. With God’s help begin to restrain your gluttonous desires, and to occupy your mind and your tongue with chaste thoughts and upright words. You will see that, if God assists you, you will be able to observe chastity. If no bodily infirmity hinders you, do not mind fasting rather often or rising a little earlier for church, so that you may guard your soul against the stains of lust. If in spite of your faithful obedience you see yourself exhausted by assaults of the flesh, and if several times you are persuaded [by the devil] to know your wife without any desire for children [that is, if you perform the normal, natural and procreative marital act but without performing it for the motive of procreation which is required in order for the act to be lawful and excused from being a sin], give alms every day according to your means, for we read: ‘As water quencheth a fire, so alms destroyeth sins.’ [Eccli. 3:33] Moreover, grant full pardon to all who may have offended you, for this is a great and salutary remedy against all sins. Thus, what was defiled by incontinence may be cleansed by fasting and almsgiving, but most of all by the forgiveness of enemies.” (Sermons of St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44, Section 4)

When and how the marital act should be performed

The way to perfection regarding the marital act is that spouses only perform the act with the sole intention and hope of conceiving children. That means spouses are to be chaste during the monthly infertile period of the woman and when she is pregnant. We read in the Old Testament that God had forbidden the marital act during the infertile monthly cycle of the woman: “The woman, who at the return of the month, hath her issue of blood, shall be separated seven days.” (Leviticus 15:19) Haydock commentary explains: “Days, not only out of the camp, but from the company of men.” As soon as a woman showed signs of infertility (menstruation), intercourse would cease until the cessation of the flow of blood and she became fertile again: “Thou shalt not approach to a woman having her flowers: neither shalt thou uncover her nakedness.” (Leviticus 18:19) Haydock commentary: “Saint Augustine believes that this law is still in force. [On Lev. 20:18] This intemperance was by a positive law declared a mortal offense of the Jews.” This clearly shows us that God does not want spouses to perform the marital act during this time.

To abstain from sexual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period or pregnancy and subsequent restricted days has all but been ignored by most of today’s people. Observing the period of restriction for sexual activity not only diminishes sexual sins and temptations, but it also places a woman into her fertile period when it is most beneficial for conception to occur. This helps to fulfill the initial command of God to “be fruitful and multiply,” a command that is clearly not being observed today by many people.

Good husbands and wives do not have sexual relations whenever their unbridled lust desires it, but only at times prescribed for this purpose and when it is necessary. The guide of good and pious husbands and wives are thus their conscience and reason instead of their selfish and unbridled lusts. In the book of Ecclesiastes, this concept is eloquently explained to us in the following way:

All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-5)

The phrase “A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces” refers to the marital act. Haydock Commentary: “Ver. 5. Embraces. Continence was sometimes prescribed to married people, Leviticus xx. 18., and 1 Corinthians vii. (St. Jerome) (St. Augustine, Enchiridion 78.) (Calmet).” This shows that the marital act must sometimes be abstained from altogether and not engaged in everyday as the evil and immoral world teaches. As said already, one of the reasons for abstaining from the marital act is in order to cultivate virtue and chastity. This is important to do from time to time, for people who have sex often are more likely to become enslaved by this pleasure and fall into sexual sin.

Indeed, The Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the section “Married Persons should sometimes abstain from the Marriage Debt” explains that this is a “holy injunction of our Fathers”: “But as all blessings are to be obtained from God by holy prayer, the faithful are also to be taught sometimes to abstain from the marriage debt, in order to devote themselves to prayer and supplication to God. This religious continence, according to the proper and holy injunction of our Fathers, they should know is to be observed in particular for at least three days previous to receiving the holy Eucharist, and oftener during the solemn Fast of Lent; for thus will they find the blessings themselves of marriage augmented by a daily increasing accumulation of divine grace; and living in the pursuit and practice of piety, they will not only spend this life tranquilly and placidly, but will also rest on the true and firm hope, which "confoundeth not" (Romans 5:5), of attaining, through the goodness of God, life eternal.”

People who never try to control their lust and that let their temptations roam freely—indulging in it whenever it pleases them—have in fact allowed their lust to become their “fix” or “high”. People who act in this way have become worshipers of a fleeting fleshly pleasure and grown attached to it. Such people must be very careful about themselves, for whenever they die and are called before the throne of Our Lord Jesus Christ, their eternal destiny will be decided based on what they loved more in this life: Our Lord and His Love, or themselves and their unbridled, selfish lust. If they loved themselves and their lust more than they loved the Lord, they will not be saved. Only in Hell will many spouses regret that they never thought of controlling their lust or that they never had relations at proper times or at proper seasons.

We can read the following interesting points about proper marital relations in St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 5. This book is rightly entitled the “Book of Questions” because it proceeds by way of questions to which our Lord Jesus Christ gives wonderful answers.

St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 5, Interrogation 5: “[A monk and theologian of high learning asked our Lord Jesus Christ in a vision:] Fourth question. Why did you give men and women the seed of intercourse and a sexual nature, if the seed is not to be spilled according to the carnal appetite?

Answer to the fourth question. “I [Jesus] gave them the seed of intercourse so that it might germinate at the right place and in the right way and bear fruit for a just and rational cause.”

If one of the spouses is incontinent and want to gratify his lust often and unreasonably, then it is the incontinent spouse that is sinning while demanding the debt.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64, Art. 9, Reply to Objection 1: “As far as he is concerned he does not consent, but grants unwillingly and with grief [the marital debt on a holy day] that which is exacted of him; and consequently he does not sin. For it is ordained by God, on account of the weakness of the flesh, that the debt must always be paid to the one who asks lest he be afforded an occasion of sin.”

So long as the other spouse’s intention is not to live a lustful life, he or she will be excused from any possible sin of incontinence and lust that the incontinent spouse will make himself guilty of. That is not to say, however, that the spouse should not to try to persuade the other partner from sin or from seeking to overindulge in sexual pleasure. On the contrary, Our Lord and His Church demands that good husbands and wives should do their utmost in deterring their respective partner from sin.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin.

A spouse who is obstinate in sexual sins like Onanism or masturbation etc., must of course be hindered from committing this sin as far as one is able to hinder him or her. A spouse must do all in his or her power to hinder sexual sins from being committed, and must obviously end marital relations until the sinful spouse agrees to stop committing this sin. If a spouse continues to perform the marital act with a person who is obstinate in committing sexual sin, this deed will undoubtedly make such a spouse an accomplice in this sexual sin, and as such, will make him or her lose his soul along with the one actually committing the sin, since, if the spouse was really against this sin, he or she would not allow it to happen or give an occasion for it to occur, unless the spouse beforehand had repented and promised not to commit this sin again. It also frequently happens that although one of the spouses may indeed object to the sexual sins that are committed by an evil spouse, he or she nonetheless does not resist this sin properly, or even at all, and even finds pleasure in it. One cannot of course truly be against a sin unless one fully resists it and fights against it. Otherwise it is a sign that one has an inclination to this sin.

The union, then, of male and female for the purpose of procreation is the natural good of marriage. But he makes a bad use of this good who uses it bestially, so that his intention is on the gratification of lust, instead of the desire of offspring.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 5.--The Natural Good of Marriage, A.D. 419)

Not only is it more beneficial for couples to minimize the amount of sex they have, but people who reserve sex for marriage enjoy greater stability and communication in their relationships. A new scientific study published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology found that those couples who waited until marriage rated their relationship stability 22 percent higher than those who started having sex (fornication) in the early part of their relationship. The relationship satisfaction was 20 percent higher for those who waited, and communication was 12 percent better. This evidence shows us, once again, how sexual abstinence allows people to be free from the influence of the demon Asmodeus, who have been given permission by God to cause troubles for those men and women who are not virtuous or chaste. Couples that became sexually involved later in their relationship – but prior to marriage – reported benefits that were about half as strong as those who waited for marriage.

Most research on the topic is focused on individuals’ experiences and not the timing within a relationship,” said lead study author Dean Busby, a professor in Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life. “There’s more to a relationship than sex, but we did find that those who waited longer were happier...” Busby added. “I think it’s because they’ve learned to talk and have the skills to work with issues that come up.”

Sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the study, responded to its findings, saying that “couples who hit the honeymoon too early – that is, prioritize sex promptly at the outset of a relationship – often find their relationships underdeveloped when it comes to the qualities that make relationships stable and spouses reliable and trustworthy.” Because religious belief often plays a role for couples who choose to wait, Busby and his co-authors controlled for the influence of religious involvement in their analysis. “Regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction,” Busby said.

All this, of course, once again shows us the good effects and inherent goodness of a pure, virtuous, and chaste lifestyle. “Marriage, therefore, is a good in all the things which are proper to the married state. … In respect of its ordination for generation the Scripture says, "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house;" [1 Tim. 5:14]… For, inasmuch as the wedded state is good, insomuch does it produce a very large amount of good in respect of the evil of concupiscence; for it is not lust, but reason, which makes a good use of concupiscence. Now lust lies in that law of the "disobedient" members which the apostle notes as "warring against the law of the mind;" [Rom. 7:23] whereas reason lies in that law of the wedded state which makes good use of concupiscence [for the procreation of children].” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, A.D. 418)

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage (c. 198 A.D.): “To be subjected, then, to the passions, and to yield to them, is the extremest slavery; as to keep them in subjection is the only liberty. The divine Scripture accordingly says, that those who have transgressed the commandments are sold to strangers, that is, to sins alien to nature, till they return and repent. Marriage, then, as a sacred image, must be kept pure from those things which defile it. We are to rise from our slumbers with the Lord, and retire to sleep with thanksgiving and prayer, "Both when you sleep, and when the holy light comes," confessing the Lord in our whole life; possessing piety in the soul, and extending self-control to the body. For it is pleasing to God to lead decorum from the tongue to our actions. Filthy speech is the way to effrontery; and the end of both is filthy conduct.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

Fundamental rules for the marital act

There are some fundamental rules that all spouses need to learn in order to have a happy marriage. First, spouses should always pray the Rosary together or individually before the time they intend to have marital relations and beg God on their knees to grant them children for the honor and glory of His Holy name, if this is His will. Second, they should also pray to God for help that none of them will sin in thought or deed during the marital act. Third, they should always remember that God is present with them during the marital act and try their best to acknowledge the presence of Our Lord during marital relations by short thoughts of mental supplication, asking Him to protect them from falling into sin. These thoughts will hinder the spouses from searching to inflame their lust in sinful ways. Fourth, in order to not inflame concupiscence, they should always have darkness in the room instead of the lights turned on. Fifth, they should always expose as little flesh as possible while they are having marital relations in order to not give the devil any chance to tempt them to commit any sexual sins. Sixth, the marital act should always be done as fast as possible and must always be performed without any fore-or-after play and without any deed or move by the spouse to inflame their lust, beyond what is permitted. Man’s natural lust after the fall is, in most cases, enough to finalize the act without any further inflaming of the flesh by the spouses. But even if spouses are not inflamed naturally through old age, sickness or some other cause, they would still sin mortally if they were to inflame their own or their spouse’s lust in unlawful ways.

Seventh, they must never prolong the marital act for the sake of lust. Many husbands, for instance, try to prolong the marital act as much as they are able by refusing to finalize the act it even though they are able to do so. The only reason why they commit this sin is so that they may derive more sexual pleasure out of the act for themselves or their spouse. This deed of prolonging the marital act by refusing to finish it in the natural way for the sake of inflaming and enhancing sexual pleasure goes against the primary and secondary purposes of marriage and the marriage act, that is, the procreation of children and the quieting of concupiscence (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubi, #59) and is always sinful, since it is an act that is completely lustful, unnecessary and unreasonable. It is an unnatural act that acts counter to the inherent primary purpose of marriage, which is procreation and the Catholic education of children. It also acts directly counter to the secondary end of quieting of concupiscence, which is not being followed, but acted contrary against. Those who act in this lustful way are utterly detested and hated by God (Psalms 5:5-7) since they are searching for a shameful bodily gratification, and they will burn in Hell for all eternity just as they burned on earth in fleshly lusts, unless they learn to control their lust and repent by doing penance for their sins. Eight, spouses must never kiss or touch each other in order to enhance concupiscence or sensual pleasure, either before, during or after the marital act. Kisses and touches for the sake of carnal pleasure are totally condemned by the Catholic Church and Her Saints.

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution is excluded.” – Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

Nine, spouses should always remain chaste during the woman’s infertile periods and perform as few marital acts as possible each month in order to nurture virtue and perfection. The virtuous fruit and glory that such spouses give to Our Lord are undoubtedly very great, for those who have access to pleasure yet mortifies themselves can in a sense truly be called martyrs. These mortifications and sacrifices will also help make the power and influence of the devil grow less powerful in their life, and as a direct consequence to this, make the power and influence of God and His Holy Spirit grow stronger in their life—in those good spouses who abstain from performing the marital except for the procreation of children for the love of Our Lord. This will also make the home of these spouses more loving and free from those troubles and demons that most worldly couples are plagued with.

A woman’s menstrual cycle is about 28 days long, and the menstrual phase is about 5 days. Adding 7 days after the menstrual phase in accordance with God’s word in the Bible would mean that men and women should remain chaste for 12 days out of every 28 days during the woman’s natural menstrual cycle.

St. Finnian of Clonard, The Penitential of Finnian #46: “We advise and exhort that there be continence in marriage, since marriage without continence is not lawful, but sin, and [marriage] is permitted by the authority of God not for lust but for the sake of children, as it is written, ‘And the two shall be in one flesh,’ that is, in unity of the flesh for the generation of children, not for the lustful concupiscence of the flesh. Married people, then, must mutually abstain during three forty-day periods in each single year, by consent for a time, that they may be able to have time for prayer for the salvation of their souls; and after the wife has conceived he shall not have intercourse with her until she has borne her child, and they shall come together again for this purpose, as saith the Apostle. But if they shall fulfill this instruction, then they are worthy of the body of Christ… and there they shall receive the thirty-fold fruit which as the Savior relates in the Gospel, he has also plucked for married people.” (Medieval Handbooks of Penance by John T. McNeil and Helen Gamer. New York: Columbia University Press, 1938.)

Ten, spouses should always abstain from marital relations after the woman have become pregnant since during pregnancy, the primary end or purpose of procreation is not possible to be fulfilled, and thus, it is a defective action to have marital relations during this time period. We see this distinction being made in the Church’s teachings in these words: “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, # 54). Athenagoras the Athenian (c. 133-190), an early Christian author, explains it thus: “After throwing the seed into the ground, the farmer awaits the harvest. He does not sow more seed on top of it. Likewise, to us the procreation of children is the limit of our indulgence in appetite.” (A Plea For the Christians, Chapter XXXIII.--Chastity of the Christians with Respect to Marriage.) In truth, it is not natural to sow one’s seed when one “awaits the harvest.”

The virtue of chastity is sexual purity according to one’s state of life. For married persons, this does not refer merely to refraining from adultery. Every kind of sexual immorality must be driven out of the holy matrimonial bond, so that not even any unchaste thoughts enter the mind of the husband or the wife. The chastity of husband and wife should extend to their entire selves, body and soul, even reaching to the inner thoughts of the heart and mind. There are no exceptions to chastity. No one is exempt from chastity according to their state of life. Even when a husband and wife have marital relations, the conjugal act cannot be lustful in heart or mind, nor can it be morally disordered in the particulars of the act itself. “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage and Self-Control (c. 198 A.D.): “In general all the epistles of the apostle teach self-control and continence and contain numerous instructions about [virtuous] marriage, begetting children, and domestic life. But they nowhere rule out self-controlled marriage [or give license to lasciviousness]. Rather they preserve the harmony of the law and the gospel and approve both the man who with thanks to God enters upon marriage with sobriety and the man who in accordance with the Lord’s will lives as a celibate, even as each individual is called, making his choice without blemish and in perfection.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XII, Section 86)

The idea that unnatural sexual acts can be used in the service of natural marital relations open to life is fundamentally incompatible with the holiness and chastity required of all married couples. Unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically evil, and so they cannot be used as the servants of natural marital relations open to life. No good employer would knowingly choose to hire employees entirely lacking in what is good and necessary to the task at hand. No holy king and queen would choose advisers or assistants who were fundamentally opposed to every good upon which their kingdom depends. No married Christian couple can morally choose to use unnatural sexual acts, partial or completed, even if the intention is to use these acts in the service of natural marital relations open to life. Evil cannot be used in the service of good, because good and evil are fundamentally incompatible. This is also why the Church teaches “that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon... because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it” since those kinds of selfish, lustful and impious “marriages” in effect are nothing but fornication in disguise of a marriage (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos #12). Indeed, “... [since] men do not reap the full fruit of the Sacraments which they receive after acquiring the use of reason unless they cooperate with grace, the grace of matrimony will remain for the most part an unused talent hidden in the field unless the parties exercise these supernatural powers and cultivate and develop the seeds of grace they have received.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #41)

St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, On Marriage and Family Life: To this end every marriage should be set up so that it may work together with us for chastity. This will be the case if we marry such brides as are able to bring great piety, chastity, and goodness to us. The beauty of the body, if it is not joined with virtue of the soul, will be able to hold the husband for twenty or thirty days, but will go no farther before it shows its wickedness and destroys all its attractiveness. As for those who radiate the beauty of the soul, the longer time goes by and tests their proper nobility, the warmer they make their husband’s love and the more they strengthen their affection for him. Since this is so, and since a warm and genuine friendship holds between them, every kind of immorality is driven out. Not even any thought of wantonness ever enters the mind of the man who truly loves his own wife, but he continues always content with her. By his chastity he attracts the good will and protection of God for his whole household.” (St. John Chrysostom, On Marriage and Family Life, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: 1986, trans. Roth and Anderson, p. 100)

Ask God to eliminate or minimize sexual pleasure

Even though a husband must consummate the marital act for conception to occur, this does not mean he must have much pleasure to his flesh when doing so. He can pray to God to remove the pleasure and turn it to a strange, despised, and hated sensation or at least to a neutral sensation. To try to suppress or minimize the sensual pleasure in the marital act is surely a most pious and good thing to ask God for if one wish to become perfect. If this goal was achieved, then concupiscence would be conquered and the marital act would only occur with the intention of procreation and with no other motive, and the act itself would produce no particular pleasure to the flesh but only a strange and unwanted sensation caused by the venom of original sin in the flesh. “But continence doing this, that is, moderating, and in a certain way limiting in married persons the lust of the flesh, and ordering in a certain way within fixed limits its unquiet and inordinate motion, uses well the evil of man, whom it makes and wills to make perfect good: as God uses even evil men, for their sake whom He perfects in goodness.” (St. Augustine, On Continence, Section 27) Thus, “Our will is to be directed only towards that which is necessary. For we are children not of desire but of will. A man who marries for the sake of begetting children must practice continence so that it is not desire he feels for his wife, whom he ought to love, and so that he may beget children with a chaste and controlled will.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter VII, Section 58)

The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed to St. Bridget that her virtuous parents, St. Anna and St. Joachim, were united in the marital act in a perfect way and without any lust or will to please their own flesh, and the consequence of this virtuous act was that it produced the most perfect human that have ever lived after our Lord: Our Blessed Lady.

Our Lady spoke about her parents, saying: “He united my father and mother in a marriage so chaste that there could not be found a more chaste marriage at that time. They never wanted to come together except in accordance with the Law, and only then with the intention to bring forth offspring. When an angel revealed to them that they would give birth to the Virgin from whom the salvation of the world would come, they would rather have died than to come together in carnal love; lust was dead in them. I assure you that when they did come together, it was because of divine love and because of the angel’s message, not out of carnal desire, but against their will and out of a holy love for God. In this way, my flesh was put together by their seed and through divine love.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 9)

At one time in the history of the Catholic Church, some Catholic spouses actually tried to achieve this goal of minimizing pleasure during the marital act, and to only come together for a reasonable and just cause. Empirical evidence proves this fact. When I was young and into my teenage years, it was a joke among non-Catholics, such as Protestants, that Catholics are prudes because Catholic spouses do not enjoy sex, that they only had relations with the lights out and with only as much flesh exposed as necessary to consummate the marital act, which took place as quickly as possible in order to consummate the act. Catholic women were ridiculed the most because they never had or searched for any pleasure during the marital act. The lust-filled non-Catholics did their best to tell Catholic women to enjoy sex—and then to its fullest. This started to happen in my lifetime. And now almost all men, as well as women, are lust-filled whores! Almost all so-called Catholics now looks upon pleasure during sex as normal and good instead of something strange and abnormal caused by original sin. The majority of them also commit sexual sins of various sorts.

St. Jerome, Letter LXIX, To Oceanus, A.D. 397: “He took a wife that he might have children by her; you [took a wife] by taking a harlot [for the sake of lust]. He withdrew into the privacy of his own chamber when he sought to obey nature and to win God’s blessing: "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth." [Gen. i. 28] You on the contrary outraged public decency in the hot eagerness of your lust. He covered a lawful indulgence beneath a veil of modesty; you pursued an unlawful one shamelessly… For him it is written "Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled," while to you the words are read, "but whoremongers and adulterers God wilt judge," [Heb. 13:4] and "if any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy" [1 Cor. 3:17].” (The Letters of St. Jerome, Letter LXIX, To Oceanus, Section 4)

Contrary to these miscreants and impure spouses who use each other as though their spouse was a harlot given them to satisfy their sinful lust, the infallible word of God teaches us that true spouses are to regard each other as brothers and sisters instead of pieces of human meat that they wish to acquire in order to satisfy their sexual imaginations or perversions: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 8:9) And so, living in Christ, all servants of the Almighty must seek God with a perfect and honest will, “purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly: Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever. For all flesh is as grass; and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass is withered, and the flower thereof is fallen away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:22-25)

Good spouses who wish to save their souls should not be concerned about the momentary pleasure they experience during the marital act or be working on enhancing it in unusual or unnecessary ways, but should rather be focusing their minds on God and to love and please Him, by feeling close to Him. “But we maintain our modesty not in appearance, but in our heart we gladly abide by the bond of a single marriage; in the desire of procreating, we know either one wife, or none at all. … So far, in fact, are they [the modest] from indulging in incestuous desire, that with some even the (idea of a) modest intercourse of the sexes causes a blush.” (Minucius Felix, The Octavius of Minucius Felix, Chapter XXXI, A.D. 210)

The Patriarchs and the Prophets of the Old Testament time understood that God hated that spouses should perform the marital act for any other motive than the begetting of children, and that is also why they were honored so much by Our Lord. One finds—over and over again in Holy Scripture—that their main concern when taking wives was the begetting of offspring, contrary to the lustful and selfish people of today. “For I pray that, being found worthy of God, I may be found at their feet in the kingdom, as at the feet of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; as of Joseph, and Isaiah, and the rest of the prophets... that were married men. For they entered into these marriages not for the sake of appetite, but out of regard for the propagation of mankind.” (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians, Chapter IV, A.D. 107)

St. Augustine who similarly wrote extensively about procreation and sexuality explains in his “Sermons on the New Testament,” that the Patriarchs and the Prophets of old searched for and desired children and purity rather than fulfilling their own selfish and sensual interests, thus living a chaste lifestyle directly opposed to most of the lustful people of today: “Hence, my brethren, understand the sense of Scripture concerning those our ancient fathers, whose sole design in their marriage was to have children by their wives. For those even who, according to the custom of their time and nation, had a plurality of wives, lived in such chastity with them, as not to approach their bed, but for the cause I have mentioned, thus treating them indeed with honor... So then, my brethren, give heed. Those famous men who marry wives only for the procreation of children, such as we read the Patriarchs to have been, and know it, by many proofs, by the clear and unequivocal testimony of the sacred books; whoever, I say, they are who marry wives for this purpose only, if the means could be given them of having children without intercourse with their wives, would they not with joy unspeakable embrace so great a blessing? would they not with great delight accept it? For there are two carnal operations by which mankind is preserved, [eating and sex] to both of which the wise and holy descend as matter of duty, but the unwise rush headlong into them through lust; and these are very different things.” (St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:22-23)

St. Augustine, Against Faustus, Book XXII, Section 47, A.D. 400: “Again, Jacob the son of Isaac is charged [by heretics] with having committed a great crime because he had four wives. But here there is no ground for a criminal accusation: for a plurality of wives was no crime when it was the custom; and it is a crime now, because it is no longer the custom. There are sins against nature, and sins against custom, and sins against the laws [of God]. In which, then, of these senses did Jacob sin in having a plurality of wives? As regards nature, he used the women not for sensual gratification, but for the procreation of children. For custom, this was the common practice at that time in those countries. And for the laws [of God], no prohibition existed. The only reason of its being a crime now to do this, is because custom and the laws [of God] forbid it. Whoever despises these restraints, even though he uses his wives only to get children, still commits sin, and does an injury to human society itself, for the sake of which it is that the procreation of children is required.”

Though marriage remains good and honorable in the New Law, believers should not “pine” after the earthly blessings of marriage and family life as though they were living in the Old Covenant. This would be to live like a Jew concerned with wealth, long life, large families, etc. This would be to ignore the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ came calling us to Heaven, and that He is now urging us to spurn this present life and all it has to offer (St. Chrysostom, Exp. in Ps. IV; PG 55.55). It is possible for one to live married with a great number of children and things, and still to “despise what they have.” (Chrysostom, Hom. X in 1 Thess.; PG 62.459; NPNF, p. 368.) The one who finds his happiness in God drives out every earthly pleasure, and shows them to be pleasures in name only. Belonging to God is true pleasure and happiness. Anyone who experiences this pleasure will care little for others (Chrysostom, Exp. in Ps. LX; PG 55.124). This is St. John’s maxim, “He who desires earth shall not obtain heaven and shall lose earth.” (Chrysostom, Hom. I in Mt.; PG 57.62.) Chrysostom thought that many Christians of his time were living as Old Covenant believers, and for this reason, they radically misinterpreted the true signs both of God’s friendship and of His enmity (Exp. in Ps. XII; PG 55.149). They thought that the presence of wealth, long life, and many children were the signs of God’s blessing when in fact they were often just the opposite. Such was not the case at the foundation of the Church. During those blessed days the married lived like monks, and so St. Paul called married men “saints” (Chrysostom, Hom. I in Eph.; PG 62.9). One ought not, however, to think that God has abandoned a person because of wealth, long life, many children, or even because of the presence of personal misfortune. On the contrary, the sure sign that God has abandoned someone is if they are living in sin and all is going swimmingly! As Hebrews 12:6 states, “For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

In order for marital intercourse to be legitimate it must be chaste. Commenting on Proverbs 5, St. Chrysostom interprets the references to one’s fountain and stag as references to one’s wife. A husband is to enjoy his wife sexually with temperance. King Solomon uses the image of the fountain and stag because of the purity of marital intercourse (Chrysostom, Exp. in Ps. IX; PG 55.126). “Desire managed with moderation makes you a father, but neglected it in many cases drives you down into lewdness and adultery.” (Ibid., CXLVIII; PG 55.491.) Again we see the essential connection in Chrysostom between sexual intercourse and procreation. Many today would say, “Desire managed with moderation makes you happy/fulfilled/satisfied”, while St. Chrysostom says, “Desire managed with moderation makes you a father.” And, “Use marriage with moderation, and thou shalt be first in the kingdom.” (Hom. VIII in Heb.; PG 63.68.) For the married to “take pleasure is not forbidden but in chastity, not with shame, and reproach and imputations.” (Chrysostom, Hom. VII in Mt.; PG 57.81; NPNF, p. 49.)

One of several helps to moderation in marriage is the pious practice of fasting from sexual relations. St. Ephrem the Syrian writes, “Chastity’s wings are greater and lighter than the wings of marriage. Intercourse, while [it remains] pure, is lower. Its house of refuge is modest darkness. Confidence belongs entirely to chastity, which light enfolds.” (Hymn 28 On the Nativity) Throughout the history of the Church certain pious couples have embraced a permanent fasting from sexual relations in their marriages. At certain periods when the ascetic strength of the Church was high the literature bears witness to the fact that the practice of marital celibacy was not at all uncommon. See Tertullian, “How many are there who from the moment of their baptism set the seal of virginity upon their flesh? How many who by equal mutual consent cancel the debt of matrimony: voluntary eunuchs for the sake of their desire after the celestial kingdom.” (A Son Epouse, VI.2.8-11; SC 273, p. 110; ANF, p. 42.) St. Athanasius the Great says that St. Paul taught this practice in 1st Cor. 7:29 (First Letter to Virgins). The Jews in the Old Covenant practiced such sexual fasting as is evident in many places in the Old Testament. We who enjoy so much grace and have received the Holy Spirit should have far more zeal in this practice than the Jews (Chrysostom, Virg., XXX, 1.1-15; SC 125, pp. 188, 190). If we do not, we will find ourselves without excuse. Sexual fasting was particularly taught by the Holy Fathers for three days prior to receiving holy communion.

The asceticism involved in taming the sexual impulse is especially difficult for the married man. He has a task more difficult than the monk, for he must crucify his desires while in the actual presence of his wife, and to be deprived of gratification that appears immediately before his eyes may be considered the very definition of punishment (Chrysostom, Hom. XIV in 1 Cor.; PG 61.120). However, it is possible, if we only will it, to win every contest against nature (Chrysostom, Laud. Paul. 6.3.16-17; SC 300, p. 264). By spiritual labors in marriage one can reject the influence of society which has made “sins into an art.” Not only can married Christians, through asceticism appropriate to their station in life, nearly rival the monks, according to St. Chrysostom, but their marriage can become a “type of the presence of Christ,” and Christ and the choir of His angels will come to such a marriage. Christ will again work a wedding miracle as He did at Cana, and turn water into wine. He will turn the water, which is the unstable, dissolving, and cold desire for sex, into something truly spiritual (Chrysostom, Hom. XII in Col.: PG 62.389). Married Christians can become virgin souls by freeing themselves from worldly thoughts. “The incorrupt soul is a virgin, even if having a husband.” (Chrysostom, Hom. XXVIII in Heb.; PG 63.201.)

Although difficult for the married man, the expectation of the blessing of increased marital love born of marital abstinence is enough to encourage him. John Cassian, relating the words of Abbot Abraham, an aged ascetic, writes: “A hundred times greater delight is to be gotten from married abstinence, too, than that which is offered to two people in sexual intercourse… I once used to have a wife in the wanton “passion of lust” but now I have her in the dignity of holiness and in the true love of Christ. The woman is the same, but the value of the love has grown a hundredfold.” (John Cassian, Conlalio XXIII, XXVI.3.27-4.1. 6.22-25; CSEL XIII, pp. 705-706.) “For, in good truth, a friend is more to be longed for than the light; I speak of a genuine one. And wonder not: for it were better for us that the sun should be extinguished, than that we should be deprived of friends; better to live in darkness, than to be without friends. And I will tell you why. Because many who see the sun are in darkness, but they can never be even in tribulation, who abound in friends. I speak of spiritual friends, who prefer nothing to friendship. Such was Paul, who would willingly have given his own soul, even though not asked, nay would have plunged into hell for them. With so ardent a disposition ought we to love.” (Chrysostom, Homilies on First Thessalonians, Homily II)

Chastity should especially involve the control of one’s gaze (Chrysostom, Hom. VII in Mt.; PG 57.81). Desire grows by looking (Chrysostom, Hom. XVII in Mt.; PG 57.256-257). St. Ephrem writes, “Do not annul by your eyes the vows of virginity your mouth has vowed.” (Hymn 2 On Virginity) Tertullian encourages Christian women to do all that they can to insure that others do not look upon them lustfully: “In the eye of perfect Christian modesty, carnal desire of one’s self by others is not only not to be desired, but even execrated, by you. Why excite toward yourself that evil passion? Why invite toward yourself that which you profess yourself a stranger? … Let a holy woman, if naturally beautiful, give none so great occasion for carnal appetite… she ought not to set off her beauty, but even to obscure it.” (De Cultu Feminarum, II.1.1-3, III.1.1-3; CCSL 1, pp. 354, 357; ANF, pp. 19-20.) In contrast to those who ruin their souls via improper gazing, the Virgin Mary “turned her face away from everything to gaze on one beauty alone [that is, God].” (St. Ephrem, Hymn 24 On Virginity) To look upon another is to touch that person with one’s eyes and to wrong both your spouse and the one being gazed upon (Chrysostom, Hom. XVII in Mt.; PG 57.257). If you practice chastity in marriage nothing is equal to the pleasure of wife and children (Chrysostom, Hom. XVIII in Mt.; PG 57.428). Chastity in marriage is ensured especially by the practice of chastity before marriage. For this reason, young men should marry early, not long after the onset of desire at about fifteen years of age (Chrysostom, Hom. IX in 1 Tim.: PG 62.546; NPNF. p. 437).

St. Augustine could rightly see the amount of wickedness and damnation that concupiscence was responsible for, teaching that: “Concupiscence is worse than ignorance, because to sin in ignorance without concupiscence is lesser sin; but concupiscence without ignorance makes sin more serious. Moreover, ignorance of evil is not always evil, but lust after evil is always evil. It is sometimes useful to be ignorant of a good, in order to learn of it at an opportune time; it is never possible that man’s good be lusted after by carnal concupiscence, since not even offspring itself is desired by the lust of the body, but by the intention of the soul, even though offspring is not sowed without the lust of the body. For, indeed, we are concerned with that concupiscence by which the flesh lusts against the spirit; not with the good concupiscence by which the spirit lusts against the flesh, [Gal. 5:17] and by which is desired the continence through which concupiscence is overcome. By this concupiscence of the flesh no one ever desires any good of man, unless the pleasure of the flesh is the good of man.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book VI, Chapter 16, Section 50, A.D. 421)

In our day and age, many people who are incontinent and who wish to satisfy their sensual appetites at every turn, sadly pervert and lie about the Holy Scripture in order to justify and excuse their immoderate and immoral sexual lifestyle. St. Methodius, in his work “Banquet of the Ten Virgins” (c. 311 A.D.) wrote against and exposed such people in his own time, showing us very clearly how such people pervert certain passages of Holy Scripture to their own destruction: “Now Paul, when summoning all persons to sanctification and purity, in this way referred that which had been spoken concerning the first man and Eve in a secondary sense to Christ and the Church, in order to silence the ignorant, now deprived of all excuse. For men who are incontinent in consequence of the uncontrolled impulses of sensuality in them, dare to force the Scriptures beyond their true meaning, so as to twist into a defense of their incontinence the saying, "Increase and multiply;" and the other, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother;" and they are not ashamed to run counter to the Spirit, but, as though born for this purpose, they kindle up the smoldering and lurking passion, fanning and provoking it; and therefore he, cutting off very sharply these dishonest follies and invented excuses, and having arrived at the subject of instructing them how men should behave to their wives, showing that it should be as Christ did to the Church, "who gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word," he referred back to Genesis, mentioning the things spoken concerning the first man, and explaining these things as bearing on the subject before him, that he might take away occasion for the abuse of these passages from those who taught the sensual gratification of the body, under the pretext of begetting children.” (Discourse III, Chapter X.--The Doctrine of the Same Apostle Concerning Purity)

Continuing to describe the lustful captives who refuse to practice virtue or abstinence, St. John Chrysostom, commenting on the words of St. Paul, writes: “[St. Paul] Again implying their weakness of character… the imperiousness… their utter slavery. And this is evident also from the advice which Paul gave. For from that lust he leads men quite away, saying… having separated them “for a season” only, and that by “consent,” he advises to ‘come together again’ (1 Cor. vii. 5.) For he feared the billows of lust lest they should occasion a grievous shipwreck. … Wherefore I beseech you to do all you can, both that ye be not taken captive by it [evil desire], and that if taken, ye continue not in captivity, but break asunder those hard bonds. For so shall we be able to secure a footing in heaven and to obtain the countless good things; whereunto may all we attain, through the grace and love towards men of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Corinthians, Homily XXII, On Evil Desire)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 8, The Evil of Lust Does Not Take Away the Good of Marriage, A.D. 419: “Forasmuch, then, as the good of marriage could not be lost by the addition of this evil [lust], some imprudent persons suppose that this is not an added evil, but something which appertains to the original good. A distinction, however, occurs not only to subtle reason, but even to the most ordinary natural judgment, which was both apparent in the case of the first man and woman, and also holds good still in the case of married persons today. What they afterward effected in propagation—that is the good of marriage; but what they first veiled through shame—that is the evil of concupiscence, which everywhere shuns sight, and in its shame seeks privacy.”

God wants all spouses to pray to Him before the marital act to protect them and keep them from sinning

It is clear from the Bible and the Saints that spouses who wish to be perfect should pray to God and ask Him to keep them from sinning during the marital act as well as that He may grant them offspring to the honor and glory of His Holy name, if this is His will; and that He might minimize the amount of pleasure they will feel, so that they may not grow attached to it. God might grant this prayer to a couple if they so desire, but if they are not granted this gift (the minimizing of pleasure or the begetting of children) they should still focus their pleasure and love towards God, and not on themselves. God namely demands of us to not forget about Him during the procreative act. People usually tend to forget about God when they put too much attention on themselves, their spouse, or the pleasure derived from different acts. We can read about this truth in the book of Tobias:

For they who in such manner receive matrimony, AS TO SHUT OUT GOD FROM THEMSELVES, AND FROM THEIR MIND, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” (Tobias 6:17)

Notice the words “from their mind”. All our thoughts and desires exist in the mind (or heart), and God wishes us to have Him there. The best thing then, and which God demands of you, is that you think about Him and love Him during all times, even during the procreative act, and husbands and wives should not be ashamed of doing so. Is not God better or more worthy of being desired or lusted after than a husband or wife will ever be? The more a person loves God, the more will also that person desire to be close to God, during all times.

One of the greatest mistakes many couples undoubtedly commit today is that they strive to know and be close with their loved ones and their spouse rather than with God (who knows everything and sees everything), and that they rather think of pleasing their loved ones and their spouse more than pleasing God (who created them and redeemed them, yes even died for them). This is also the reason for why so many of them commit shameful sexual sins of various sorts; for they know not God nor care to please Him.

Tobias 8:4-5 “Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God.”

Some may perhaps object that praying to or thinking about God during the marital act is shameful and that one must pray to or think of God only in those circumstances when one is composed and calm, which a person normally is not during the marital act. This objection however is completely false since there is not a single instance in this life when we cannot pray to God for His help or have Him present in our thought. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself commanded “that we ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Even when we are in mortal sin, which is infinitely more shameful and evil than the marital act, we are allowed and encouraged to pray and beseech God, since all people need God’s help in order to be saved.

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, in his work “The Way Of Salvation And Of Perfection,” explains to us the necessity to pray always: “Let us pray, then, and let us always be asking for grace, if we wish to be saved. Let prayer be our most delightful occupation; let prayer be the exercise of our whole life. And when we are asking for particular graces, let us always pray for the grace to continue to pray for the future; because if we leave off praying we shall be lost. There is nothing easier than prayer. What does it cost us to say, Lord, stand by me! Lord, help me! give me Thy love! and the like? What can be easier than this? But if we do not do so, we cannot be saved. Let us pray, then, and let us always shelter our selves behind the intercession of Mary: “Let us seek for grace, and let us seek it through Mary,” says St. Bernard. And when we recommend ourselves to Mary, let us be sure that she hears us and obtains for us whatever we want. She cannot lack either the power or the will to help us, as the same saint says: “Neither means nor will can be wanting to her.” And St. Augustine addresses her: “Remember, O most pious Lady, that it has never been heard that any one who fled to thy protection was forsaken.” Remember that the case has never occurred of a person having recourse to thee, and having been abandoned. Ah, no, says St. Bonaventure, he who invokes Mary, finds salvation; and therefore he calls her “the salvation of those who invoke her.” Let us, then, in our prayers always invoke Jesus and Mary; and let us never neglect to pray.

“… But before concluding, I cannot help saying how grieved I feel when I see that though the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers so often recommend the practice of prayer, yet so few other religious writers, or confessors, or preachers, ever speak of it; or if they do speak of it, just touch upon it in a cursory way, and leave it. But I, seeing the necessity of prayer, say, that the great lesson which all spiritual books should inculcate on their readers, all preachers on their hearers, and all confessors on their penitents, is this, to pray always; thus they should admonish them to pray; pray, and never give up praying. If you pray, you will be certainly saved; if you do not pray, you will be certainly damned.” (St. Alphonsus, The Way Of Salvation And Of Perfection, The Ascetical Works. Vol. II)

All people need God’s grace in order to be saved, and it is a heresy to say otherwise. It is indeed very true that a person cannot, by his own power or without God’s help, save himself or avoid even committing a slight venial sin. This is true even with pagans, who do not know or believe in God. God helps even them and gives them strength to do good. That is why only those people who have neglected God’s presence and prayer (which is the same as talking with God everyday as with a real person, supplicating Him for help and giving Him glory) have been lost.

St. Alphonsus Liguori continues to expound on the necessity of prayer in his “Short Treatise on Prayer,” Chapter IV, that speaks “Of the Humility of with Which We Ought to Pray”: “The Lord regards the prayers of His servants who are humble: ‘He hath had regard to the prayers of the humble.’ (Ps. 101:18). But to the prayers of the proud He does not attend; no, He rejects them with disdain: ‘God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.’ (St. James 4:6). The Almighty does not hear the supplications of the proud who trust in their own strength, but leaves them to their own weakness and misery, which, when they are abandoned by divine grace, will infallibly lead them to perdition. ‘Before I was humbled,’ said holy David, ‘I offended.’ (Ps. 118:67), as if he said, I have sinned because I have not been humble. A similar misfortune befell St. Peter. When this apostle was admonished by Jesus Christ, that on the night of His passion all the disciples should abandon Him their Lord and Master, instead of acknowledging his own weakness, and asking strength from above to remain faithful, he trusted in his own power, and exclaimed, ‘Although all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized.’ (St. Matt. 26:33). Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee that in this night before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice; Peter confiding in his own courage, rejoined boastingly, ‘Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee.’ (ver. 35). And what was the result? Scarce had Peter entered the house of the high priest, when he three times denied the charge of being a disciple of Jesus, and to his denial added the solemnity of an oath. And again he denied with an oath, that ‘I know not the man.’ (Matt. 26:72). Had Peter been humble, and had asked of God the gift of constancy, he would not have denied his master.

Each one should consider that he is, as it were, on the top of a lofty mountain, suspended over the abyss of all sins, and supported only by the thread of God’s grace; if this thread give way he shall infallibly fall into the abyss, and shall perpetrate the most enormous crimes. ‘Unless the Lord had been my helper, my soul had almost dwelt in hell.’ (Psalm 43:17). If God had not succoured me, I would have fallen into numberless sins, and should now be buried in hell. Such, were the sentiments of the Psalmist, and such should be the sentiments of each one of us. It was from a conviction of his own nothingness and misery, that St. Francis used to say, that he was the greatest sinner in the world. His companion, on one occasion, said to him, ‘Father, what you say cannot be true, surely, there are many greater sinners than you.’ ‘What I have said,’ replied the saint, ‘is too true, for if God had not preserved me, I would have committed sins of every kind.’

It is of faith, that without the assistance of grace we cannot perform any good work, or even have a good thought. ‘Without grace,’ says St. Augustine, ‘men do nothing whatever either by thought or action.’--S. Augus. de Corr. et Grat. cap 2. ‘As the eye cannot see without light,’ said the saint, ‘so we can do nothing without grace.’ ‘Not,’ says the apostle, ‘that we are sufficient to think any thing of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.’ (1 Cor 3:5). And the royal prophet says, ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ (Ps. 126:1). In vain does a man labor to sanctify himself unless God assist him. ‘Unless,’ he says in the same Psalm, ‘the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.’ (Ibid). If God does not guard the soul from sin, in vain will man by his own strength endeavor to preserve her from its stain. Hence the Psalmist says, ‘For I will not trust in my bow.’ (Ps. 43:7). I will not confide in my own arms, but in God, who is able to save me.

Hence, whosoever had done good, or has abstained from great sins, should say with St. Paul, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am.’ (1 Cor 15:10), and ought to tremble, lest on the first occasion he should fall. ‘Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.’ (1 Cor 10:12). By these words the apostle insinuates that he who considers himself secure, is in very great danger of falling. For in another place he says, ‘if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.’ (Gal. 6:3). Hence St. Augustine wisely observes, ‘The presumption of stability renders many unstable; no one will be so strong as he who feels his own weakness.’ (Ser. 13 de verb. Dom). Whosoever says that he entertains no fear of being lost, betrays a pernicious self-confidence and security by which he deceives himself. For, confiding in his own strength, he ceases to tremble, and being free from fear, he neglects to recommend himself to God, and left to his own weakness, he infallibly falls. For the same reason, every one should be careful to abstain from indulging vain glory at not having committed the sins into which others have fallen; and should even esteem himself worse than them, saying, Lord if you had not assisted me, I would have been guilty of much more grievous transgressions. But if any one glory in his own works, and prefer himself before others, the Almighty, in chastisement of his pride, will permit him to fall into the most grievous and horrible crimes. The apostle says, ‘With fear and trebling work out your salvation.’ (Phil. 2:12). The timid distrust their own powers, and placing all their confidence in God fly to His protection in all dangers. He will enable them to overcome the temptations to which they are exposed, and they shall be saved. St. Philip Neri walking one day through Rome, was heard frequently to say, ‘I despair.’ Being corrected by a religious, he replied; ‘Father, I despair of being saved by myself, but trust in God.’ We should continually distrust ourselves, and thus we shall imitate St. Philip, who was accustomed to say every morning as soon as he awoke. ‘Lord preserve me this day, otherwise I will betray you.’

We may then conclude with St. Augustine, that the great science of a Christian is to know that he is nothing, and that he can do nothing. ‘This is the great science, to know that man is nothing.’ A Christian who is convinced of his own nothingness will constantly seek and obtain from God by humble prayer, the strength which he does not possess, without which he cannot resist temptation or do good, and with which he can do all things. ‘The prayer of him that humbleth himself, shall pierce the clouds: and he will not depart till the most high behold.’ (Eccles. 35:21). The prayer of a humble soul penetrates the heavens, and ascending to the throne of God, will not depart till it is regarded with complacency by the Almighty: and however enormous the sins of such a soul may be, the supplications of a humble heart cannot be rejected: ‘A contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps 50:19). ‘God resisteth the proud and gives His grace to the humble.’ (St. James 4:6). God treats the proud with scorn and refuses their demands; but to the humble He is sweet and liberal. This is precisely the sentiment which Jesus Christ one day expressed to St. Catherine of Sienna: ‘Be assured, my child, that a soul who perseveres in humble prayer obtains every virtue.’ (Ap. Blos. In. Con. Cap. 3)

I shall here insert the beautiful observations addressed to those who aspire to perfection, by the learned and pious Palafox, Bishop of Osma, in a note on the 18th letter of St. Teresa. In that letter the saint gives to her confessor, a detailed account of all the degrees of supernatural prayer with which she had been favored. The bishop, in his remarks on the letter, observes that these supernatural graces which God deigned to bestow on St. Teresa and other saints, are not necessary for the attainment of sanctity; since without them, many are arrived at a high degree of perfection, and obtained eternal life, while many enjoyed them, and were afterwards damned. He says that the practice of the gospel virtues, and particularly of the love of God, being the true and only way to sanctity, it is superfluous and even presumptuous to desire and seek such extraordinary gifts. These virtues are acquired by prayer, and by corresponding with the lights and helps of God, who ardently desires our sanctification.’ (Thess. 4:3)

Speaking of the degrees of supernatural prayer described by St. Teresa, the holy bishop wisely observes, that as to the prayer of quiet, we should only desire and beg of God, to free us from all attachment and affection to worldly goods, which, instead of giving peace to the soul, fills it with inquietude and affliction. Solomon justly called them, ‘vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit.’ (Eccl. 1:14) The heart of man can never enjoy true peace till it is divested of all that is not God, and entirely devoted to His holy love, to the exclusion of every object from the soul. But man of himself cannot arrive at this perfect consecration of his being to God; he can only obtain it by constant prayer. As to the sleep of suspension of the powers, we should entreat the Almighty to keep them in a profound sleep with regard to all temporal affairs, and awake only to meditate on His Divine goodness, and to seek divine love and eternal goods. For, all sanctity and the perfection of charity, consists in the union of our will with the holy will of God. As to the union of the powers, we should only pray that God may teach us by his grace, not to think or seek, or wish any thing but what He wills.

As to ecstasy or rapture let us ask the Lord to eradicate from our hearts inordinate love of ourselves and of creatures and to draw us entirely to Himself to the flight of the Spirit, we will merely implore the grace of perfect detachment from the world, that, like the bird which never rests on the earth, and feeds in its flight, we may never fix the heart on any sensual enjoyment, but by attending towards heaven, employ things of this world only for the support thereof. As to the impulse of Spirit, let us ask God courage and strength to do the violence to ourselves which may be necessary to resist the attacks of the enemy, to over come our passions, or to embrace suffering even in the midst of spiritual dryness and desolation. Finally, as to the wound as the remembrance of a wound is constantly kept alive by the pain it inflicts, we should supplicate the Lord to fill our hearts with His holy love to such a degree, that we may be always reminded of His goodness and affection towards us and thus we may devote our lives to love, and please Him by our works and affections. These graces will not be obtained without prayer; but by humble, confident, and persevering prayer, all God’s gifts may be procured.” (St. Alphonsus, A Short Treatise on Prayer, Chapter IV, “Of the Humility of with Which We Ought to Pray”)

The necessity of praying before coming together in the marital act

Jesus tells us of the necessity of praying always (Luke 18:1). We are never to cease praying (1 Thess. 5:17). Thus, Christian married couples will always have marital relations in the context of prayer. Tobias’ prayer before marital relations with his wife is an example of this (Tobit 8:4-8). In prayer, we express our weakness and God’s power (2 Cor. 12:9) to rectify problems in marital relations.

Praying the Rosary before, during and after marital relations is highly recommended since it is the most powerful prayer ever given to mankind. Praying the Rosary will undoubtedly give countless of graces that diminishes sinful inclinations, thoughts and temptations that constantly plague people. Granted, it might be hard to pray during or right before the marital act, at least in a worthy and proper manner, but spouses should do their best to at least silently acknowledge the presence of God Almighty and His Mother, by loving Them deeply during the act, expressing loving words towards God and His Blessed Mother, supplicating Them for Their Help to resist sinful inclinations. And husband and wife should not be ashamed of having recourse to Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin during intercourse. In contrast, what better thing can there possibly be for a couple than to always have God and the thought of loving God in their minds during all times?

Sister Lucy of Fatima, regarding the Holy Rosary, said the following words to Fr. Augustin Fuentes on December 26, 1957:

Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

We highly recommend that all 15 decades of the Rosary be prayed daily. Our Lady repeatedly emphasized the importance of praying the Rosary each day in her messages at Fatima. She even said that Francisco would have to pray ‘many rosaries’ before he could go to Heaven. You should prioritize reading the word of God (Catholic books and the Catholic Bible) and praying before other activities to grow in the spirit. Praying all 15 decades of the Rosary each day can be accomplished in a variety of ways. However, for many it is best accomplished by praying a part of the Rosary at different times of the day, for example, the joyful mysteries in the morning, sorrowful mysteries at midday, and glorious mysteries in the evening. ‘Salve Regina’ only needs to be prayed at the end of the entire day’s rosary. An essential part of the Rosary is meditation on the mysteries, episodes in the life of Our Lord and Our Lady. This means thinking about them, visualizing them, considering the graces and merits displayed in them, and using them for inspiration to better know and love God. It is also common to focus on a particular virtue with each mystery.

You can easily accomplish praying the fifteen decades of the Rosary each day by dividing it up to small sections during the day. For example, you can make a habit to go down on your knees and pray 1 to 10 Hail Marys every time you enter or exit your room. The best time for prayer is in the morning, since the mind is more clear from the thoughts and discussions of the world, so we advise you to always dedicate time in the morning for the Rosary. The Rosary is the most powerful weapon in existence against the Devil and those who neglect it will indeed be eternally sorry for refusing to honor our Lady as she deserves! Think and reflect upon what greatness it is to be able to speak with the God of the whole creation and His Mother whenever we want. It is almost impossible for a man to be able to speak with a king or queen of this world, and yet the King of kings and his beloved Mother hear your every word. In truth, I tell you, that even one good word of prayer has more worth than all gold and jewels and an infinite amount of universes, for they will all perish, but God’s words will never perish. Think about how much you would concentrate and fight against distracting thoughts if someone were to tell you that you could have 10,000 dollars or a new car if you prayed a Rosary with full concentration and without yielding to distracting thoughts. This example should shame us all since we humans are, by our very nature, wicked at heart and are inclined to search for filth rather than gold (worldly things rather than heavenly ones). Everyone should try to remember this example, and then we will all be able to pray better which will bring us an everlasting, heavenly reward! The devils concentrate exceedingly much on getting a person to despise prayer in these ways: either they try to make you bored by it, or to have a difficulty in concentrating when praying, or to pray a little; for they know that prayer is the only way to salvation.

Indeed, St. Alphonsus, in his book “The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection,” in the section “On the Necessity and Power of Prayer”, explains that “the devil is never more busy to distract us with the thoughts of worldly cares than when he perceives us praying and asking God for grace”:

On this point, then, we have to fix all our attention, namely, to pray with confidence, feeling sure that by prayer all the treasures of heaven are thrown open to us. “Let us attend to this,” says St. Chrysostom, “and we shall open heaven to ourselves.” Prayer is a treasure; he who prays most receives most. St. Bonaventure says that every time a man has recourse to God by fervent prayer, he gains good things that are of more value than the whole world: “Any day a man gains more by devout prayer than the whole world is worth.” Some devout souls spend a great deal of time in reading and in meditating, but pay but little attention to prayer. There is no doubt that spiritual reading, and meditation on the eternal truths, are very useful things; “but,” says St. Augustine, “it is of much more use to pray.” By reading and meditating we learn our duty; but by prayer we obtain the grace to do it. “It is better to pray than to read: by reading we know what we ought to do; by prayer we receive what we ask.” What is the use of knowing our duty, and then not doing it, but to make us more guilty in God’s sight? Read and meditate as we like, we shall never satisfy our obligations, unless we ask of God the grace to fulfill them.

And, therefore, as St. Isidore observes, the devil is never more busy to distract us with the thoughts of worldly cares than when he perceives us praying and asking God for grace: “Then mostly does the devil insinuate thoughts, when he sees a man praying.” And why? Because the enemy sees that at no other time do we gain so many treasures of heavenly goods as when we pray. This is the chief fruit of mental prayer, to ask God for the graces which we need for perseverance and for eternal salvation; and chiefly for this reason it is that mental prayer is morally necessary for the soul, to enable it to preserve itself in the grace of God. For if a person does not remember in the time of meditation to ask for the help necessary for perseverance, he will not do so at any other time; for without meditation he will not think of asking for it, and will not even think of the necessity for asking it. On the other hand, he who makes his meditation every day will easily see the needs of his soul, its dangers, and the necessity of his prayer; and so he, will pray, and will obtain the graces which will enable him to persevere and save his soul. Father Segneri said of himself, that when he began to meditate, he aimed rather at exciting affections than at making prayers. But when he came to know the necessity and the immense utility of prayer, he more and more applied himself, in his long mental prayer, to making petitions.” (St. Alphonsus, The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection, “On the Necessity and Power of Prayer”)

In truth, the devil knows that mental prayer and prayer from the heart is very effective in weakening and destroying his hold and power over us, and that is also why he tries to get people to leave it off completely, telling them that it’s useless when it in fact is one of the best ways, if not the best way to use in order to conquer the might of the Devil and his temptations:

Some one may say, I do not make mental prayer [from the heart], but I say many vocal prayers [with the tongue]. But it is necessary to know, as St. Augustine remarks, that to obtain the divine grace it is not enough to pray with the tongue: it is necessary also to pray with the heart. On the words of David: “I cried to the Lord with my voice,” the holy Doctor [Augustine] says: “Many cry not with their own voice (that is, not with the interior voice of the soul), but with that of the body. Your thoughts are a cry to the Lord. Cry with in, where God hears.” This is what the Apostle inculcates. Praying at all times in the spirit. In general, vocal prayers are said distractedly [through mere habit] with the voice of the body, but not of the heart [as in mental prayer], especially when they are long, and still more especially when said by a person who does not make mental prayer [from the heart]; and therefore God seldom hears them, and seldom grants the graces asked [since they only pray by habit or custom and thus lack the real disposition of a true purpose, love, faith and desire required in order to be heard]. Many say the Rosary, the Office of the Blessed Virgin, and perform other works of devotion; but they still continue in sin. But it is impossible for him who perseveres in mental prayer to continue in sin; he will either give up meditation or renounce sin. A great servant of God used to say that mental prayer and sin cannot exist together. And this we see by experience: they who make mental prayer rarely incur the enmity of God; and should they ever have the misfortune of falling into sin, by persevering in mental prayer, they see their misery, and return to God. Let a soul, says St. Teresa, be ever so negligent, if she persevere in meditation, the Lord will bring her back to the haven of salvation.” (St. Alphonsus, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, CHAPTER XV: MENTAL PRAYER, Moral Necessity of Mental Prayer for Religious)

Thus, in accordance with the advice of St. Alphonsus, a person should not be afraid of also praying from the heart, preferably at all times, in addition to saying vocal prayers, since this is the most perfect, highest and unitive form of prayer with God.

It is, however, a really bad sign when a person feels an aversion or contempt to holy prayers like the Rosary. A person should do his utmost to persevere in praying the Rosary and other vocal and mental prayers since the Devil often tempts people to stop praying them because he knows and feels how much they lessen his power over a person’s soul.

St. Louis De Montfort (A.D. 1710): “Blessed Alan de la Roche who was so deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin had many revelations from her and we know that he confirmed the truth of these revelations by a solemn oath. Three of them stand out with special emphasis: the first, that if people fail to say the ‘Hail Mary’ (the Angelic Salutation which has saved the world – Luke 1:28) out of carelessness, or because they are lukewarm, or because they hate it, this is a sign that they will probably and indeed shortly be condemned to eternal punishment.” (Secret of the Rosary, p. 45)

Most people, for instance, do not frequently give themselves enough time to perform their prayers, and especially longer prayers, and the consequence of this will be that most of them will pray very little, or seldom. A good form of prayer, then, that is more easily performed by everyone, no matter how troublesome prayer may ever feel to you, or however little time you might imagine that you have to spare, is simply that you talk with God as with a real person at all times: in your car, in the toilet, in your work, when you eat... yes everywhere and at all times a man can talk with God, Our Creator and Father as with a real person in the same way as little children does towards their own Father, like when they tell Him how much they love Him, and mentioning all their troubles and worries and that He might help them and protect them, supplicating His help all the time. We should thus learn from these little Children and imitate them and behave as they do towards our own Father and Mother in Heaven, by telling Them that we love Them and that we want to love Them very much and that we need Their help to love Them even more and that we need Their help to resist sin and do good, whatever it might be. A person who prays with confidence in this way everyday will certainly not be lost or be neglecting his duty to pray well. Jesus Christ himself teaches us this very concept in the Bible.

Luke 18:1 “And he [Jesus] spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint...”

Haydock Commentary: “Always to pray, i.e. to pray daily, and frequently; (Witham) and also to walk always in the presence of God, by a spirit of prayer, love, and sorrow for sin.”

In truth, if we are like children, rejecting the vanity, shallowness, greed and lust of the world, we shall never be damned: “Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such. And when he had imposed hands upon them, he departed from thence.” (Matthew 19:13-15)

Haydock Commentary explains these verses: “Jesus said... Suffer the little children... and declares that the kingdom of heaven is the portion of such as resemble these little ones, by the innocence of their lives and simplicity of their hearts. He, moreover, shews that confidence in our own strength, in our own free-will, and in our merits, is an invincible obstacle to salvation.”

The word of God in the Holy Bible teaches spouses to practice chastity for three days while praying to God to beget offspring for the glory of His Holy Name before consummating the marriage by the marital act

The word of God and Holy Scripture further teaches that one should not consummate the marriage immediately after one has been married, but that one should wait for three days while praying earnestly to God to bless their marriage, “because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock.” (Tobias 8:4) The Holy Archangel Raphael, acting as God’s messenger, instructs husbands and wives to always wait three days in prayer before consummating the marriage.“But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her.” (Tobias 6:18)

These words shows us that spouses must remember their bond with the Lord first and foremost and that the fleshly or physical part of the marriage must always come secondhand. By this highly virtuous act of abstaining from marital relations for three days, the devil’s power over married couples is undoubtedly thwarted and diminished. Holy Scripture thus advices spouses to be “joined to God” for three days in prayer before performing the marital act. Not only that, but spouses should always fervently pray to God before every marital act and ask Him to protect them from falling into sin, and also after the marital act in order to ask Our Lord to forgive them if they committed any sin during the act. This is the safe road of the fear of God that every righteous man or woman should follow if they wish to enter Heaven.

Tobias 6:18, 20-22 “[St. Raphael said to Tobias:] But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her.… But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.”

Haydock Commentary explains: “Verse 18. Days. No morality could be more pure. The Christian Church has given similar counsels [of abstinence before marital consummation], in the Capitulars of France, and of Erard, archbishop of Tours, and in many rituals published in the 16th century. The council of Trent only advises people to approach to the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, three days at least before marriage. The Greeks, in their third council of Carthage, (canon 13) order the first night to be spent in continence.”

Notice how Our Lord and God in the biblical book of Tobias promises that those who pray and abstain from the marital act for three days before having marital relations shall receive the inestimable graces of “sound children” on the third night and that they shall be admitted “into the society of the holy Patriarchs” on the second. The honor of being “admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs” is of course too great to even describe in human terms. The blessing on the third night of “sound children” obviously means that those couples who do not perform the marital act for the sake of lust or too often, and who are virtuous and wait for three days in accordance with the promise of Holy Scripture, will receive a child without birth deformities or defects. This may be hard for many to believe, but this is really and truly what Holy Scripture is promising and saying.

It is sad to see that none today seem to care anything about these promises or virtuous deeds that promise these remarkable and wondrous graces that Our Lord said He would bless a virtuous couple with. One could think that even a worldly or ungodly couple would appreciate the grace of not receiving a child that is deformed and that they, if they believed in God or were aware of these promises, would act in accordance to the words of the Holy Scripture; but now neither “Catholics” or so-called Christians nor any people of the world care anything about these words of our Lord that promises the inestimable grace of receiving “a blessing that sound children may be born of you.”

Tobias 8:4-10 “Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God. So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them, And Tobias said: Lord God of our father, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all thy creatures that are in them, bless thee. Thou made Adam of the slime of the earth, and gave him Eve for a helper. And now, Lord, thou know that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever. Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.”

St. Augustine also taught that the first man and woman were waiting for God’s order and commandment to engage in intercourse since God created Adam and Eve without sexual desire for each other. Thus, St. Augustine, with the rest of the Church, understood that sexual desire was not an aspect of God’s design for the male and the female: “For why should they not await God’s authorization for this, since there was no drive of concupiscence coming from rebellious flesh?” Augustine concluded that sexual intercourse was “fundamentally alien to the original definition of humanity.” By this we can understand that the biblical teaching (in Tobias 6:18) of chaste and humble prayer for three days (before one consummates the marriage by the marital act) comes directly from God’s original plan and will for humanity before the fall and original sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; for before the fall, the human will was infinitely more directed to obeying and following God’s perfect will and direction in all things rather than their own reason and judgment, as it sadly is now.

This is also why St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) taught that “the first man of our race [Adam] did not await the appropriate time, desiring the favor of marriage before the proper hour and he fell into sin by not waiting the time of God’s will… they [Adam and Eve] were impelled to do it before the normal time because they were still young and were persuaded by deception.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, On Marriage XIV:94, XVII:102-103)

It is thus certain and an established fact by both the Holy Bible and Apostolic Tradition that those spouses who do not practice chastity and prayer for a while before they perform the marital act will much more easily fall into sexual sins of various sorts since they will be more easily controlled by the devil and his demons because of their carelessness and sloth in praying to God and invoking His Holy aid in resisting sinful inclinations and temptations.

Anne Catherine Emmerich was also told in her Revelations that Adam and Eve performed penance for seven years before “Seth, the child of promise, was there conceived and brought into the world”. Our Lord and God – whom they had offended – consoled them with this child for their loss of their first son, Abel, after seven years penance, which shows us that God requires penance from spouses who behaves badly or lustfully and that penance should be done without command. “I have learned many things which took place in ancient times in the Grotto of the Crib. I remember only that Seth, the child of promise, was there conceived and brought into the world by Eve, after a penitence of seven years. It was there that the angel told her that God had given her this offspring in the place of Abel.” (Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ) Either one makes penance in this life or in the next in Hell or in purgatory. God always requires penance when people commits evil acts. That is just a fact.

Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself indicates in The Revelations of St. Bridget that after the fall and sin of Adam and Eve, the devil aroused sensuality in them, and that their first sexual act or acts after the fall were heedlessly and thoughtlessly planned. The reason for this was that they were inspired by the devil to act more in accordance to their selfish lust than their reason, and that they did not pray to Our Lord before the marital act in humility, pleading to and asking Him to guard them from sinning during the act, as Our Lord wants all spouses to do. The Revelations also shows that Adam and Eve understood their lustful error after this happened, and that they thereafter were afraid to perform the marital act, and chose to completely abstain from the marital act for a while because of their fear of God’s wrath. They thus learned that Our Lord wanted them to pray for a while before they performed the marital act, and awaited Our Lord’s commandment for them to come together in marital union again, and after a while, God directly told them that they could have marital relations again.

The Son of God speaks: “After the disobedience was enacted, my angel came over them [Adam and Eve] and they were ashamed over their nakedness, and they immediately experienced the lust and desire of the flesh and suffered hunger and thirst. … And for the sensuality the devil had aroused in them after their disobedience, I gave and created souls in their seed through my Divinity. And all the evil the devil tempted them with, I turned to good for them entirely.

Thereafter, I showed them how to live and worship me, and I gave them permission to have relations, because before my permission and the enunciation of my will they were stricken with fear and were afraid to unite and have relations. Likewise, when Abel was killed and they were in mourning for a long time and observing abstinence, I was moved with compassion and comforted them. And when they understood my will, they began again to have relations and to procreate children, from which family I, their Creator, promised to be born.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1 Chapter 26)

It is thus clear that “he who neglects prayer in the time of temptation is like a general, who, when surrounded by the enemy, does not ask for reinforcements from his monarch. Adam fell into sin because when he was tempted he did not look to God for help. We should say a Hail Mary, or at least devoutly utter the holy names of Jesus and Mary. "These holy names," St. John Chrysostom declares, "have an intrinsic power over the devil, and are a terror to hell." At the name of Mary the devils tremble with fear; when she is invoked their power forsakes them as wax melts before the fire.” (Rev. Francis Spirago, The Catechism Explained, A.D. 1899)

St. Ephraim, On Prayer Before Intercourse: “O Blessed Fruit conceived without intercourse, bless our wombs during intercourse. Have pity on our barrenness, Miraculous Child of virginity.” (Hymns of St. Ephraim: Hymn 7 On the Nativity)

Loving God during intercourse and at all times

We have already seen that Our Lord wants us to love and think about Him both before, during and after the marital act. There are many pious examples in Holy Scripture and the lives of the Patriarchs, Prophets and Saints that we can learn from in this regard. Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, however, never had marital relations. So the holiest example of a marriage that includes natural marital relations is the marriage of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s parents: St. Joachim and St. Anna. They were chosen by God to be the parents of our Lord’s Mother.

Concerning their married life, Joachim and Anna certainly engaged in natural marital relations. But does any faithful Catholic believe that these two Saints would either make use of unnatural sexual acts or advise anyone in any situation whatsoever to do so? Certainly not! The very idea is incompatible not only with the holiness of Saints, but with the ordinary holiness required by Christ of every married couple. All married persons are of course required by God to refrain from every kind of mortal sin, including sexual sins, actual mortal sins as well as objective mortal sins. We are all called to imitate the Saints, even the least worthy among us.

In truth, The Mother of God also reveals to us in The Revelations of St. Bridget that Her holy parents Anna and Joachim: “would rather have died than to come together in carnal love; lust was dead in them. I assure you that when they did come together, it was because of divine love and because of the angel’s message [that revealed that they would be the parents of the holy Mother of God], not out of carnal desire, but against their will and out of a holy love for God. In this way, my flesh was put together by their seed and through divine love.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 9)

Since Anna and Joachim’s marriage was so holy, pious spouses should also pray to these two holy Saints in Heaven to protect them from sinning in the marital act. When one reads these words about these most holy parents of Our Lady, and see how they despised the carnal and sensual love of the flesh and of the world, one can clearly see the great power chastity has in drawing down blessings from God. If God would have noticed any kind of sensuality in St. Anna and St. Joachim, they would never have become the parents of Our Lady. In truth, it was not fitting that the vessel of grace and the real Arc of the Covenant in which the Word of God made flesh dwelt, should be conceived in any other way than with a perfect and pure will, and without any shameful lust, just like it would have been for all parents in the Garden of Eden before the original sin of Adam and Eve.

Although a normal couple will not be spared from feeling any lust or concupiscence as it happened to Anna and Joachim through a special and divine grace, this should in no way hinder them from loving and desiring God during the procreative act. The Love of God should thus be the primary motive of the marital act along with the love of and desire to beget children for a couple rather than desiring or lusting after their own spouse. Most couples however choose to think about themselves or their spouse in an inordinate way and consequently to love themselves or their spouse during the procreative act. Anna and Joachim, however, clearly chose the best part, that is, loving, thinking about, and desiring to please God. If we think about pleasing God during the act of marriage and in our daily life, then our love will be directed towards Him – which is the best part. God’s love never dies! so it’s clearly a great mistake to seek love from a fleshly object that will rot and be eaten by worms in the grave, rather than seeking it from God, who lives and reigns forever and ever! Husbands and wives should thus love their own, their spouse and their children’s souls, instead of their own and other peoples bodies that will rot and be eaten by worms in the grave. This is an advice to those couples who wish to be perfect, as Anna and Joachim were perfect, and for those who wish to be united with God through love.

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 3, Chapter 38, Instructions For Married Persons: “Matrimony is a great Sacrament, but I speak in Christ, and in the Church... Would to God that his most beloved Son were invited to all marriages, as he was to that of Cana; then the wine of consolations and benedictions would never be wanting; for the reason why there is commonly a scarcity of it at the beginning is, because Adonis [the god of beauty and desire] is invited instead of Jesus Christ, and Venus [the goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility and prosperity] instead of his blessed Mother. He that would have his lambs fair and spotted as Jacob’s were, must, like him, set fair rods of divers colors before the sheep when they meet to couple; and he that would have a happy success in marriage ought in his espousals to represent to himself the sanctity and dignity of this sacrament. But, alas! instead of this there are a thousand disorders committed in diversions, feasting, and immodest discourse; it is not surprising, then, that the success of marriages should not correspond. Above all things, I exhort married people to that mutual love which the Holy Ghost so much recommends in the Scripture. O you that are married! I tell you not to love each other with a natural love, for it is thus that the turtles love; nor do I say, love one another with a human love, for the heathens do this; but I say to you, after the great Apostle, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church." [Ephesians 5:25] And you, wives, love your husbands, as the Church loveth her Saviour. It was God that brought Eve to our first father, Adam, and gave her him in marriage; it is also God, O my friends! who, with his invisible hand, has tied the knot of the holy bond of your marriage, and given you to one another; why do you not, then, cherish each other with a holy, sacred, and divine love?

... But while I exhort you to advance more and more in this mutual love, which you owe one another, beware lest it degenerate into any kind of jealousy; for it often happens, that as the worm is bred in the apple which is the most delicate and ripe, so jealousy grows in that love of married people which is the most ardent and affectionate, of which, nevertheless, it spoils and corrupts the substance, breeding, by insensible degrees, strifes, dissensions, and divorces. But jealousy is never seen where the friendship is reciprocally grounded on solid virtue: it is, therefore, an infallible mark that the love is in some degree sensual and gross, and has met with a virtue imperfect, inconstant, and subject to distrust. Jealousy is an absurd means of proving the sincerity of friendship. It may, indeed, be a sign of the greatness of the friendship, but never of its goodness, purity, and perfection; since the perfection of friendship presupposes an assurance of the virtue of those whom we love, and jealousy presupposes a doubt of it.

If you desire, O husbands! that your wives should be faithful to you, give them a lesson by your example. "How," says St. Gregory Nazianzen, "can you exact purity of your wives, when you yourselves live in impurity? How can you require of them that which you give them not? Do you wish them to be chaste? behave yourselves chastely towards them: and, as St. Paul says, ‘let every man know how to possess his vessel in sanctification.’ But if, on the contrary, you yourselves teach them not to be virtuous, it is not surprising if you are disgraced by their perdition. But you, O wives! whose honor is inseparably joined with purity and modesty, be zealous to preserve this your glory, and suffer no kind of loose behavior to tarnish the whiteness of your reputation."

... Ladies formerly, as well as now, were accustomed to wear ear-rings of pearl, for the pleasure... But for my part, as I know that the great friend of God, Isaac, sent ear-rings, as the first earnest of his love, to the chaste Rebecca, I believe that this mysterious ornament signifies that the first part which a husband should take possession of in his wife, and which his wife should faithfully keep for him, is her ears; in order that no other language or noise should enter there but only the sweet and amiable music of chaste and pure words, which are the oriental pearls of the gospel; for we must always remember that souls are poisoned by the ear, as the body is by the mouth.”

Love is necessary for Salvation

For a person to be Saved, the word of God teaches that one must love his God with “his whole heart, and with his whole soul, and with all his strength, and with all his mind” (Luke 10:27). If any person fails to do this, that is, if he chooses to love something more than he loves God, whatever it may be or however small it may be, he will not be Saved. Consequently, it is of the greatest importance that all people who desires their salvation must do everything in their power to acquire and foster the love of God in their own hearts, soul, mind and body, by loving Him very deeply and at all times, and by praying to Him for help in loving Him worthily. Indeed, if a person can grow a deep love and attachment for their husband or wife or their children and have a fervent desire for them constantly, then, likewise, a person should have no problem in growing an even greater love and longing for God in his own heart, if he only so wish and desire: “For to Christians this rule of life is given, that we should love the Lord Our God with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and our neighbor as ourselves… God alone, to find whom is the happiest life, must be worshiped in perfect purity and chastity… in chaste and faithful obedience, not to gratify passion, but for the propagation of offspring, and for domestic society.” (St. Augustine, On the Morals of the Catholic Church, Chapter 30, Section 62, A.D. 388)

Jesus Christ in the Revelations of St. Bridget gives us a perfect description of how good spouses in the spiritual marriage are to love and desire God above all else.

The Son of God speaks to St. Bridget: “For that reason, I wish to turn to the spiritual marriage, the kind that is appropriate for God to have with a chaste soul and chaste body. There are seven good things in it opposed to the evils mentioned above: First, there is no desire for beauty of form or bodily beauty or lustful sights, but only for the sight and love of God. Second, there is no desire to possess anything else than what is needed to survive, and just the necessities with nothing in excess. Third, they avoid vain and frivolous talk. Fourth, they do not care about seeing friends or relatives, but I am their love and desire. Fifth, they desire to keep the humility inwardly in their conscience and outwardly in the way they dress. Sixth, they never have any will of leading lustful lives. Seventh, they beget sons and daughters for their God through their good behavior and good example and through the preaching of spiritual words.

They preserve their faith undefiled when they stand outside the doors of my church where they give me their consent and I give them mine. They go up to my altar when they enjoy the spiritual delight of my Body and Blood in which delight they wish to be of one heart and one body and one will with me, and I, true God and man, mighty in heaven and on earth, shall be as the third with them and will fill their hearts. The worldly spouses begin their marriage in lustful desires like brute beasts, and even worse than brute beasts! But these spiritual spouses begin in love and fear of God and do not bother to please anyone but me. The evil spirit fills and incites those in the worldly marriage to carnal lust where there is nothing but unclean stench, but those in the spiritual marriage are filled with my Spirit and inflamed with the fire of my love that will never fail them.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 26)

In contrast to the seven good fruits of the holy marriage described by Jesus Christ above, this is how Our Lord describes the seven evil fruits of the evil and worldly marriage:

But people in this age are joined in marriage for seven [evil] reasons: First, because of facial beauty. Second, because of wealth. Third, because of the despicable pleasure and indecent joy they get out of their impure intercourse. Fourth, because of feasts with friends and uncontrolled gluttony. Fifth, because of vanity in clothing and eating, in joking and entertainment and games and other vanities. Sixth, for the sake of procreating children but not to raise them for the honor of God or good works but for worldly riches and honor. Seventh, they come together for the sake of lust and they are like brute beasts in their lustful desires. … Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away.(St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 26)

In truth, only the ungodly or idolatrous couple would want to join in marriage to gratify carnal pleasures and evil desires or be working so selfishly in pleasing only themselves rather than pleasing God, who created them and even died for them. God must always come first! and He is always present in Spirit in every action, deed or move we will ever make. Let’s get this saving concept imprinted on our minds: “I am one God in three Persons, and one in Divinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Just as it is impossible for the Father to be separated from the Son and the Holy Spirit to be separated from them both, and as it is impossible for warmth to be separated from fire, so it is impossible for these spiritual spouses to be separated from me; I am always as the third with them. Once my body was ravaged and died in torments, but it will never more be hurt or die. Likewise, those who are incorporated into me with a true faith and a perfect will shall never die away from me; for wherever they stand or sit or walk, I am always as the third with them.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 26)

Jesus infallibly over and over again demands of us that we are to love Him even more than we love ourselves, our wife or even our children.

Matthew 10:37-39 “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.”

Haydock Commentary adds: “Ver. 39. But if he continues moderately happy as to temporal concerns till death, and places his affections on them, he hath found life here, but shall lose it in the next world. But he that shall, for the sake of Christ, deprive himself of the pleasures of this life, shall receive the reward of a hundred fold in the next.”

And in St. Bridget’s Revelations, Our Lord spoke these words describing how Adam and Eve’s love for God was perfect before the fall, saying: “but I alone was all their good and pleasure and perfect delight.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26)

The meaning of the above words, “but I alone was all their good and pleasure and perfect delight,” isn’t that a person can’t delight in or feel pleasure in/from God anymore after the fall, but rather that before the fall, God was the only delight and pleasure man ever felt and desired. Before the fall, man did all in God and for God, and no selfish love existed as it does now. After the fall, however, God had to compete for man’s love with human concupiscence and fleshly lusts. God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5), and He wants us to love and desire Him above everything else. So to love God during all times, even during intercourse, is an advice to those couples who wish to be perfect, as Adam and Eve were perfect, and for those who ardently longs and desires to be united with God through love.

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 3, Chapter 39, Of The Sanctity Of The Marriage Bed: Now, excess in eating consists not only in eating too much, but also in the time and manner of eating. It is surprising, dear Philothea [to whom the book was written], that honey, which is so proper and wholesome a food for bees, may, nevertheless, become so hurtful to them as sometimes to make them sick: for in the spring, when they eat too much of it, being overcharged with it in the forepart of their head and wings, they become sick, and frequently die. In like manner, nuptial commerce... is, nevertheless, in certain cases dangerous to those that exercise it; for it frequently debilitates the soul with venial sin, as in cases of mere and simple excess; and sometimes it kills it effectually by mortal sin, as when the order appointed for the procreation of children is violated and perverted; in which case according as one departs more or less from it, the sins are more or less abominable, but always mortal: for the procreation of children being the principal end of marriage one may never lawfully depart from the order which that end requires; though, on account of some accident or circumstance, it cannot at that time be brought about, as it happens when barrenness, or pregnancy, prevents generation.

In these occurrences corporal commerce may still be just... provided the rules of generation be followed: no accident whatsoever being able to prejudice the law which the principal end of marriage has imposed. Certainly the infamous and the execrable action of Onan in his marriage was detestable in the sight of God, as the holy text of the 38th chapter of Genesis testifies: for although certain heretics of our days, much more blamable than the Cynics, of whom St. Jerome speaks in his commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians, have been pleased to say it was the perverse intention only of that wicked man which displeased God, the Scripture positively asserts the contrary, and assures us that the act itself which he committed was detestable and abominable in the sight of God.

It is a certain mark of a base and abject spirit to think of eating before meal time, and, still more, to amuse ourselves afterwards with the pleasure which we took in eating, keeping it alive in our words and imagination, and delighting in the recollection of the sensual satisfaction we had in swallowing down those morsels; as men do who before dinner have their minds fixed on the spit, and after dinner on the dishes; men worthy to be "scullions" of a kitchen, "who," as St. Paul says, "make a god of their belly." Persons of honor never think of eating but at sitting down at table, and after dinner wash their hands and their mouth, that they may neither retain the taste nor the scent of what they have been eating.

The elephant, although a gross beast, is yet the most decent and most sensible of any other upon earth. I will give you a specimen of his chastity: although he never changes his female, and hath so tender a love for her whom he hath chosen, yet he never couples with her but at the end of every three years, and then only for the space of five days, but so privately that he is never seen in the act. On the sixth day afterwards, when he makes his appearance, the first thing he does is to go directly to some river, where he washes his body entirely, being unwilling to return to the herd till he is quite purified. May not these modest dispositions in such an animal serve as lessons to married people, not to keep their affections engaged in those sensual and carnal pleasures which, according to their vocation, they have exercised; but when they are past to wash their heart and affection, and purify themselves from them as soon as possible, that afterwards, with freedom of mind, they may practice other actions more pure and elevated.

In his advice consists the perfect practice of that excellent doctrine of St. Paul to the Corinthians. "The time is short," said he; "it remaineth that they who have wives be as though they have none." For, according to St. Gregory, that man has a wife as if he had none, who takes corporal satisfaction with her in such a manner as not to be diverted from spiritual exercises. Now, what is said of the husband is understood reciprocally of the wife. "Let those that use the world," says the same apostle, "be as though they used it not." Let every one, then, use this world according to his calling, but in such manner that, not engaging his affection in it, he may be as free and ready to serve God as if he used it not. "It is the great evil of man," says St. Augustine, "to desire to enjoy the things which he should only use." We should enjoy spiritual things, and only use corporal, of which when the use is turned into enjoyment, our rational soul is also changed into a brutish and beastly soul. I think I have said all that I would say to make myself understood, without saying that which I would not say.”

Holy children

It’s a fact of history and tradition that holy parents often raise pious and holy children. The reasons behind this is that the children of holy and devout parents often imitate the good and righteous deeds of their parents as much as they are able. In contrast, according to numerous saints and spiritual revelations, sinful and lustful parents influence and affect their children by their bad life and example, inflicting sinful thoughts, impulses and temptations upon their children. Thus, every parent who love their children and their future children should do their utmost to live in holiness, knowing that every act they will ever do can have an effect on their children – for better or for worse. Only in Hell will bad parents understand how their deeds effected their children in a negative way, but then it is sadly too late for them. In St. Bridget’s Revelations, it is described how such evil parents will be damned for their sinful lives.

The Son of God speaks: “Sometimes I let evil parents give birth to good children, but more often, evil children are born of evil parents, since these children imitate the evil and unrighteous deeds of their parents as much as they are able and would imitate it even more if my patience allowed them. Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 26)

St. Francis de Sales, in his book Introduction to the Devout Life, in the chapter Instructions For Married Persons, gives parents important information about how they are to raise and care for their children: St. Monica, being pregnant of the great St. Augustine, dedicated him by frequent oblations to the Christian religion, and to the service and glory of God, as he himself testifies, saying, that "he had already tasted the salt of God in his mother’s womb." This is a great lesson for Christian women, to offer up to his divine Majesty the fruit of their wombs, even before they come into the world; for God, who accepts the offerings of an humble and willing heart, commonly at that time seconds the affections of mothers; witness Samuel, St. Thomas of Aquinas, St. Andrew of Fiesola, and many others. The mother of St. Bernard, a mother worthy of such a son, as soon as her children were born, took them in her arms, and offered them up to Jesus Christ; and, from that moment, she loved them with respect as things consecrated to God and entrusted by him to her care. This pious custom was so pleasing to God that her seven children became afterwards eminent for sanctity. But when children begin to have the use of reason, both their fathers and mothers ought to take great care to imprint the fear of God in their hearts.

The devout queen Blanche performed this duty most fervently with regard to St. Lewis [King St. Louis IX], her son. She often said to him, "I would much rather, my dear child, see you die before my eyes, than see you commit only one mortal sin." This caution remained so deeply engraved in his soul that, as he himself related, not one day of his life passed in which be did not remember it, and take all possible care to observe it faithfully. Families and generations are, in our language, called houses; and even the Hebrews called the generations of children the building up of a house; for, in this sense, it is said that God built houses for the midwives of Egypt. Now, this is to show that the raising of a house, or family, consists not in storing up a quantity of worldly possessions, but in the good education of children in the fear of God, and in virtue, in which no pains or labor ought to be spared; for children are the crown of their parents. Thus, St. Monica fought with so much fervor and constancy against the evil inclination of her son St. Augustine, that, having followed him by sea and land, she made him more happily the child of her tears, by the conversion of his soul, than he had been of her blood, by the generation of his body.”

The lack of fear of God is one of the greatest reasons why spouses sin sexually

Adam and Eve’s lack of the fear of God as well as their lack of belief that the punishment of death that they were told would befall them if they disobeyed God’s command and ate of the fruit “of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” shows us that the fear of God was and still is necessary both before and after the fall of man. “And He [God] commanded him [Adam], saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

If Adam and Eve had feared God, they would never have dared to do anything that would have contradicted His Holy Will or angered Him. In truth, the fear of God is not only necessary on this earth and for us humans, but it was and is also necessary for the angels in Heaven. Satan and the third of the angels that he deceived to follow him in his rebellion against God all lacked a fear of God. In contrast to these fallen angels, St. Michael and the rest of the angels all feared God, and thus were confirmed in their station as the most high servants of the Eternal and Almighty. Indeed, the very definition of the name “Michael” is “Who is like God” which is the exclamation and rebuke St. Michael made in Heaven in answer to Lucifer’s proud opposition to God. This defense St. Michael made for God, rebuking Satan, and saying “Who is like God”, as sweet as it is sublime, is an exclamation that represents both awe and reverence for God but also fear and the knowledge of one’s nothingness in the presence of Our Lord. The most common theme in the Bible is that The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 110:10), and that His mercy is only upon those who fear Him (Psalm 102:17; Lk. 1:50; 2 Cor. 5:11; etc.) and thus, it is evident that only wicked spouses who refuse to fear God or Hell dare to commit sexual sins or unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts with each other.

Ecclesiasticus 1:11-40 “The fear of the Lord is honour, and glory, and gladness, and a crown of joy. The fear of the Lord shall delight the heart, and shall give joy, and gladness, and length of days. With him that feareth the Lord, it shall go well in the latter end, and in the day of his death he shall be blessed. The love of God is honourable wisdom. And they to whom she shall shew herself love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and was created with the faithful in the womb, it walketh with chosen women, and is known with the just and faithful. The fear of the Lord is the religiousness of knowledge. Religiousness shall keep and justify the heart, it shall give joy and gladness. It shall go well with him that feareth the Lord, and in the days of his end he shall be blessed. To fear God is the fulness of wisdom, and fulness is from the fruits thereof.

She shall fill all her house with her increase, and the storehouses with her treasures. The fear of the Lord is a crown of wisdom, filling up peace and the fruit of salvation: And it hath seen, and numbered her: but both are the gifts of God. Wisdom shall distribute knowledge, and understanding of prudence: and exalteth the glory of them that hold her. The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord: and the branches thereof are longlived.

In the treasures of wisdom is understanding, and religiousness of knowledge: but to sinners wisdom is an abomination. The fear of the Lord driveth out sin: For he that is without fear, cannot be justified: for the wrath of his high spirits is his ruin. A patient man shall bear for a time, and afterwards joy shall be restored to him. A good understanding will hide his words for a time, and the lips of many shall declare his wisdom.

In the treasures of wisdom is the signification of discipline: But the worship of God is an abomination to a sinner. Son, if thou desire wisdom, keep justice, and God will give her to thee. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline: and that which is agreeable to him, Is faith, and meekness: and he will fill up his treasures.

Be not incredulous to the fear of the Lord: and come not to him with a double heart. Be not a hypocrite in the sight of men, and let not thy lips be a stumblingblock to thee. Watch over them, lest thou fall, and bring dishonour upon thy soul, And God discover thy secrets, and cast thee down in the midst of the congregation. Because thou camest to the Lord wickedly, and thy heart is full of guile and deceit.”

This lack of the fear for God that so rules this wicked society today also verifies the sorrowful truth told by Our Lord in the Holy Gospels that very few of all humans escape being condemned to an eternal torment in Hell. Our Blessed Lady, also echoing this truth of Our Lord, revealed to the Children at Fatima, Portugal, in the year 1917 that, The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! … Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God [since these spouses marry for carnal and lustful motives and perform unlawful and non-procreative sexual acts].”

Catholics must understand that few are saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed that the road to Heaven is straight and narrow and few find it, while the road to Hell is wide and taken by most (Mt. 7:13).

Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life, and few there are that find it!

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.”

Scripture also teaches that almost the entire world lies in darkness, so much so that Satan is even called the “prince” (John 12:31) and “god” (2 Cor. 4:3) of this world. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is seated in wickedness.” (1 John 5:19) The sexual sin that so pervades society is undoubtedly one of the greatest causes of why so many are damned. Some saints even say that the sexual sin is the greatest cause in the world of why people are damned, and this is highly probable since this sin is so much more pleasurable than the other sins. Thus, if a person wants to be saved, he or she must make it their highest priority to correct or amend their sexual sins, for all other sins will in almost every case be less hard to conquer since our flesh is not as effected by them as the sexual sin is.

God must always come first

St. Paul, the chosen vessel of God, a former persecutor of Christ worthy of conversion, worthy of praise in the Lord and now one of the great apostles, teaches us in his first letter to the Corinthians how spouses should live in marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:29-35 “This therefore I say, brethren; the time is short; it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as if they used it not: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.”

What St. Paul is saying here is that even those who are married should not place the love of their family or the pleasures or affections they have from them above God, but consider that all are dust and that One, and One only is to be loved above all else—Our Lord Jesus Christ.

When St. Paul mentions “that they also who have wives, be as if they had none”, he is speaking about how spouses must not place the carnal love they have for each other above their love for the Lord. St. Paul’s words are clear: The spouses must act as though they were not married (within due limits of course) since the married man “is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.” This division of the married man makes it a great necessity that even married people should consider themselves in their own thought processes as though they are unmarried and chaste, although their external and physical marital duties hinders them from pursuing this endeavor to the fullest. As St. Paul says: “it remaineth, that they also who have wives, be as if they had none”.

One must obviously love all people as much as one can, but one must also remember that most people, however dear or near, often reject God and hinder one’s own spiritual advancement. The only one who will always remain true to us and that we know with a certainty will never become evil, is God, and with God, His angels and Saints in Heaven. But humans, however dear or near, often fall away from the truth and this rejection of God by our family or friends requires us to exclude them from our communion. Our Lord explicitly mentions that such acts are necessary sometimes.

Luke 18:29 “Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

Luke 14 gives us an even clearer example from the gospel which shows us that we must be able to renounce all association to our family or friends when necessity requires it.

Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Douay Rheims Commentary on Luke 14:26: “Hate not: The law of Christ does not allow us to hate even our enemies, much less our parents: but the meaning of the text is, that we must be in that disposition of soul, as to be willing to renounce, and part with every thing, how near or dear soever it may be to us, that would keep us from following Christ.”

Our Lord does not only teach us to follow this principle, but he also practiced what he taught himself. His deepest belonging was to the Father, the Father’s House, the Father’s concerns. This commitment would reverberate at later times, severing ultimate claims on Him of his closest family. In the presence of these and to their hearing, He would ask, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in Heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.” This, in His own life, was the moral authority to demand the same of all others, “You cannot serve two masters...”

Most spouses in this world undoubtedly commit a most grievous act of faithlessness against Our Lord when they love their spouse or the carnal love they derive from them more than God. Their treasure is sadly a most vile corpse that will rot and be eaten by worms in the grave. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34)

The Christian servant is one who, “risen with Christ, seeks the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God” and one who “minds the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.” (Colossians 3:1-5)

Luke chapter 18 is another excellent example in the gospels of how Our Lord wants people to think in their own thought processes.

Luke 18:15-17 “And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them. But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not enter into it.”

Notice that Our Lord states that those who shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not be saved: “Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not enter into it.” What are the good virtues or characteristics of children that Our Lord refers to in this verse that men must have in order to be saved? There are obviously many virtues that children have but two of the most notable ones are purity, and humility, among many other virtues such as strong faith and trust. The first virtue that children are naturally endowed with is purity, and just like children, men must also be pure and chaste in their own thought processes in accordance with Our Lord’s words, even though some must fulfill their marital duties. All children are also humble in a way since they know that they know nothing compared to grown ups, and that they need to learn more in order to understand different things. Men and women should also think in the same way. They should humbly think that they know nothing, and that they need to learn more in order to understand different things. Until the moment of death, all men can learn more about God, goodness or other things conducive to spiritual growth. Every day is a new day with new opportunities to practice virtues of different kinds, like patience, kindness, purity, love of neighbor and God etc. However, whoever states the contrary, that is, that he already knows all, is a proud liar who attributes to himself God’s perfect knowledge.

Children also love their parents in many ways and desire their presence at all times. Children also frequently tend to express their love for their parents in different ways. For instance, it is not uncommon for children to simply walk up to their parents for no other purpose than to express their love for them, and say they love them. Children also have total childlike faith and confidence in their parents, firmly believing that they know what’s best for them. It is indeed by children that God wishes to teach us how we should act towards Him, and love Him. Even though we are grown ups and not as children, we should still act in our mind towards God as do small, defenseless children towards their own parents; that is, we should have the same desire, love, longing and confidence for Our God and Father in Heaven as do children for their parents. And just like children, we should admit our own utter dependance on Him, seeking His protection and Fatherly care, having childlike trust in Him, firmly believing that He will do what’s best for us and our salvation; and just like children, we are to feel a deep desire and longing for God as do small children for their parents, who simply cannot stop crying until they are embraced by them; and finally, just like children, we are by our prayers, meditations and thoughts to confidently walk up to God and tell Him how much we love Him.

Every one has two lives. The first life (which is the most important life) is the inner life of the soul, consisting for the most part of desires, thoughts and affections. The second life is the outer or external life made up of the daily actions of the visible life. The pitiful state of today’s humanity however, is that most people completely lack the inner life and because of this, they lose their immortal souls. How trivial indeed must not those small trifles and things seem for those lost souls who loved and desired earthly and perishable goods and pleasures more than they loved God when after a billion years in Hell have gone by in the smoke that smothers and suffocates their whole being, while the painful and tormenting fire that will never be quenched however much they plead with Our Lord to alleviate their torment, continues to torment them mercilessly!

Romans 6:3-6; 6:12-23 “Know you not that all we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death? For we are buried together with him by baptism into death; that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer.

“… Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are whom you obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justice.

But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but have obeyed from the heart, unto that form of doctrine, into which you have been delivered. Being then freed from sin, we have been made servants of justice. I speak an human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity, unto iniquity; so now yield your members to serve justice, unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free men to justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question 1: Is it sinful to have marital relations during the menstruation of the woman?

Response: The question of whether marital relations during the menstruation of the woman is sinful or not is hard to answer since ambiguous statements by Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii are interpreted by some to mean that it is allowed. Pope Pius XI explains that a husband and wife may use their marital rights in the proper manner, although on account of natural reasons, new life cannot be brought forth, but his teaching does not define whether it is speaking about the menstruation of the woman or some other sickness or defect of the woman, like the monthly infertility of women.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “Nor are those considered as acting against nature who, in the married state, use their right in the proper manner, although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider, so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

This teaching does not directly address the question of whether it is allowed or not to perform the marital act during the menstruation period of the woman, and so there is some measure of uncertainty whether the Church allows this filthy act to be performed since the Old Testament of the Bible, as well as the Popes, Fathers, Saints and Doctors of the Church throughout the ages, condemned or opposed marital relations during this time period.

Pope St. Gregory the Great, in his “Epistle To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli [English]” (c. 597 A.D.) writes that all women: “are forbidden to have intercourse with their husbands while held of their accustomed sicknesses [menses]; so much so that the sacred law smites with death any man who shall go into a woman having her sickness [Leviticus 20:18].” (Epistles of St. Gregory the Great, Book XI, Letter 64, To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli)

As mentioned, it was forbidden and a capital offense (that is, it was an act that was punished by death and execution) for spouses to have marital relations during the wife’s infertile monthly cycle during the Old Covenant era. This clearly shows us that God does not want spouses to perform the marital act during this time.

Leviticus 20:18 “If any man lie with a woman in her flowers, and uncover her nakedness, and she open the fountain of her blood, both shall be destroyed out of the midst of their people.”

We read in the Old Testament that God had forbidden the marital act by separating the wife from her husband during the infertile monthly menstrual cycle of the woman. Leviticus 15:19: The woman, who at the return of the month, hath her issue of blood, shall be separated seven days.” Haydock Commentary explains: “Days, not only out of the camp, but from the company of men.” As soon as a woman shows signs of infertility, intercourse would cease. “Thou shalt not approach to a woman having her flowers: neither shalt thou uncover her nakedness” (Leviticus 18:19). Haydock Commentary adds: “Saint Augustine believes that this law is still in force. [On Leviticus 20:18] This intemperance was by a positive law declared a mortal offence of the Jews.”

This wondrous law from God not only diminished the time a couple could have marital relations, but it also prohibited the women from the company of men, and this certainly includes her husband. What was God’s reason for separating the woman from her man you might ask? In truth, God who knows more about human weaknesses and sins than all of humanity combined ordained this so that the temptation to violate His laws and have marital relations during this period would not happen. For most temptations work like this: as long as you take away the source of the temptation, it will always be easier to control.

Ezechiel 18:5-6,9 “And if a man be just, and do judgment and justice, And hath not eaten upon the mountains [that is, of the sacrifices there offered to idols], nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel: and hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife, nor come near to a menstruous woman... he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.”

Another reason why God made this wondrous law was so that a couple would have marital relations less frequently, which in turn would help them get stronger in resisting and conquering sexual temptations of different kinds. For as we have seen already, those who indulge in the marital act too often commits a sin of gluttony of sorts and will fall more easily into other sins since they do not order their actions in accordance with right reason, but in accordance with their unmortified and sensual desires like animals or brute beasts.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also did not believe that it was lawful, and taught very clearly in his Summa Theologica that it is a sin to knowingly demand the marital debt when a woman is menstruating. He also compares demanding the debt on such occasions with the case of a madman being dangerous to other people, both bodily and spiritually.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64, Art. 3: “Whether it is allowable for a menstruous wife to ask for the marriage debt? On the contrary, "Thou shalt not approach to a woman having her flowers" (Leviticus 18:19) where Augustine observes: "Although he has already sufficiently forbidden this he repeats the prohibition here lest he seem to have spoken figuratively." Further, "All our justices" are become "as the rag of a menstruous woman" (Isaiah 64:6) where Jerome observes: "Men ought then to keep away from their wives [at this time]… so that those parents who are not ashamed to come together in sexual intercourse have their sin made obvious to all": and thus the same conclusion follows.

I answer that, It was forbidden in the Law to approach to a menstruous woman, for two reasons both on account of her uncleanness, and on account of the [spiritual and bodily] harm that frequently resulted to the offspring from such intercourse. With regard to the first reason, it was a ceremonial precept, but with regard to the second it was a moral precept. For since marriage is chiefly directed to the good of the offspring, all use of marriage which is intended for the good of the offspring is in order. Consequently this precept is binding even in the New Law on account of the second reason, although not on account of the first. Now, the menstrual issue may be natural or unnatural. The natural issue is that to which women are subject at stated periods when they are in good health; and it is unnatural when they suffer from an issue of blood through some disorder resulting from sickness. Accordingly if the menstrual flow be unnatural it is not forbidden in the New Law to approach to a menstruous woman both on account of her infirmity since a woman in that state cannot conceive, and because an issue of this kind is lasting and continuous, so that the husband would have to abstain for always. When however the woman is subject to a natural issue of the menstruum, she can conceive; moreover, the said issue lasts only a short time, wherefore it is forbidden to approach to her. In like manner a woman is forbidden to ask for the debt during the period of that issue.”

We will also see many more quotations from the early Church concerning the traditional teaching against sexual relations during menstruation in the next question.

Question 2: Is it sinful to have marital relations during the pregnancy of the woman?

Answer: Many have thought that Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii teaches that one may have marital relations lawfully during the wife’s pregnancy, but Casti Connubii is highly ambiguous and it is very hard to understand whether it teaches that one may lawfully have marital relations after the woman have become pregnant. Casti Connubii teaches that spouses can perform the marital act during those times when “new life cannot be brought forth”, and this is interpreted by some to give permission for spouses to perform the marital act during a woman’s pregnancy, but the Pope then goes on to state that this action is only lawful “so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [that is, Procreation of children] and so, this last sentence seem to teach that one may not perform the marital act during the pregnancy of the woman, since the primary end and motive of procreation is already fulfilled.

There is no official and dogmatic Papal Church teaching, as far as we know, that directly teaches that marital relations during a pregnancy is a sin, but that does not mean that it is not a sin, and especially so since the Popes, Fathers, Saints, and Doctors of the Church throughout the ages opposed marital relations without the intent to procreate. This thus seems to be the Catholic Tradition from the beginning.

There are however, many quotations that address this question directly from the Fathers and early writers. The Holy Fathers and Church Tradition (in all the quotes we’ve found on the subject) unanimously teach that sexual activity during the infertile period of pregnancy as well as menstruation should be avoided at all times since it is unnatural and unreasonable to sow one’s seed when one “awaits the harvest.”

Athenagoras the Athenian (c. 175 A.D.): After throwing the seed into the ground, the farmer awaits the harvest. He does not sow more seed on top of it. Likewise, to us the procreation of children is the limit of our indulgence in appetite.” (A Plea For the Christians, Chapter XXXIII.--Chastity of the Christians with Respect to Marriage)

Nature itself tells us through our inborn instinct that it is unreasonable and unnatural to sow a seed in the same place where a seed is already growing.

In reference to the same issue, St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195 A.D.) writes: “To…a spiritual man, after conception, his wife is as a sister and is treated as if of the same father.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book VI, Chapter XII) St. Augustine, in his book On The Good of Marriage (A.D. 401), likewise agreed with the Church’s tradition that performing the marital act during pregnancy is unreasonable and unnatural since “necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children] no longer follows reason but lust…” (Section 11) He also taught that marital relations during pregnancy is “the sin of the persons, not the fault of marriage.”

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 5, A.D. 401: “There are also men incontinent to that degree, that they spare not their wives even when pregnant. Therefore whatever that is immodest, shameless, base, married persons do one with another, is the sin of the persons, not the fault of marriage.”

Two activities recommended by some heretical NFP teachers are having sex during menstruation and during pregnancy, both of which the earliest extant Church Canons, the Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375 A.D.), specifically reject: “When the natural purgations do appear in the wives, let not their husbands approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten; for the law has forbidden it, for it says: "Thou shalt not come near thy wife when she is in her separation." [Lev. xviii. 19; Ezek. xviii. 6.] Nor, indeed, let them frequent their wives’ company when they are with child. For they do this not for the begetting of children, but for the sake of pleasure. Now a lover of God ought not to be a lover of pleasure.” (The Sacred Writings of Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book V, Chap. XXVIII.)

It is bad to touch a woman during pregnancy since it gives the child in the womb “many sinful impulses” according to Anne Catherine Emmerich

In the revelation of Anne Catherine Emmerich, entitled the “Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, we read the following interesting points about marital relations during pregnancy:

It was explained to me here that the Blessed Virgin was begotten by her parents in holy obedience and complete purity of heart, and that thereafter they lived together in continence in the greatest devoutness and fear of God. I was at the same time clearly instructed how immeasurably the holiness of children was encouraged by the purity, chastity, and continence of their parents and by their resistance to all unclean temptations; and how continence after conception preserves the fruit of the womb from many sinful impulses. In general, I was given an overflowing abundance of knowledge about the roots of deformity and sin.” (Anne Catherine Emmerich, Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Despite this, many lustful people will not agree with what Anne Catherine Emmerich had to say here, and some may even be offended by it. The reason for this is because these people and others want to deceive themselves into thinking that there is nothing wrong about lust or concupiscence. Yes, they even claim this even though they know and are fully aware of that lust leads countless of souls to Hell and eternal damnation. However, whether or not they want to agree with it or not, it’s just a fact that the sexual lusts and temptations that urges people to commit sins of the flesh is an evil product of the fall, and of original sin. In other words, humans were not originally intended to experience concupiscence and temptations of the flesh according to God’s perfect plan for humanity, but it ended up in that way because of Adam and Eve’s transgression. If a person is honest with himself, he will understand that this is true. However, most people want to deceive themselves and therefore choose to overlook this fact.

In summary, the definition or meaning of the revelation of Anne Catherine Emmerich is that lust is evil and that a couple’s marital relations during pregnancy will effect the child in a negative way, inflicting many sinful impulses upon the child. Anne Catherine Emmerich is clear that “continence after conception preserves the fruit of the womb from many sinful impulses.” The sensuality and sinful impulses that thus will be aroused by many spouses’ sexual relations during pregnancy is a great evil that will affect both husband and wife, and their future child, in a negative way. Because of this, parents should do all in their power to abstain from marital relations during all pregnancies.

St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44:7: “Above all, no one should know his wife when Sunday or other feasts come around. Similar precautions should be taken as often as women menstruate, for the Prophet says: ‘Do not come near to a menstruous woman.’ [Ezech. 18:6]… Truly, brethren, if animals without intellect do not touch each other except at a fixed and proper time, how much more should men who have been created according to God’s image observe this? What is worse, there are some dissolute or drunken men who sometimes do not even spare their wives when they are pregnant. Therefore, if they do not amend their lives, we are to consider them worse than animals. Such men the Apostle addresses when he says: ‘Every one of you learn how to possess his vessel in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who have no hope.’ [1 Thess. 4:4-5]”

The biblical Book of Tobit also teaches that the virtue and abstinence of the parents will effect whether their children will be born whole or with defects of different kinds. Thus, we read that “the third night [of praying and observing chastity before having sexual relations] thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you.” The blessing on the third night of “sound children” obviously means that those couples who do not perform the marital act for the sake of lust or too often, and who are virtuous and wait for three days in accordance with the promise of Holy Scripture, will receive a child without birth deformities or defects. This may be hard for many to believe, but this is really and truly what Holy Scripture is promising and saying.

Tobias 6:18, 20-22 “[St. Raphael said to Tobias:] But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her. … But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. And when the third night is past, [of praying and observing chastity] thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.”

It is sad to see that none today seem to care anything about these promises or virtuous deeds that promise these remarkable and wondrous graces that Our Lord said he would bless a virtuous couple with. One could think that even a worldly or ungodly couple would appreciate the grace of not receiving a child that is deformed and that they, if they believed in God or were aware of these promises, would act in accordance to the words of the Holy Scripture; but now neither “Catholics” or so-called Christians nor any people of the world care anything about these words of our Lord that promises the inestimable grace of receiving “a blessing that sound children may be born of you.”

St. Bridget was also revealed the truth of the spiritual danger of having marital relations during pregnancy in a spiritual revelation. In it she saw a man that was tormented in purgatory. St. Bridget was allowed to communicate with this tormented soul. She asked the man about the specific reasons why he escaped Eternal Hell. He answered saying: “The third [reason I escaped being eternally condemned to burn in Hell] is that I obeyed my teacher who advised me to abstain from my wife’s bed when I understood that she was pregnant.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 9 or Appendix)

In addition to above facts, it is also evident that many spouses may be more inclined to commit some form or another of sexual sin during this time period and that they might put too much heart or affection in the sexual act at this time due to the fact that conception cannot occur again, and so they might indulge a little too often or unreasonably and love the act a little too much, and more than what is suitable. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34) “Men shall be… lovers of pleasure more than of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Thus, it is totally clear that those who are having marital relations during pregnancy and who do not practice virtue are endangering their own and their child’s spiritual welfare. During pregnancy, the primary purpose of procreation that the Church teaches that spouses always must perform the marital act for is not possible to be fulfilled and thus, it is a defective action to have marital relations during this time. We see this distinction being made in the Church’s teachings in these words: “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI Casti Connubii).

Marital relations during pregnancy can also sometimes be dangerous to the child, and lead to a premature birth or a stillborn child. Many times there also exist a high risk for preterm labor or a medical condition or any other valid reason that makes it absolutely necessary to abstain from the marital act. If the doctor has said that it can cause further complications to the pregnancy – or if there is any risk to engage in marital intercourse during this time period – it is a mortal sin to deliberately engage in marital intercourse at this time. And the husband has no right to ask for the debt during this period. No masturbation, oral sex or other sinful acts are allowed as a substitute during this time period either.

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage and Procreation (c. 198-203 A.D.): “Right from the beginning the law, as we have already said, lays down the command, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,” [Ex. 20:17] long before the Lord’s closely similar utterance in the New Testament, where the same idea is expressed in his own mouth: “You have heard that the law commanded, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say, Thou shalt not lust.” [Matt. 5:27-28] That the law intended husbands to cohabit with their wives with self-control and only for the purpose of begetting children is evident… For this reason you could not point to any place in Scripture where one of the ancients approached a pregnant woman; later, after the child is born and weaned, you might find that marriage relations of husbands and wives were resumed. You will find that Moses’ father kept this principle in mind. After Aaron’s birth three years passed before Moses was born. [Ex. 7:7] Again, the tribe of Levi observed this law of nature given by God, although they were fewer in number than any others which came into the promised land. [Num. 3:39] For a tribe does not easily grow to great numbers if their men have intercourse only within the legal marriage relationship and then wait until the end not only of pregnancy but also of breast-feeding.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XI, Section 71, 72)

Doctors usually recommend some abstinence after labor, usually four to six weeks before resuming intercourse. This allows time for the woman to heal after birth. Total abstinence, if needed, is required during this time period according to the doctor’s recommendation.

The Old Testament also confirms that Our Lord wants spouses to practice chastity for a while after the birth of the child.

Leviticus 12:1-5 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: If a woman having received seed shall bear a man child, she shall be unclean seven days, according to the days of the separation of her flowers. And on the eighth day the infant shall be circumcised: But she shall remain three and thirty days in the blood of her purification. She shall touch no holy thing, neither shall she enter into the sanctuary, until the days of her purification be fulfilled. But if she shall bear a maid child, she shall be unclean two weeks, according to the custom of her monthly courses, and she shall remain in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.’”

Since the Old Testament teaches that a person who becomes defiled cannot touch other people during the time that they are unclean, this shows us that God wants the spouses to abstain from the marital act for a while after they have received the child.

One must really marvel over how the members of the Christian Church, (who should be more virtuous than the people of the Jewish Old Testament religion) have fallen into this degraded and filthy custom of having marital relations during a woman’s pregnancy or menstrual period. The Old Law was only a shell and a sign of the future things in the New Law, and even the Old Law forbade marital relations on many more occasions than the New Law does. The reason of why the Old Law forbade things that now are not sinful is because in the New Law, Our Lord wants us to do many good things, not because we are forced to do it, but only because we know that they are good in themselves, which is a more virtuous and meritorious act. Christian spouses should obviously act and live more virtuously and holy than did those people in the Old Law, since all Christians have received more graces and knowledge of Our Lord than those in the Old Law, and it is really a blemish on the Christian community that this is not happening. The amount of graces that are be lost because of these filthy and unnecessary acts of lustful spouses is, sad to say, immeasurable and inestimable. “Men shall be… lovers of pleasure more than of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Thus, St. Ambrose (c. 340-397) could rightly declare that it is shameful to continue to have sexual relations after pregnancy, and that those people who do this act “contaminate the former [the child] and exasperate the latter [God]”: “Youths generally assert the desire of having children and think to excuse the heat of their age by the desire for generation. How much more shameful for the old to do what is shameful for the young to confess. For even the young who temper their hearts to prudence by divine fear, generally renounce the works of youth when progeny [offspring] have been received. And is this remarkable for man, if beasts mutely speak a zeal for generating, not a desire for copulating? Indeed, once they know the womb is filled, and the seed received by the generative soil, they no longer indulge in intercourse or the wantonness of love, but they take up parental care. Yet men spare neither the embryo nor God. They contaminate the former and exasperate the latter. "Before I formed you in the womb," He says, "I knew you and sanctified you in your mother’s womb." [Jer. 1:5] To control your impatience, note the hands of your Author forming a man in the womb. He is at work, and you stain with lust the secret of the sacred womb? Imitate the beast or fear God. Why do I speak of beasts? The land itself often rests from the work of generating, and if it is often filled with the seeds thrown by the impatient eagerness of men, it repays the shamelessness of the farmer and changes fertility to sterility. So even in the elements and the beasts it is a shame to nature not to cease from generating.” (St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, Exposition of the Gospel According to St. Luke 1:43-45)

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage and Procreation (c. 198-203 A.D.): “Far more excellent, in my opinion, than the seeds of wheat and barley that are sown at appropriate seasons, is man that is sown, for whom all things grow; and those seeds temperate husbandmen ever sow. Every foul and polluting practice must therefore be purged away from marriage; that the intercourse of the irrational animals may not be cast in our teeth, as more accordant with nature than human conjunction in procreation. Some of these, it must be granted, desist at the time in which they are directed, leaving creation to the working of Providence.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

Origen (c. 184-254), Homilies on Genesis, Homily V, Section 4, On Lot And His Daughters: “Let the married women examine themselves and seek if they approach their husbands for this reason alone [for having children], that they might receive children, and after conception desist. For those women... when they have attained conception, [rightly] do not later assent to copulation with a man. But some women, for we do not censure all equally, but there are some who serve passion incessantly, like animals without any distinction, whom I would not even compare to the dumb beasts. For even the beasts themselves know, when they have conceived, not to further grant opportunity to their males. The divine Scriptures also censures such when it says: "Do not become like the [sterile] horse and the mule who have no understanding," [Ps. 31:9] and again, "They have become stallions." [Jer. 5:8] But, O people of God, "who love Christ in incorruption," [Eph. 6:24] understand the word of the Apostle in which he says: "Whether you eat or drink or whatever else you do, do all to the glory of God." [1 Cor. 10:31] For his remark after eating and drinking, "whatever else you do," has designated with a modest word the immodest affairs of marriage, showing that even these acts themselves are performed to the glory of God if they are attended to with a view to posterity [offspring] alone.”

In fact, a good Christian should not only observe chastity for a few days before he communicates, [that is, before he receives the Holy Eucharist] but he should never know his wife except from the desire for children. A man takes a wife for the procreation of children, not for the sake of lust. Even the marriage rite mentions this: ‘For the procreation of children,’ it says. Notice that it does not say for the sake of lust, but ‘for the procreation of children.’ I would like to know, dearly beloved, what kind of a harvest a man could gather if he sowed his field in one year as often as he is overcome by dissipation and abuses his wife without any desire for children. If those who are unwilling to control themselves plowed and sowed repeatedly their land which was already sown, let us see in what kind of fruit they would rejoice. As you well know, no land can produce proper fruit if it is sown frequently in one year. Why, then, does a man do with his body what he does not want done with his field?” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44:3)

It must also be made perfectly clear that natural infertility during pregnancy on the part of the woman is not a reward for the spouses to have “great sex” because they were “good” in fulfilling the marital duty (the procreation and education of children), as so many people today nowadays actually (and falsely) seem to believe.

It is reasonable to conclude that if women were not infertile during pregnancy, many bad husbands would be endangering the life of their wives by exposing them to too many childbirths at too short time intervals. Consequently, if women were not infertile during pregnancy, many more mortal sins would be committed by married and unmarried men since they then would be inclined to seek relief of their fleshly lusts in other ways or by other women, so as not to endanger the life of their own wife or mistresses.

Indeed, to St. Jerome and the rest of the Saints and Fathers of the Church, the indulgence permitted in the marital act was not something good or praiseworthy because it only acts as a relief valve to avoid a greater evil: Thus it must be bad to touch a woman. If indulgences is nonetheless granted to the marital act, this is only to avoid something worse. But what value can be recognized in a good that is allowed only with a view of preventing something worse?

Question 3: Can a man or a woman morally perform a medical examination involving the whole naked body, parts of the body, the genital, or the breasts?

Response: Yes. So long as it is a necessary medical performance, it is permissible. St. Thomas Aquinas refers to this.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 58, Art. 1, Reply to Objection 5: “… if he [a husband] cannot fulfill the carnal act with a virgin, while he can with one who is not a virgin, the hymeneal membrane may be broken by a medical instrument, and thus he may have connection with her. Nor would this be contrary to nature, for it would be done not for pleasure but for a remedy.”

A woman, of course, must do everything in her power not to allow a male doctor examine her body undressed or partly undressed (unless it is an area that is not problematic), and she must not let a male doctor examine her breasts or genital area. It is definitely very bad for a woman to expose herself to a man in this way and so put herself to shame and the doctor to possible temptation.

However, this rule may not be expedient in all cases, especially in grave and urgent medical necessities. Grave danger where medical help is needed promptly can excuse a person from showing problematic body parts to a doctor which is not of the same sex, but generally patients must do all in their power to try to get a doctor that is of the same gender if problematic parts of the body must be examined or shown in the doctor’s examination.

A man should always choose a male doctor for physical examinations, especially if it involves the private parts. Moreover, it is not fitting that the hands of a woman should be touching and be physically close to a man’s body and so expose him to possible temptations — and that is even more true if the woman is young and beautiful.

Question 4: Is gluttony a sin and does gluttony affect sexual temptation?

Response: Yes, gluttony is a sin and on top of this, it is also one of the seven deadly sins. Furthermore, the sin of gluttony indeed increases sexual desire or temptations. The sin of gluttony is special in this regard, which makes it really necessary to resist this temptation.

Many people are completely unaware of the fact that gluttony actually provokes the flesh into sexual sin. They think that they can eat however much they want of good tasting food or candy and snacks all the time without this actually effecting their spiritual welfare. The fact of the matter, however, is that gluttony is a mortal sin just like lust is. And not only that, but gluttony or superfluity in food actually provokes the flesh into sexual temptations and sin.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church (1696-1787): “It is also necessary to abstain from superfluity of food. St. Jerome asserts that satiety of the stomach provokes incontinence. And St. Bonaventure says: "Impurity is nourished by eating to excess." But on the other hand, fasting, as the holy Church teaches, represses vice and produces virtue: "O God, who by corporal fasting dost suppress vice, dost elevate the mind, and dost confer virtues and rewards." St. Thomas has written that when the devil is conquered by those whom he tempts to gluttony, he ceases to tempt them to impurity.” (The Dignities and Duties of the Priest, Instruction III)

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Father and Doctor of the Church (540-604): “As long as the vice of gluttony has a hold on a man, all that he has done valiantly is forfeited by him: and as long as the belly is unrestrained, all virtue comes to naught.” (Quoted in Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas Aquinas)

The Holy Saints, Popes and Doctors of the Church are all clear that it’s imperative for one’s salvation to not allow the search of pleasing one’s palate to gain control over one’s soul, and this means that one must fast sometimes in order to chasten one’s body and senses. As long as a person really considers how small and trifling this penance is compared to an eternal torment in Hell, they will not refuse to follow the Church’s words or prescribed days of fasting and abstinence in this respect.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #8, March 4, 1679: “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only, are not sinful, provided this does not stand in the way of health, since any natural appetite can licitly enjoy its own actions.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

Pope St. Gregory the Great described five ways by which one can commit the sin of gluttony, and showed biblical examples for each of them:

1. Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate.

Biblical example: Jonathan eating a little honey, when his father Saul commanded no food to be taken before the evening (1 Samuel 14:29).

2. Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the “vile sense of taste.”

Biblical example: When Israelites escaping from Egypt complained, “Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,” God rained fowls for them to eat but punished them later (Numbers 11:4).

3. Seeking after sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate.

Biblical example: Two sons of Eli the high priest made the sacrificial meat to be cooked in one manner rather than another. They were met with death (1 Samuel 4:11).

4. Exceeding the necessary amount of food.

Biblical example: One of the sins of Sodom was “fullness of bread” (Ezekiel 16:49).

5. Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.

Biblical example: Esau selling his birthright for ordinary food of bread and pottage of lentils. His punishment was that the “profane person. . . who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright,” we learn that “he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully, with tears” (Genesis 25:30).

The fifth way is worse than all others, said St. Gregory, because it shows attachment to pleasure most clearly.

To recapitulate, St. Gregory the Great said that one may succumb to the sin of gluttony by: 1. Time; 2. Quality; 3. Stimulants; 4. Quantity; 5. Eagerness.

In his Summa Theologica (Part 2-2, Question 148, Article 4), St. Thomas Aquinas reiterated the list of five ways to commit gluttony:

  • Laute - eating food that is too luxurious, exotic, or costly

  • Nimis - eating food that is excessive in quantity

  • Studiose - eating food that is too daintily or elaborately prepared

  • Praepropere - eating too soon, or at an inappropriate time

  • Ardenter - eating too eagerly.

Aquinas notes that the first three ways are related to the nature of the food itself, while the last two have to do with the time or manner in which it is consumed.

St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the following when explaining what gluttony is: “Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi has condemned the proposition which asserts that it is not a sin to eat or to drink from the sole motive of satisfying the palate. However, it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault.” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, The Mortification of the Appetite, "The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus" (1887), vol. 1, p. 241)

The Catholic Encyclopedia wrote the following when explaining what gluttony and spiritual gluttony is:

The moral deformity discernible in this vice lies in its defiance of the order postulated by reason, which prescribes necessity as the measure of indulgence in eating and drinking. This deordination, according to the teaching of the Angelic Doctor, may happen in five ways which are set forth in the scholastic verse: "Prae-propere, laute, nimis, ardenter, studiose" or, according to the apt rendering of Father Joseph Rickably: too soon, too expensively, too much, too eagerly, too daintily. Clearly one who uses food or drink in such a way as to injure his health or impair the mental equipment needed for the discharge of his duties, is guilty of the sin of gluttony... Such a temper of soul is equivalently the direct and positive shutting out of that reference to our last end [God and Salvation] which must be found, at least implicitly, in all our actions… St. John of the Cross, in his work "The Dark Night of the Soul" (I, vi), dissects what he calls spiritual gluttony. He explains that it is the disposition of those who, in prayer and other acts of religion, are always in search of sensible sweetness; they are those who "will feel and taste God, as if he were palpable and accessible to them not only in Communion but in all their other acts of devotion." This he declares is a very great imperfection and productive of great evils.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Gluttony," vol. 6)

In the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, by Julian of Speyer, "His Keeping of Poverty, His Abstinence, and the Admirable Rigor of His Life; And How He Fled People’s Praise and Wished To Be Thought Of No Account," it says:

What shall we say about delicate foods or the drinking of wine, or even the abundance of other cheap foods, since, on the very rare occasions he ate cooked foods, he mixed them with ashes or cold water and did not even drink enough water? For he claimed it was most difficult to satisfy need and not become a slave to pleasure. Quite often, when he was going around preaching penance, he took refreshment at the homes of secular people who invited him. On account of the words of the gospel about eating and drinking what was set before them, he would put his hand to his mouth, appearing to be eating the meat, but rarely tasting even a little bit of it, he would unobtrusively put the rest in his lap.

It once happened that, because of an illness, he ate some chicken, but after his strength returned, he strictly ordered one of the brothers to lead him through the center of the city of Assisi with a rope tied around his neck like a robber, and to cry out like the town cries: "Behold, Look at the glutton who has fattened himself with the flesh of poultry which he has, unknown to you, eaten in secret." It so happened that many, struck by this spectacle of remorse, lamented with tearful voice and proclaimed themselves most worthless for having given themselves to daily pleasures.” (Saint, 392-3 - The Life of Saint Francis, reprinted in Francis of Assisi, Early Documents: The Saint (New York, New City Press: 1999).

Question 5: Which are the most dangerous foods, substances or drinks that inflames lust that one should abstain from if one wants to quench sexual temptations or desire?

Response: Along with the world’s change in the last couple of hundred years, the foods and substances that men partake of has also changed drastically. However, there are some specific substances that have been proven to increase lust or sexual desire, and that are therefore more important to abstain from than other things. These substances obviously doesn’t work on all people in the same way, but as a general rule, scientific studies have verified that some substances are indeed more powerful to increase lust or sexual desire than others. Consequently, people who are having a hard time controlling their sexual lusts should try to study about those foods and substances that they partake of, so that they may be able to exclude those foods that may be the cause of their temptations or sexual sins.

1) Caffeine is a commonplace stimulant drug, occurring both in nature as part of the coffee, tea, cacao and yerba mate plants, and as an additive in many consumer products, most notably beverages advertised as energy drinks (such as Red Bull). However, caffeine is also added to many sodas such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi; on the ingredients listing, it is designated as a flavoring agent.

Researchers say that caffeine is both addictive as well as enhances sexual arousal. Scientific studies have concluded that caffeine works by stimulating a person’s nerve endings, increasing blood flow, and thus as a result of this, increasing concupiscence and sexual desire. Sexual erection and blood flow is actually the same thing, and thus, it is common that a person who consumes caffeine feels more sexually tempted. A recent study found that female rats that got a shot of caffeine were more motivated to seek out sex than uncaffeinated animals. The researchers concluded caffeine enhances sexual arousal.

As if this was not enough, physical and psychological addiction can also result from caffeine intake. In an interview, Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said that the studies had demonstrated that people who take in a minimum of one hundred milligrams of caffeine per day (about the amount in half a cup of coffee) can acquire a physical dependence that would trigger withdrawal symptoms that include headaches, muscle pain and stiffness, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, depressed mood, and marked irritability. Through his research, withdrawals occurred within 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine intake, but could last as long as nine days and caffeine consumers are more apt to consume to waive off the withdrawal symptoms instead of to enjoy the product. Although its mechanism of action is somewhat different to that of cocaine or the amphetamines, for example, it nonetheless creates a similar pattern of dependence. When the drug wears off, the brain will release less than the usual level of neurotransmitters, in order to compensate for depletion. Due to this effect, users of caffeine will often be tempted to re-dose in order to avoid the “crash”.

With repetitive use, physical dependence or addiction are likely to occur. Also, the stimulatory effects of caffeine are substantially reduced over time, a phenomenon known as a tolerance. Tolerance develops quickly to some (but not all) effects of caffeine, especially among heavy coffee and energy drink consumers. Some coffee drinkers develop tolerance to its sleep-disrupting effects, but others apparently do not.

Withdrawal symptoms – including headache, irritability, inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia, and pain in the stomach, upper body, and joints – may appear within 12 to 24 hours after discontinuation of caffeine intake, peak at roughly 48 hours, and usually last from 2 to 9 days. In prolonged caffeine drinkers, symptoms such as increased depression and anxiety, nausea, vomiting, physical pains and intense desire for caffeine containing beverages are also reported. Peer knowledge, support and interaction may aid withdrawal; prayer, and especially the Rosary, definitely aid against withdrawal symptoms.

The most common foods or substances that people use to consume caffeine are: coffee, tea, carbonated beverages like Coca-Cola and Power Drinks etc., and chocolate or cacao.

2) Chocolate or Cacao also contains caffeine as an active substance, as well as many other substances that increase sexual arousal. While Cacao contains less caffeine than coffee or tea, the caffeine consumed can still many times be greater than in coffee or tea since the amount that people normally use of cacao is greater. Italian scientists found that women who had a daily chocolate treat reported higher sexual desire than those who did without. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which triggers the release of feel-good dopamine in the brain and is released naturally during sex. Chocolate or Cacao also contains the stimulant called Theobromine. Theobromine poisoning may result from the chronic or acute consumption of large quantities, especially in the elderly.

While theobromine and caffeine are similar in that they are related alkaloids, theobromine has a lesser impact on the human central nervous system than caffeine. However, theobromine stimulates the heart to a greater degree. While theobromine is not as addictive as caffeine, it has been cited as possibly causing addiction to chocolate. Theobromine has also been identified as one of the compounds contributing to chocolate’s reputed role as an aphrodisiac. As with caffeine, theobromine can cause sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, as well as contribute to increased production of urine, causing dehydration. Additional side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and even problems during pregnancy.

3) Alcohol or Wine: A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who drank 1 to 2 glasses of red wine had increased sexual desire and functioning than people who do not drink at all. There was no additional benefit to drinking more than two glasses. Compounds in red wine like flavonoids may improve sexual functioning by increasing blood flow to key areas of the body.

Speaking on the inherent dangers of a “body heated with drink”, St. Jerome writes: “When the body is heated with drink it soon boils over with lust. Wine drinking means self-indulgence, self-indulgence means sensual gratification, sensual gratification means a breach of chastity. He that lives in pleasure is dead while he lives, [1 Tim. 5:6] and he that drinks himself drunk is not only dead but buried. One hour’s debauch makes Noah uncover his nakedness which through sixty years of sobriety he had kept covered. [Gen. 9:20-21] Lot in a fit of intoxication unwittingly adds incest to incontinence, and wine overcomes the man whom Sodom failed to conquer [Gen. 19:30-38].” (Letters of St. Jerome, Letter LXIX, To Oceanus, A.D. 397)

4) Tobacco or Nicotine: While tobacco does not directly increase sexual desire, dependence on or addiction to this drug creates a pleasure seeking mindset in an individual, and this mindset of always seeking after pleasures is the exact cause of why so many people commits sexual sins of various sorts. Smoking in very small amounts once in a while is probably not a sin, but smoking habitually or regularly in such a way that one gets addicted to cigarettes is a sin, and it definitely cuts out graces from people’s lives. We don’t see how those who smoke habitually, for example throughout the day, would be any different from people who eat candy all day and thus try to constantly gratify themselves in that way. The only thing different with smoking compared to candy is that the effect and addictive properties of the cigarette is much stronger than candy, thus making it a very strong drug in comparison to candy. This is not even to get into the issue that we now know it’s horrible for health and leads to death. People who are smokers are giving a horrible example to other people, tempting them to start smoking cigarettes which is highly addictive and lethal. Smoking is so addictive that medical scientists have compared the addiction to heroin addiction. Most people who get addicted to cigarettes will never be able to stop and will be life long slaves under a most filthy, evil and grace diminishing habit.

St. Francis of Assisi was well aware of the truth that seeking pleasure corrupts the soul. St. Francis used to put ashes in his food in order to make it taste bad, since he understood that the five senses and the search to gratify them made the soul weaker. Someone might ask: “Does that mean that eating good things is a sin?” The answer is of course that eating good things in itself is no sin. However, one should definitely try to avoid all things that are tasty and addictive, such as superfluous and tasty foods, meats, beverages, cigarettes, candy, chips, cakes, spices, sauces, dressings, etc. The reason why man should do his utmost to avoid pleasurable things is because the five senses of man, after the fall, was corrupted by self-love and self-gratification. That’s precisely why countless of saints have refused to eat foods that are superfluous or that tastes good. However, no one should get the idea that it’s sinful to eat good foods, but understand that people who always want to eat these foods will fall into sin, for gluttony and lack of moderation is certainly sinful.

Hell is too long and life is too short to pander to your five senses, that’s for sure! The fight or battle we humans have to endure in this life is this: either we choose to gratify our senses in this life, and endure an eternal torment in Hell, or we chose to wait in patience for the brief second of this earthly life to end, and then enter into an eternal bliss and joy in Heaven.

In conclusion, there are probably countless kinds of foods, drinks or substances that increases lust and sexual desire that have not been mentioned here. Eating too much food and spicy and fatty food will also many times lead to sexual temptations. So it is imperative to always be thoughtful when eating and resist the inclination to overeat. Thus, if a person suffers from temptations or have fallen into sexual sins and they realize that their lust is increased by consumption of certain foods or drinks, they should then abstain from them. They should also study and research the foods they eat if they suspect that what they eat are contributing to their falls or temptations. This could either be done through trying to abstain from some of the suspected substances, or through reading articles and books about the foods one eat.

As a general rule, abstinence from foods that are not necessary for our survival or fasting by eating simple food like bread, rice or vegetables two times a day along with praying the Rosary and reading spiritual books will many times help to alleviate the temptations of a person.

The practice of fasting is essential to learn to conquer the sin of gluttony as well as other sins, principally the sin of lust. St. Jerome taught that fasting is a tool for preventing the commission of sexual sins:

“When Elijah, in his flight from Jezebel, lay weary and desolate beneath the oak, there came an angel who raised him up and said, "Arise and eat." And he looked, and behold there was a cake and a cruse of water at his head. [1 Kings xix. 4-6] Had God willed it, might He not have sent His prophet spiced wines and dainty dishes and flesh basted into tenderness? When Elisha invited the sons of the prophets to dinner, he only gave them field-herbs to eat; and when all cried out with one voice: "There is death in the pot," the man of God did not storm at the cooks (for he was not used to very sumptuous fare), but caused meal to be brought, and casting it in, sweetened the bitter mess [2 Kings iv. 38-41] with spiritual strength as Moses had once sweetened the waters of Mara. [Exod. xv. 23-25] Again, when men were sent to arrest the prophet, and were smitten with physical and mental blindness, that he might bring them without their own knowledge to Samaria, notice the food with which Elisha ordered them to be refreshed. "Set bread and water," he said, "before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master." [2 Kings vi. 18-23] And Daniel, who might have had rich food from the king’s table, [Dan. i. 8] preferred the mower’s breakfast, brought to him by Habakkuk, [Bel. 33-39] which must have been but country fare. He was called "a man of desires," [Dan. ix. 23] because he would not eat the bread of desire or drink the wine of concupiscence.

There are, in the Scriptures, countless divine answers condemning gluttony and approving simple food. But as fasting is not my present theme and an adequate discussion of it would require a treatise to itself, these few observations must suffice of the many which the subject suggests. By them you will understand why the first man, obeying his belly and not God, was cast down from paradise into this vale of tears; [Ps. lxxxiv. 6] and why Satan used hunger to tempt the Lord Himself in the wilderness; [Matt. iv. 2, 3] and why the apostle cries: "Meats for the belly and the belly for meats, but God shall destroy both it and them;" [1 Cor. vi. 13] and why he speaks of the self-indulgent as men "whose God is their belly." [Phil. iii. 19] For men invariably worship what they like best. Care must be taken, therefore, that abstinence may bring back to Paradise those whom satiety once drove out.

You will tell me, perhaps, that, high-born as you are, reared in luxury and used to lie softly, you cannot do without wine and dainties, and would find a stricter rule of life unendurable. If so, I can only say: "Live, then, by your own rule, since God’s rule is too hard for you." Not that the Creator and Lord of all takes pleasure in a rumbling and empty stomach, or in fevered lungs; but that these are indispensable as means to the preservation of chastity. Job was dear to God, perfect and upright before Him; [Job ii. 3] yet hear what he says of the devil: "His strength is in the loins [sexual desire], and his force is in the navel [desire for food]" [Job xl. 16].” (St. Jerome, Letter XXII, To Eustochium, Section 9-11, A.D. 384)

St. Jerome further adds: “And yet after the Saviour had fasted forty days, it was through food that the old enemy laid a snare for Him, saying, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (St. Matt. 4:3) Under the Law, in the seventh month after the blowing of trumpets and on the tenth day of the month, a fast was proclaimed for the whole Jewish people, and that soul was cut off from among his people which on that day preferred self-indulgence to self-denial. (Lev. 23:27-29) In Job it is written of behemoth that “his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.” (Job 40:16) Our foe uses the heat of youthful passion to tempt young men and maidens and “sets on fire the wheel of our birth.” (James 3:6) He thus fulfills the words of Hosea, “they are all adulterers, their heart is like an oven” (Hosea 7:4); an oven which only God’s mercy and severe fasting can extinguish.” (The Letters of St. Jerome, Letter CXXX, Section 10, vol. 6, pp. 266-267, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series)

St. John Climacus calls gluttony “the prince of the passions.” He said that when one sits down to eat, one should think about death and the last judgment: “The fallen Lucifer is the prince of demons, and gluttony is the prince of the passions. So when you sit at a well-laden table, remember death and remember judgment, and even then you will manage to restrain yourself a little.” Like St. Jerome, St. John Climacus encouraged the use of fasting as a tool for overcoming lust: “To fast is to do violence to nature. It is to do away what whatever pleases the palate. Fasting ends lust, roots out bad thoughts, frees one from evil dreams.” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, "Step 14: On Gluttony," by St. John Climacus, p. 169)

Overeating leads to lust which, in turn, leads to other sexual sins, such as fornication and adultery. St. Maximos the Confessor called gluttony “greed. . . because this is the mother and nurse of unchastity.” (First Century on Love, Section 84, by St. Maximos the Confessor, The Philokalia, vol. 2, p. 63)

Question 6: Are vanity and sexual desire connected to each other in any way?

Answer: Yes, vanity and sexual desire are two disorders that are directly and heavily connected to one another. This is because vain practices such as the use of makeup and immodest clothing inflame the flesh to sexual desire. Not only the user will be inflamed to sensuality by these vain practices, but also those people who observe them, will be inflamed to sensuality through their immoral and disgusting behavior.

Our Lady of Fatima: “The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.”

According to modern-day “Catholics” who know nothing about the Catholic faith and the teachings of the saints, current modern-day fashion in which women dress like men or with revealing and tight clothing showing off their womanly form (even if modestly) is not offensive to God. Well, they are completely wrong.

St. Clement of Alexandria, Father of the Church, On Clothes (c. 198 A.D.): “Luxurious clothing that cannot conceal the shape of the body is no more a covering. For such clothing, falling close to the body, takes its form more easily, and adhering as it were to the flesh, receives its shape, and marks out the woman’s figure. As a result, the whole make of the body is visible to spectators, although they cannot see the body itself.” (The Instructor or The Paedagogus, Book II, Chapter XI)

How did most Catholic women, and even pagans and infidels, dress before our time? The answer is that they all dressed more like how nuns are dressed, that is, they were using a long dress totally covering their behind, front and legs down to the ankle and up to the waist with no tight fitting, visible parts shown whatsoever below the waist. And above the waist were usually worn – not some insignificant, small, thin shirt or “covering” as most women use today, showing of their whole womanly form, even if not revealing any flesh – but rather a significant, thick, long shirt that covers the womanly figure, the arms down to the wrist, shoulders and neck. Neither did these dresses or shirts end visibly at the waist, thus inviting curious, immodest thoughts or revealing any flesh or worse as modern day shirts, dresses, skirts and pants do, but these skirts or dresses were usually one part of the whole dress, or worn in such a way as to invite no thoughts. Such dresses are totally without guilt. Everything else will at least have some fault. In general, the more the clothing reveals flesh and the bodily form, the more sinful it becomes. Not only did most women dress in such a good way before our modern time, but all women also wore a head covering in the Church, and a large portion of the women also wore it in everyday occasions.

Considering how most western woman dress today, it’s safe to say that many of them in fact dress in a mortally sinful fashion. A woman that does not desire to be lusted after by others and who do not want to give others an occasion of falling into sin, will of course never dress in a sensual or immodest way. Indeed, very few people today dress without any guilt at all. But amongst the few who do, most of them are definitely found amongst the pagans, infidels and idolaters, and especially in the poorer countries.

In St. Bridget’s Revelations, Jesus Christ gives us a perfect description of how sensual and vain people are handed over to the devil for their sins. The following revelation is very revealing. In it one will see Jesus complaining about the bad will and sinful lifestyle of obstinate, evil sinners that are lustful and vain; and how He threatens them with eternal punishments; and how he lovingly encourages them to repentance. One will notice from the introduction of this Revelation that these things mentioned by Jesus Christ are serious matters and not just some trifling scruples as most peopled indeed look upon these sins today. That is also why Our Lord appears in the revelation as if revealing a “hidden” truth lost to mankind—a truth that was fervently prayed for by God’s servants to be shown to the sinful people for their amendment.

To a person who was wide awake at prayer and absorbed in contemplation – and while she was in a rapture of mental elevation – Jesus Christ appeared; and He said to her this: “Hear, O you to whom it has been given to hear and see spiritual things; and be diligently attentive; and in your mind beware in regard to those things that you now will hear and that in my behalf you will announce to the nations… for these things that you are now going to hear are being shown to you not only for your own sake, but also because of the prayers of my friends.

For some of my chosen friends in the Neapolitan citizenry have for many years asked me with their whole heart – in their prayers and in their labors on behalf of my enemies living in the same city – to show them some grace through which they could be withdrawn and savingly recalled from their sins and abuses. Swayed by their prayers, I give to you now these words of mine; and therefore diligently hear the things that I speak.

I am the Creator of all and Lord over the devils as well as over the angels, and no one will escape my judgment. … But what are those human beings who are my enemies doing to me now? In truth, they have contempt for my precepts; they cast me out of their hearts like a loathsome poison; indeed, they spit me out of their mouths like something rotten; and they abhor the sight of me as if I were a leper with the worst of stenches. But the devil and his works they embrace in their every affection and deed. For they bring him into their hearts, doing his will with delight and gladness and following his evil suggestions. Therefore, by my just judgment they shall have their reward in hell with the devil eternally without end. And for the lust with which they burn like senseless animals, they will never be admitted to the sight of my face but will be separated from me and deprived of their inordinate will.

Moreover, know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering. Wherefore, know that two sins, which I now name to you, are being practiced and that they draw after them other sins that all seem as if venial. But because the people delight in them with the intention of persevering, they are therefore made mortal.

“… The first of the two sins is that the faces of rational human creatures are being painted with the various colors with which insensible images and statues of idols are colored so that to others, these faces may seem more beautiful than I made them. The second sin is that the bodies of men and women are being deformed from their natural state by the unseemly forms of clothing that the people are using. And the people are doing this because of pride and so that in their bodies they may seem more beautiful and more lascivious than I, God, created them. And indeed they do this so that those who thus see them may be more quickly provoked and inflamed toward carnal desire.

Therefore, know for very certain that as often as they daub their faces with antimony and other extraneous coloring [makeup], some of the infusion of the Holy Spirit is diminished in them and the devil draws nearer to them. In fact, as often as they adorn themselves in disorderly and indecent clothing and so deform their bodies, the adornment of their souls is diminished and the devil’s power is increased.

O my enemies, who do such things and with effrontery commit other sins contrary to my will, why have you neglected my passion; and why do you not attend in your hearts to how I stood naked at the pillar, bound and cruelly scourged with hard whips, and to how I stood naked on the cross and cried out, full of wounds and clothed in blood? And when you paint and anoint your faces, why do you not look at my face and see how it was full of blood? You are not even attentive to my eyes and how they grew dark and were covered with blood and tears, and how my eyelids turned blue.

Why too do you, not look at my mouth or gaze at my ears and my beard and see how they were aggrieved and were stained with blood? You do not look at the rest of my limbs, monstrously wounded by various punishments, and see how I hung black and blue on the cross and dead for your sake. And there, derided and rejected, I was despised by all in order that, by recalling these things and attentively remembering them, you might love me, your God, and thus escape the devil’s snares, in which you have been horribly bound.

However, in your eyes and hearts, all these things have been forgotten and neglected. And so you behave like prostitutes, who love the pleasure and delight of the flesh, but not its offspring… so that without losing their fleshly pleasure and further wicked delight [by bearing children and living chastely], they may thus be always absorbed in their lust and their foul carnal intercourse. This is how you behave.

“… But when you feel, in your hearts, any knock of an inpouring – namely of my Spirit – or any compunction; or when, through hearing my words, you conceive any good intention, at once you procure spiritually, as it were, an abortion, namely, by excusing your sins and by delighting in them and even by damnably willing to persevere in them. For that reason, you do the devil’s will, enclosing him in your hearts and expelling me in this contemptible way. Therefore, you are without me, and I am not with you. And you are not in me but in the devil, for it is his will and his suggestions that you obey.

And so, because I have just spoken my judgment, I shall also now speak my mercy. My mercy, however, is this: namely, that none of my very enemies is so thorough or so great a sinner that my mercy would be denied him if he were to ask for it humbly and wholeheartedly. Wherefore, my enemies must do three things if they wish reconcile themselves to my grace and friendship. The first is that with all their heart they repent and have contrition because they have offended me, their Creator and Redeemer. The second thing is confession – clean, frequent, and humble – which they must make before their confessor.

And thus let them amend all their sins by doing penance and making satisfaction in accord with that same confessor’s council and discretion. For then I shall draw close to them, and the devil will be kept far away from them. The third thing is that after they have thus performed these things with devotion and perfect charity, they are to go to communion and receive and consume my Body with the intention of never falling back into former sins but of persevering in good even to the end.

If anyone, therefore, amends his life in this manner, at once I will run out to meet him as a loving father runs to meet his wayward son; and I will receive him into my grace more gladly than he himself could have asked or thought. And then I will be in him, and he in me; and he shall live with me and rejoice forever. But upon him who perseveres in his sins and malice my justice shall indubitably come. For when the fisherman sees the fish in the water playing in their delight and merriment, even then he drops his hook into the sea and draws it out, catching the fish in turn and then putting them to death – not all at once, but a few at a time – until he has taken them all.

This is indeed what I shall do to my enemies who persevere in sin. For I shall bring them a few at a time to the consummation of the worldly life of this age in which they take temporal and carnal delight. And at an hour that they do not believe and are living in even greater delight, I shall then snatch them away from earthly life and put them to eternal death in a place where they will nevermore see my face because they loved to do and accomplish their inordinate and corrupted will rather than perform my will and my commandments.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 7, Chapter 27)

The Holy Bible, of course, confirms that all vanity such as the use of makeup and extravagant adornment must be avoided.

1 Peter 3:1-5 “In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives. Considering your chaste conversation with fear. Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: But the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit, which is rich in the sight of God. For after this manner heretofore the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands.”

1 Timothy 2:9-10 “In like manner women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire, But as it becometh women professing godliness, with good works.”

Haydock Commentary explains 1 Peter 3:1-5: “Ver. 1. Let wives, &c. In the first six verses he gives instructions to married women. 1. By their modest and submissive dispositions to endeavour to gain and convert their husbands, shewing them such a respect as Sara did, (whose daughters they ought to esteem themselves) who called Abraham her lord, or master; (Gen. xviii. 12.) 2. To be modest in their dress, without vanity; 3. That women take the greatest care of the hidden man, i.e. of the interior disposition of their heart, which he calls the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit; 4. Not fearing any trouble, when God’s service or the duty to their husbands require it (Witham).”

Haydock Commentary explains 1 Timothy 2:8-10: “How beautifully does St. Paul teach that modesty and chastity are the greatest ornaments of the female sex, not only in the sight of God and of Angels, but also of men, who although by their own neglect they have not always grace and courage sufficient to be virtuous themselves, cannot help admiring virtue wherever they see it in others. Even the pagan fully acknowledges the native attractions of virtue. Virtus per se placet: Virtue pleases with unborrowed charms.”

Most couples who sin in the marital act undoubtedly also fall for the sins of vanity, immodest clothing and use of makeup condemned by Jesus Christ, the Saints and the Holy Bible shown above because these people are really lovers of the flesh, and not of God. Furthermore, we could also clearly see in the above Revelation how those people who commit sins of vanity in fact are diminishing in their love of God, and beauty of soul, and that they in fact are handed over to the devil for their sins: “some of the infusion of the Holy Spirit is diminished in them and the devil draws nearer to them.” This is important to consider, for as often as people commit any sin, such as when married spouses go further than what is permitted (non-sinful) in the procreative act, they always commit sin, and will thus, as a consequence, always be drawing closer to the Devil.

Our Lord Jesus Christ further teaches us that all people who vainly use makeup or immodest, vain and tight clothing will be especially tormented for every single person that have seen them or followed their example in their entire life, unless they amend before the moment of their death, which is, sad to say, impossible to know when it will be. That can be thousands and thousands of people executing vengeance on you in Hell for all eternity!

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), on a revelation of a soul suffering in purgatory: “Happily, before death I confessed my sins in such dispositions as to escape Hell, but now I suffer here [in purgatory] to expiate the worldly life that my mother did not prevent me from leading! …this head, which loved to be adorned, and which sought to draw the attention of others, is now devoured with flames within and without, and these flames are so violent that every moment it seems to me that I must die. These shoulders, these arms, which I loved to see admired, are cruelly bound in chains of red-hot iron. These feet, formerly trained for the dance, are now surrounded with vipers that tear them with their fangs and soil them with their filthy slime; all these members which I have adorned with jewels, flowers, and diverse of other ornaments, are now a prey to the most terrible torture.” (Immodesty Satan’s Virtue, p.78 quoting Purgatory, Thomas W. Petrisko)

And in another frightful revelation of a vain soul in St. Bridget’s Revelations, we read that Lady Bridget:

“… saw a soul being led to the Judge [Jesus Christ]… and she [the soul] said: ‘I had almost no love for God: That is why I did so little good.’ An immediate reply was made to her from the book: ‘That is why it is just for you to approach closer to the devil than to God, because the devil lured and enticed you to himself with his temptations.’

The soul replied: ‘I understand now that everything I did was done on the promptings of the devil.’ A reply was made from the book: ‘Justice dictates that it is the devil’s right to repay your accomplishments with pain and punishment.’ The soul said: ‘From head to heel there was nothing I did not dress with pride. Some of my vain and proud manners I invented myself, others I just followed according to the custom of my native land. I washed my hands and face not only in order to be clean but also to be called beautiful by men.’ A reply was made from the book: ‘Justice says that it is the devil’s right to repay you for what you have earned, since you dressed and adorned yourself as he inspired and told you to do.’

“… The soul said: ‘I enjoyed it immensely when many people took after my example and noticed what I did and copied my manners.’ A reply was made from the book: ‘Hence, it is just that everyone caught in the sin for which you are about to be punished should also suffer the same punishment and be brought to you. Then your pain will be increased each time someone comes who copied your fashions.’

After these words, it seemed to me as though a chain was wound about her head like a crown and then tightened so hard that the front and back of her head were joined together. Her eyes fell out of their sockets and dangled by their roots at her cheeks. Her hair looked like it had been scorched by flames, and her brains were shattered and flowed out through her nostrils and ears.

Her tongue was stretched out and her teeth pressed in. Her arms were twisted like ropes and their bones broke. Her hands, with their skin peeled off, were fastened to her throat. Her breast and belly were bound so hard with her back that her ribs were broken and her heart spilled out together with all her entrails; her thighs dangled at her flanks, and their broken bones were being pulled out just like a thin thread is used to thread a needle.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Book 4, Chapter 51)

What a horror! People need to let this fact sink through their heads before they put on makeup and lascivious clothing the next time, for it might in fact be the last time they are allowed to deceive and tempt others through their vanity before their vain and ungodly life ends in an accident or some other horrible event. It is imperative for all to understand and recognize that vanity is a sin and that God will judge all who are vain—like people who use makeup or revealing or tight clothing. “Either we must speak as we dress, or dress as we speak. Why do we profess one thing and display another? The tongue talks of chastity, but the whole body reveals impurity.” (St. Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church)

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church (De Habit. Virg.): “I hold that not only virgins and widows, but also wives and all women without exception, should be admonished that nowise should they deface God’s work and fabric, the clay that He has fashioned, with the aid of yellow pigments, black powders or rouge, or by applying any dye that alters the natural features. . . They lay hands on God, when they strive to reform what He has formed. This is an assault on the Divine handiwork, a distortion of the truth. Thou shalt not be able to see God, having no longer the eyes that God made, but those the devil has unmade; with him shalt thou burn on whose account thou art bedecked.” (Quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, in the Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 169, Art. 2)

St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church: “Is anything so conducive to lust as with unseemly movements thus to expose in nakedness those parts of the body which either nature has hidden or custom has veiled, to sport with the looks, to turn the neck, to loosen the hair? Fitly was the next step an offense against God. For what modesty can there be?” (Concerning Virgins, Book III, CHAPTER VI.)

Other people being consumed by and spurred to vanity by the Devil also color their hair or their nails, but this is a lying counterfeit and is always unlawful to do. Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel...” (1 Peter 3:3)

St. Anthony Mary Claret, Archbishop of Santiago and Missionary: “Now, observe, my daughter, the contrast between the luxurious dress of many women, and the raiment and adornments of Jesus… Tell me: what relation do their fine shoes bear to the spikes in Jesus’ Feet? The rings on their hands to the nails which perforated His? The fashionable coiffure to the Crown of Thorns? The painted face to That covered with bruises? Shoulders exposed by the low-cut gown to His, all striped with Blood? Ah, but there is a marked likeness between these worldly women and the Jews who, incited by the Devil, scourged Our Lord! At the hour of such a woman’s death, I think Jesus will be heard saying: ‘Cujus est imago haec... of whom is she the image?’ And the reply will be: ‘Demonii... of the Devil!’ Then He will say: ‘Let her who has followed the Devil’s fashions be handed over to him; and to God, those who have imitated the modesty of Jesus and Mary.’”

St. Anthony Mary Claret relates in his own autobiography that Our Lord told him he is the Eagle of Apocalypse 8:13, flying in mid-heaven, crying in a loud voice of the chastisements to come; he mentioned the scourge and spread of three things 1.) Protestantism and Communism, 2.) the four archdemons that will make fearful inroads – love of pleasure, love of money, independence of mind, independence of the will, 3.) the great wars and their consequences. He died at the First Vatican Council of a heart attack because of the heresies people tried to introduce.

The divine authority of God’s word demands that you always dress humbly by not wearing tight clothes that show your breasts or your behind or by showing too much skin that leads to temptation; and that you also abstain from using any kind of makeup, jewelry, and accessories (except for Rosaries or Brown Scapulars and the like which is a very great way to protect oneself against the Devil) in order not to give a bad example or tempt your neighbor into carnal lust and sin: “If you desire to be one of the faithful and to please the Lord, O wife, do not add adornments to your beauty, in order to please other men. Do not wear fine embroidery, garments, or shoes, to entice those who are allured by such things. It may be that you do not do these wicked things for the purpose of sinning yourself — but only for the sake of adornment and beauty. Nevertheless, you still will not escape future punishment for having compelled another to look so close at you as to lust after you.” (Apostolic Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 375 A.D.)

Again, as we saw above, every single person you have ever deceived and tempted with your immodest appearance, will demand that God executes his righteous vengeance on you, since you tempted them into vanity and lustful thoughts.

That of course means you cannot go and bathe in public since that would be even more immodest and immoral! The world has indeed changed very much the last 100-200 years; yet, no one should think that he could do these things just because they are universally accepted. Do you want to go with the majority? Then, sadly, Hell awaits you for all eternity!

St. Clement of Alexandria, Father of the Church, On Public Modesty: “But by no manner of means are women to be allotted to uncover and exhibit any part of their person, lest both fall -- the men by being excited to look, the women by drawing on themselves the eyes of the men. But always must we conduct ourselves as in the Lord’s presence… [Again] On no account must a woman be permitted to show a man any portion of her body naked, for fear lest both fall: the one by gazing eagerly, the other by delighting to attract those eager glances.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter II.)

St. Cyprian of Carthage, Father of the Church, On Public Bathing: “But what of those who frequent promiscuous baths; who prostitute to eyes that are curious to lust, bodies that are dedicated to chastity and modesty? They who disgracefully behold naked men, and are seen naked by men, do they not themselves afford enticement to vice, do they not solicit and invite the desires of those present to their own corruption and wrong? "Let every one," say you, "look to the disposition with which he comes thither: my care is only that of refreshing and washing my poor body." That is the kind of defense that does not clear you, nor does it excuse the crime of lasciviousness and wantonness.

Such a washing defiles; it does not purify nor cleanse the limbs, but stains them. You behold no one immodestly, but you yourself are gazed upon immodestly. You do not pollute your eyes with disgraceful delight, but in delighting others you yourself are polluted. You make a show of the bathing-place; the places where you assemble are fouler than a theater. There all modesty is put off together with the clothing of garments, the honor and modesty of the body is laid aside; virginity is exposed, to be pointed at and to be handled. And now then consider whether when you are clothed you are modest among men, when the boldness of nakedness has conduced to immodesty.

“… Be such as God the Creator made you; be such as the hand of your Father ordained you. Let your countenance remain in you incorrupt, your neck unadorned, your figure simple; let not wounds be made in your ears, nor let the precious chain of bracelets and necklaces circle your arms or your neck; let your feet be free from golden bands, your hair stained with no dye, your eyes worthy of beholding God.

Let your baths be performed with women, among whom your bathing is modest.” (Treatise II, On the Dress of Virgins, Section 19, 21.)

St. Clement of Alexandria, Father of the Church, On Bathhouse Manners: “Women will scarce strip naked before their own husbands, affecting a plausible pretense of modesty but any others who wish may see them at home, shut up in their own baths, for they are not ashamed to strip before spectators, as if exposing their persons for sale. The baths are opened promiscuously to men and women; and there they strip for licentious indulgence (for from looking, men get to loving), as if their modesty had been washed away in the bath. Those who have not become utterly destitute of modesty shut out strangers, but bathe with their own servants, and strip naked before their slaves… but these women, divesting themselves of their modesty along with their chemise, wish to appear beautiful, but, contrary to their wish, are simply proved to be wicked…

Men, therefore, affording to women a noble example of truth, ought to be ashamed at their stripping before them, and guard against these dangerous sights; "for he who has looked curiously," it is said, "hath sinned already." [Matt. 5:28] At home, therefore, they ought to regard with modesty parents and domestics; in the ways, those they meet; in the baths, women; in solitude, themselves; and everywhere the Word, who is everywhere, "and without Him was not anything." [John 1:3] For so only shall one remain without falling, if he regard God as ever present with him.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book III, Chapter V.)

The immodest have in truth a special place in Hell waiting for them since they are the source of the most abominable sins of the flesh, as St. Paul teaches us in First Corinthians: “Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body!” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

This should of course be understood in the sense of literal fornication as well as fornication in the mind which also is a mortal and damnable sin! You will be held accountable for every eye that have seen you if you use makeup or immodest clothing. That can account for thousands and thousands of people executing vengeance on you in Hell for all eternity! Even if you don’t use any makeup or dress vainly, God will still judge you to Hell if you encourage others to become vain or take delight in vain thoughts or have vain opinions of yourself. If a single thought can damn a person, how much more should tempters with immodest clothing and makeup be damned! How abominable to want to be accepted for your appearance rather than for your opinions! Oh vanity, you shall soon wither away and die like grass in the fall season and be forgotten. “In the morning man shall grow up like grass; in the morning he shall flourish and pass away: in the evening he shall fall, grow dry, and wither.” (Psalms 89:6) In truth, o vain one, you shall soon rot in the grave, but your soul shall burn for ever more in Hell since you thought to make your exterior beautiful, and, in so doing, perverted your interior:

But there is perhaps nothing more striking than what is reported by St. Jerome, one of the four great Doctors of Holy Church, and which took place during his lifetime, in a house which he knew perfectly and in regard to a Roman lady of high condition, named Praetextate. She was sister-in-law of St. Paula, the spiritual daughter of this great Saint. St. Paula wishing to quit the city of Rome, to visit the holy places in Judea which the Savior had hallowed by His presence, left her daughter Eustochium, who also wished to consecrate herself to God, in the care of her aunt, Praetextate. This latter wished to frustrate the designs of the pious Paula upon her daughter, and by the advice of her husband, obliged the young girl to lay aside her simple, modest dress and assume a more sumptuous one, at the same time compelling her to wear her hair according to the latest fashion and to paint her cheeks. A fearful chastisement overtook the worldly woman; for, on the night following, an Angel sent by God spoke to her thus: "Thou hast dared to prefer the command of thy husband to that of Jesus Christ, and with sacrilegious hands to adorn after a worldly fashion the head of this virgin of God. Behold the punishment of thy crime! Thy hands which have done this deed shall become withered, so that they will never more serve thee, and in five months from now thou shalt be cast into hell. And if thou shalt continue in thy wickedness, thy husband and all thy children shall likewise die." All of which, says St. Jerome, was accomplished to the letter, and, at the end of five months, the unhappy woman died suddenly, without giving any sign of repentance.” (Related by St. Jean Eudes, Priest and Missionary and Founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary)

One day Don Bosco noticed that two ladies were dressed immodestly but he did not wish to insult them, so he began to speak to the young girl that was with them. “I should like you to explain something to me” he began. He asked her why she had so much contempt for her arms. She answered to him that she did not and when he insisted the mother said, “On the contrary, often I must scold her for her vanity. Besides washing them she even perfumes them with eau de Cologne.” He continued to talk to the girl saying this is exactly why he said that she had contempt for her arms. “Because when you die, your arms shall be burned in the fires of Hell.” She became alarmed and he went on to say that she would probably end up in purgatory and only the Lord knew for what length of time. He told her the flames would creep up her arms and burn her neck. After this the mother understood her duty to instruct her daughter better and when Don Bosco saw them on other visits they were always modestly dressed.” (Quoted in "Smiling Don Bosco. Anecdotes and Episodes of St John Bosco", Publisher: Society Of St Paul (1946))

Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop, Father and Doctor of the Church instructed women of all times about dress when in the fourth century he declared: “You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. … When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.” (Quoted in Immodesty: Satan’s Virtue, by Rita Davidson, p.12)

Most people in the world do not understand or know about the fact that their vanity actually murders people's souls in this world, but there is also another little known evil – that is an even greater evil than this – and that is the fact that vain people also are guilty of the murder and crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by their acts of vanity and lasciviousness. Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) was revealed this sad and horrifying truth in a spiritual revelation which is documented in her work “The Book of Divine Consolations”, and Our Lord showed her how all her acts of vanity and lasciviousness were instrumental in tormenting him in his suffering for our sins an especial manner:

Then were all my sins shown unto my soul, and I perceived that each member had its special spiritual infirmity. Wherefore, hearing what had been said, the soul did instantly endeavour to show forth all the sins which it had committed with the different members of the body and with all its own strength and powers, saying: "Oh Lord, Master and Physician of eternal health! Oh my God, forasmuch as by only showing forth unto Thee my infirmities and diseases Thou hast consented to heal me, and because, oh Lord, I am very sick and have no part in me that is not corrupt and defiled, I, wretched that I am, will show Thee, oh Lord, all mine infirmities and all the sins of all my members and of all the parts of my soul and body!"

Then did I begin and point them all out, saying, "Oh Lord, most merciful Physician, look upon mine head and see how ofttimes I have adorned it with the emblems of pride, how I have many times deformed it by curling and braiding my hair, and have committed numerous other sins. Look, Oh Lord, upon my wretched eyes, full of uncleanness and envy!" In like manner I strove to number and show forth all the sins of mine other members.

And when He had hearkened thereunto with great patience, the Lord Jesus Christ did gladly and joyfully make answer that He had healed these things one after another and then, taking pity upon my soul, He said: "Fear not, My daughter, neither do thou despair; for even wert thou tainted with a thousand deadly diseases, wert thou dead a thousand times, yet could I give thee a medicine whereby thou mightest be healed of everything if thou wouldst only apply it unto thy heart and soul. For the infirmities of thine head which thou hast told and shown unto Me, and for which thou art displeasing unto God and grievous unto thyself, which infirmities thou hast incurred by washing, combing, anointing, colouring, adorning, and braiding thy hair, by setting thyself up in pride and seeking vainglory, for which things thou dost deserve to be cast into the uttermost parts of hell, to be humbled in all eternity and reputed as one most vile, for these infirmities have I given satisfaction [through the crucifixion] and done penance. I suffered the most grievous pain [for your sins] inasmuch as My hair was plucked out and my head pierced by sharp thorns; with a rod was it smitten and covered with blood, it endured all manner of mockery and scorn, and with the vilest of crowns was it crowned.

For the infirmity of thy face, which thou hast contracted likewise by washing and anointing it, by showing it unto miserable men and seeking their favour, I have made and ordained a medicine. For these sins have I also given satisfaction, for wicked men did spit in My Face, making it all filthy and stained; it was swollen and deformed by rude and heavy blows and a vile cloth was hung before it.

Moreover, for thine eyes, with which thou hast looked at vain and hurtful things and hast delighted in gazing at many things which were opposed unto God, have I given satisfaction, shedding copious and bitter tears from My eyes which were veiled and filled with blood.

For the ears wherewith thou hast offended God by hearkening unto vain and hurtful things and taking delight therein, I have done great penance, hearkening unto many grievous things, such as false accusations, slanders, insults, curses, mockings, lies and blasphemies, and finally the wicked judgment spoken against Myself but above all I did penance in hearkening unto the weeping of My most loving and lowly mother, who grieved for Me with exceeding great grief.

Because of the sins of thy mouth and throat, where with thou didst take delight in feasting and drunkenness and in the sweetness of delicate meats, My mouth hath been dry and empty, hungry and thirsty, it hath fasted and been made bitter with vinegar mingled with gall.

For the sins of thy tongue, which thou hast let loose in slanders, calumnies, derisions, blasphemies, lies, perjuries, and other sins, I did shut My mouth in the presence of judges and false witnesses, no excuses issued from My mouth, and with all Mine heart did I pray unto God for those who did Me evil, and I always preached the truth.

Because of the sins of thy power of smell, whereby thou didst delight in flowers, I did smell the abominable spittle which I endured upon My face and eyes and nostrils.

For the sins committed with thy neck, by shaking it in anger, pride, and lasciviousness, and against the Supreme God, I suffered many and divers blows upon My neck.

For the sins of thy shoulders and back, whereby thou hast offended in bearing many things which were opposed unto God, I did penance by bearing upon My shoulders the Cross whereon I was to hang.

For the sins of thy hands and arms, with which thou hast done much wickedness, in embraces, touches, and other evil deeds, My hands were driven into the wood of the Cross by large nails and torn through bearing the weight of My body in Mine agony.

For the sins of thy heart, with which thou hast sinned through anger, envy, sadness, evil love, and base covetousness, My side and heart were pierced with a sharp spear, and from the wound issued there forth a most potent medicine, sufficient to heal all the passions and sins of the heart that is to say, water to cool evil desires and loves, and blood for the remission of anger, sadness, and enmity.

For the sins of thy feet, wherewith thou hast sinned through vain running and dancing and loose walking about for thy pleasure, My feet were not only twisted and bound, but were nailed upon the wood of the Cross; in place of shoes laced and adorned with cut leather, I had feet all bleeding and covered with the blood which flowed from My whole body.

For the sins of thy whole body, wherewith thou hast sinned by giving it up to delights, repose, and dreams, taking pleasure therein in divers ways, My body was fastened upon the Cross, terribly scourged, and stretched out thereon after the manner of a skin; I was closely fastened upon the hard wood until I was bathed in a bloody sweat which ran down even upon the ground; and finally I suffered here the most dreadful torments, crying aloud, sighing, weeping and lamenting until I died, slain by cruel men for the sins of thine ornaments and thy needless, vain, and curious raiment. I was hung naked upon the Cross, and vile men stripped off My tunic and My vest and cast dice for them before Mine eyes. And, naked as when I was born of the Virgin, in the cold, the wind, and the air, I was exposed and stretched out on high in the sight of all men and women, in order that I might be the more easily seen and mocked at and might suffer the greater shame.” (The book of divine consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno, Sixth Consolation Of The Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, pp. 214-218)

In truth, the prideful sin of vanity is the cause of so much sin in this world that it is almost impossible to recount it all. Sadly, as we have seen, all those women and men who seek to please the world and its lust and vanity, will be damned. In regard to the sin of vanity, women are much more vain than men, and that is why more women will also be damned for this sin, while on the other hand, more men are damned for the sin of lust. In truth, and strangely enough, these two sins of vanity and lust are working together as if in a relationship from hell, both being the cause of the other person’s damnation—vanity being the cause of the lust, and the lust of the man being the cause and reason why the woman is vain and want to please the man.

Tertullian, To His Wife, Book II, Chapter 3 (c. 207 A.D.): “Let us now recount the other dangers or wounds (as I have said) to faith, foreseen by the apostle; most grievous not to the flesh merely, but likewise to the spirit too. For who would doubt that faith undergoes a daily process of obliteration by unbelieving intercourse? "Evil confabulations corrupt good morals;" how much more fellowship of life, and indivisible intimacy! Any and every believing woman must of necessity obey God. And how can she serve two lords—the Lord, and her husband—a Gentile to boot? For in obeying a Gentile she will carry out Gentile practices—personal attractiveness, dressing of the head, worldly elegancies, baser blandishments, the very secrets even of matrimony tainted: not, as among the saints, where the duties of the sex are discharged with honour (shown) to the very necessity (which makes them incumbent), with modesty and temperance, as beneath the eyes of God.”

Thus, St. Cyprian of Carthage, (c. 200-258) in his book “Of the Discipline and Advantage of Chastity” rightly condemns those “who strives to stir up the fancy of another, [through vanity] even though her bodily chastity be preserved. Away with such as do not adorn, but prostitute their beauty.” This shows us that we commit sin if we are vain even though we do not sin sexually ourselves:

For what is chastity but a virtuous mind added to watchfulness over the body; so that modesty observed in respect of the sexual relations, attested by strictness (of demeanour), should maintain honourable faith by an uncorrupted offspring? Moreover, to chastity, brethren, are suited and are known first of all divine modesty, and the sacred meditation of the divine precepts, and a soul inclined to faith, and a mind attuned to the sacredness of religion: then carefulness that nothing in itself should be elaborated beyond measure, or extended beyond propriety; that nothing should be made a show of, nothing artfully coloured; that there should be nothing to pander to the excitement or the renewal of wiles. She is not a modest woman who strives to stir up the fancy of another, even though her bodily chastity be preserved. Away with such as do not adorn, but prostitute their beauty. For anxiety about beauty is not only the wisdom of an evil mind, but belongs to deformity. Let the bodily nature be free, nor let any sort of force be intruded upon Gods works. She is always wretched who is not satisfied to be such as she is. Wherefore is the colour of hair changed? Why are the edges of the eyes darkened? Why is the face moulded by art into a different form? Finally, why is the looking-glass [mirror] consulted, unless from fear lest a woman should be herself? Moreover, the dress of a modest woman should be modest; a believer should not be conscious of adultery even in the mixture of colours. To wear gold in ones garments is as if it were desirable to corrupt ones garments. What do rigid metals do among the delicate threads of the woven textures, except to press upon the enervated shoulders, and unhappily to show the extravagance of a boastful soul? Why are the necks oppressed and hidden by outlandish stones, the prices of which, without workmanship, exceed the entire fortune of many a one? It is not the woman that is adorned, but the womans vices that are manifested. What, when the fingers laden with so much gold can neither close nor open, is there any advantage sought for, or is it merely to show the empty parade of ones estate? It is a marvellous thing that women, tender in all things else, in bearing the burden of their vices are stronger than men.” (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Of the Discipline and Advantage of Chastity, Section 12)

The Apostolic Constitutions (Didascalia Apostolorum) echoes the teaching of the Holy Bible and the Saints in the chapter “Concerning the adornment of ourselves, and the sin which arises from thence” and explains very clearly that we will be guilty of sin if we tempt other people by using makeup, or lascivious and revealing clothing that very easily tempt people:

Let the husband not be insolent nor arrogant towards his wife; but compassionate, bountiful, willing to please his own wife alone, and treat her honourably and obligingly, endeavouring to be agreeable to her; not adorning thyself in such a manner as may entice another woman to thee. For if thou art overcome by her, and sinnest with her, eternal death will overtake thee from God; and thou wilt be punished with sensible and bitter torments. Or if thou dost not perpetrate such a wicked act, but shakest her off, and refusest her, in this case thou art not wholly innocent, even though thou art not guilty of the crime itself, but only in so far as through thy adorning thou didst entice the woman to desire thee. For thou art the cause that the woman was so affected, and by her lusting after thee was guilty of adultery with thee: yet art thou not so guilty, because thou didst not send to her, who was ensnared by thee; nor didst thou desire her. Since, therefore, thou didst not deliver up thyself to her, thou shalt find mercy with the Lord thy God, who hath said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and, "Thou shalt not covet." (Ex. 22:14, 17) For if such a woman, upon sight of thee, or unseasonable meeting with thee, was smitten in her mind, and sent to thee, but thou as a religious person didst refuse her, if she was wounded in her heart by thy beauty, and youth, and adorning, and fell in love with thee, thou wilt be found guilty of her transgressions, as having been the occasion of scandal to her, (Matt. 18:7) and shalt inherit a woe. Wherefore pray thou to the Lord God that no mischief may befall thee upon this account: for thou art not to please men, so as to commit sin; but God, so as to attain holiness of life, and be partaker of everlasting rest. That beauty which God and nature has bestowed on thee, do not further beautify; but modestly diminish it before men.”

The Apostolic Constitutions also explains in the next chapter, “Concerning the subjection of a wife to her husband, and that she must be loving and modest” that all women need to adopt a modest and humble way of dressing in order to not tempt others into sinful thoughts: “And when thou art in the streets, cover thy head; for by such a covering thou wilt avoid being viewed of idle persons. Do not paint thy face, which is God’s workmanship; for there is no part of thee which wants ornament, inasmuch as all things which God has made are very good. But the lascivious additional adorning of what is already good is an affront to the bounty of the Creator. Look downward when thou walkest abroad, veiling thyself as becomes women.”

PADRE PIO ON MODERN-DAY FASHIONS

1 Timothy 2:9: “In like manner I wish women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety…”

Galatians 5:19: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty…”

Padre Pio had strong views on female fashions in dress. When the mini-skirt craze started, no one dared to come to Padre Pio’s monastery dressed in such an inappropriate fashion. Other women came not in mini skirts, but in skirts that were shortish. Padre Pio got very upset about this as well.

Padre Pio tolerated neither tight skirts nor short or low-necked dresses. He also forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. He would dismiss women from the confessional, even before they got inside, if he discerned their dress to be inappropriate. Many mornings he drove one out after another – ending up hearing only very few confessions. He also had a sign fastened to the church door, declaring: “By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches (20 cm) below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional.”

Padre Pio would rebuke some women with the words, “Go and get dressed.” He would at times add: “Clowns!” He wouldn’t give anyone a pass, whether they were people he met or saw the first time, or long-time spiritual daughters. In many cases, the skirts were many inches below the knees, but still weren’t long enough for Padre Pio! Boys and men also had to wear long trousers, if they didn’t want to be kicked out of the church.

Padre Pio also confirms the point the Bible makes concerning idolatry and its many facets: A woman who is frivolous as regards dress can never be clothed in the life of Jesus Christ and she loses adornment of soul once this idol enters into her heart. Let these women adorn themselves, as St. Paul would have it (1 Tim. 2:9), modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel…” (Letter to Padre Agostino, 8/2/1913)

Padre Pio used to refuse to hear the confession of women who were wearing pants or an immodest dress because women should not dress or act like men, for this is an abomination in God’s eyes according to God’s Holy Word.

A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)

God created the human race with two genders, intending each to have his and her proper place in Creation. Men and women are not meant to behave or dress in the same manner. Part of the beauty of the human race is found in the differences between men and women. We each live within a larger society. We are each influenced by the culture around us. Yet society and culture often teach us false things, which lead us away from God. Most women (at least in Western society and culture) dress and act very much like men. They seek the same roles in society, the family, and the church. They are following a popular teaching of our culture today, that women and men are meant to have the same roles, and especially that women are meant to take up roles formerly held only or mainly by men. They are displaying their adherence to this teaching by dressing like men. This teaching of our culture is contrary to the teaching of Christ.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed; then Eve. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression. Yet she shall be saved through childbearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.”

God wants men and women to act and dress according to their gender and the place God has given each one in Creation. Clothing and hairstyles are expressions of one’s thoughts, behavior, and attitude. Women are not meant to behave like men, nor to have the same roles as men, therefore they should not dress or groom themselves like men. And vice versa. “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

A clear sign that most women today are rebelling against God’s commandment that women must be subject to men is that almost all women who claim to be Christians refuse to follow Our Lord’s commandment in the Holy Bible which teaches that all women must cover their hair when they worship or pray to Our Lord in the Church.

1 Corinthians 11:1-16 “Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraceth his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head not covered, disgraceth her head: for it is all one as if she were shaven. For if a woman be not covered, let her be shorn. But if it be a shame to a woman to be shorn or made bald, let her cover her head. The man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. For the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels. But yet neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, so also is the man by the woman: but all things of God. You yourselves judge: doth it become a woman, to pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the church of God.”

Douay Rheims Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:10 explains the words A power: that is, a veil or covering, as a sign that she is under the power of her husband: and this, the apostle adds, because of the angels, who are present in the assemblies of the faithful.” Haydock Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:16 adds: “If any man seem to be contentious about this matter, or any other, we have no such custom, nor hath the Church; that is… we have no such custom for women to be in the Church uncovered. (Witham)”

The Magisterium of the Church – and thus Church teaching about the role of women in society that all must accept and adhere to – includes the teaching of Pope Leo XIII in his 1880 encyclical Arcanum, which teaches that: “The husband is the chief of the family and the head of the wife. The woman, because she is flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, must be subject to her husband and obey him; not, indeed, as a servant, but as a companion, so that her obedience shall be wanting in neither honor nor dignity. Since the husband represents Christ, and since the wife represents the Church, let there always be, both in him who commands and in her who obeys, a heaven-born love guiding both in their respective duties.” (Arcanum, #11) This truth of the Natural Order of the Hierarchy established by God was also affirmed by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Casti Connubii, which invokes Ephesians 5:22, saying: “Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church.” (Casti Connubii, #26)

The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles: “How wives ought to be subject to their own husbands, and husbands ought to love their own wives. Ye wives, be subject to your own husbands, and have them in esteem, and serve them with fear and love, as holy Sarah honoured Abraham. For she could not endure to call him by his name, but called him lord, when she said, "My lord is old." (1 Pet. 3:6) In like manner, ye husbands, love your own wives as your own members, as partners in life, and fellow-helpers for the procreation of children. For says He, "Rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her conversation be to thee as a loving hind, and a pleasant foal; let her alone guide thee, and be with thee at all times: for if thou beest every way encompassed with her friendship, thou wilt be happy in her society." (Prov. 5:18 etc) Love them therefore as your own members, as your very bodies; for so it is written, "The Lord has testified between thee and between the wife of thy youth; and she is thy partner, and another has not made her: and she is the remains of thy spirit;" and, "Take heed to your spirit, and do not forsake the wife of thy youth." (Mal. 2:14, 15, 16)”

The duty of the man is to love the woman, and the duty of the woman is to love and obey the man: “For nothing is more bitter than the battle that occurs between people that love one another, and this shows that when one is estranged from his own member, as it is said, this must be caused by a severe bitterness. The role of the husband is to love and the role of the wife is to give way. If each one plays their part, everything will be firm. And the wife will become amicable and loving.” (St. Chrysostom, On the Letter to the Colossians, Homily 10, PG 62, 365-366)

Few people understand that the devil through his evil servants has tried to directly change and corrupt this divine commandment for all women to be subject to men. In December 1917, Pope Benedict XV exposed the fact that: “since the French Revolution men have worked hard to confine within ever narrower limits the Church’s influence for good, in the hope that finally this influence would no longer make itself felt in society. And from the very first, everything possible was done [by these revolutionaries] to snatch the woman from the maternal solicitude and vigilance of the Church. It is in fact amazing what the woman can do for the good of the human race, or for its ruin; if she should leave the common [that is, the traditional Catholic] road, both the civil and domestic orders are easily upset. With the decline in religion, cultured women have lost their piety, also their sense of shame; many, in order to take up occupations ill-befitting their sex, took to imitating men; others abandoned the duties of the house-wife, for which they were fashioned, to cast themselves recklessly into the current of life. And this is the source of that deplorable perversion of morals, which the disorder bred of the war [World War I] has multiplied and propagated beyond all belief.” (Pope Benedict XV, Letter Natalis trecentesimi, 27 December 1917, Woman in the Modern World) Pope Pius XII similarly indicted the Second World War. In 1947 he referred to “the devastating work done during the war, and after the war, toward the ruin of woman and of the family.” (Allocution, 11 September 1947)

The so-called “women’s liberation movement” is an abomination in the eyes of God. Rather than liberate, it is a debasing of the womanly character and the dignity of motherhood, and indeed of the whole family. This false liberty and unnatural equality with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised by means of the Gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery and become as she was among the pagans, the mere instrument of man.

Now, for feminists, the bottom line is power. Jobs, careers or even “ordination” are not satisfactory enough. They want to control the world, making it the sinful matriarchal utopia that allegedly once existed. Recall that the Communist Manifesto called for the proletariat to become the ruling class. Ironically, seeking power has made feminists the useful idiots of Communist men!

Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds the woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation, her “liberation,” is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust, instead, into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children is relegated to the collectivity. The right of education is denied to the parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community.

It is easy to see the disastrous results the feminist movement has caused in society very thoroughly. Frederic Engels, who was Karl Marx’ partner in crime, is considered by many to be the founder of feminism. Feminism is not only a major cause of the breakdown of the traditional family, but it is a burden on the nation’s economy as well. Women who work unnecessarily take jobs away from men who would otherwise have them. Many of them have husbands who make enough money to support the family. But in spite of this they continue to work because they have been brainwashed by the lie that being a housewife is slavery and women have been oppressed by a male-dominated society for thousands of years. In many cases it does not even make sense for them to work and put their children in daycare centers. They spend hundreds of dollars per week in child care. With this huge expense they might as well quit working and care for their children themselves because the cost of daycare nearly equals their salary.

Feminism is also the reason why women don’t wear dresses or skirts anymore. It was Engels’ idea to do away with any differences between the sexes. One way was to have women dress like men and to hold jobs that are traditionally held by men.

Feminism is also the cause of the dying populations of Western nations. The birth rate is lower than the death rate which is why the native population is slowly diminishing.

Feminism plays a major role in abortion. Feminist ideas causes women to have an abortion (and use contraception) because their minds are conditioned to be in the workforce with men. So when a pregnancy occurs they opt to abort because they don’t want to care for a baby and work at the same time.

The mass murder of millions and millions of unborn infants in the womb, in the name of “women’s liberation” or “choice” is an unspeakable crime crying out to Heaven for divine vengeance! It is a sorrow and a tragedy and a shame that is inexpressible in words. Let it suffice to say that there is only one true liberation and that is the liberation from sin brought about through the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (see Rom. VI, 18).

Question 7: Is it a sin to willfully look at persons or things that one are sexually attracted to and that arouse one’s sexual desire?

Response: Yes, it is a sin to willfully look at, and to continue to look at, things that arouse one’s sexual desire. Custody of the eyes is always necessary for obtaining salvation, and so it is clearly sinful to fix one’s eyes on a person or an object that one knows will arouse sinful thoughts and desires. “Brother Roger, a Franciscan of singular purity, being once asked why he was so reserved in his intercourse with women, replied, that when men avoid the occasions of sin, God preserves them; but when they expose themselves to danger, they are justly abandoned by the Lord, and easily fall into some grievous transgressions.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Mortification of the Eyes, p. 221)

Our enemy, the Devil, first and foremost comes to us and enter our hearts through our eyes. No other sense is more potent in tempting man. Learning to control what you look at is absolutely crucial in order to be saved, for every time you look willfully with lust in your heart at an unchaste, enticing or unsuitable object, or any object at all for that matter, even if modest, you have most assuredly committed a mortal sin! Therefore, whenever you come across something sinful with your eyes (or even something licit but which is very beautiful) you must make a habit to look down or away – for the sin of lust will not be far away – making the sign of the cross and saying 1 or 3 Hail Mary’s, which is highly recommended since it helps against impurities.

Countless of Saints have rebuked people for the great error of failing to control their eyes. St. Ignatius of Loyola for example rebuked a brother for looking at his face for more than a brief moment. St. Bridget made a specific confession for every single face she saw during each day! This is true wisdom, but the world and current custom and habit tells you to always watch the person you are with, or looking at, in the face, even if they are on the Television! This is a bad custom or habit to say the least. This will many times lead to sins and impure thoughts and temptations of the Devil. Modesty and purity requires us to not stare people in the face, and especially the eyes, even at all, or only for a very short moment, even when we talk to them directly. In former times, this was common knowledge.

St. Alphonsus Liguori writes the following concerning this: “But I do not see how looks at young persons of a different sex can be excused from the guilt of a venial fault, or even from mortal sin, when there is proximate danger of criminal consent. "It is not lawful," says [Pope] St. Gregory, "to behold what it is not lawful to covet." The evil thought which proceeds from looks, though it should be rejected, never fails to leave a stain upon the soul.” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Mortification of the Eyes, p. 221)

This virtue may indeed be hard to put into practice for many in the beginning, but overtime and with practice, it will become easier.

The above quote from St. Alphonsus also shows why most of the things broadcasted on the media are totally unsuitable to watch or read. News in itself isn’t evil or contrary to God or morals but most newspapers or news-channels today have totally unacceptable pictures or immodestly dressed or very beautiful tv-hosts, which make them extremely unsuitable to read or watch, or at least to fix one’s eye on. Remember, "It is not lawful," says St. Gregory, "to behold what it is not lawful to covet." To read newspapers which you know will contain many unchaste, immodest and sexual pictures and useless stories about sex, etc., is complete idiocy and will lead to sins of the flesh if you cannot guard yourself. Therefore, if you care for your salvation, you should not read any newspaper or magazine or watch any show or film that contains immodesty of people tempting you.

For example, in the past I have gone to numerous mainstream news websites just to read news, and it has become so bad that I never go to them unless I first have all the images blocked (on my web-browser). In fact, I have even made a habit of surfing the web without any images or Java script enabled at all, or at least without images on depending on the browser and the work I do. Almost all sites works perfectly fine without images and JavaScript enabled anyway. And on the few sites that don’t work without JavaScript or images enabled, one can always allow an exception for that site.

It is highly important for one’s salvation to block and not allow images to be shown when surfing the internet, because without a doubt, almost all sites without exception will have some form or another of immodestly dressed women displayed; and, in the cases they are not immodest, they are still very beautiful or sensual looking. It’s unavoidable, even if the article may seem sound. In truth, I have seen and learned that from personal experience too many times. (AdBlock or Adblock Plus extension for Firefox or Google Chrome web-browsers are also good tools to get rid of all internet ads, immoral or otherwise. And so if people don’t use a web-browser that can use extensions (or if they don’t have an Adblock installed) they must change browser and install them by virtue of obedience to God’s law that demands modesty and the avoidance of occasions of falling into sin when it is possible do to so.)

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #61, March 4, 1679: “He can sometimes be absolved, who remains in a proximate occasion of sinning, which he can and does not wish to omit, but rather directly and professedly seeks or enters into.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #62, March 4, 1679: “The proximate occasion for sinning is not to be shunned when some useful and honorable cause for not shunning it occurs.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

We advice all people to use the internet in this safe way and always have images blocked. And we want to warn people not be deceived by the Devil or their evil attachment to images on this point. Again, remember what St. Alphonsus says: “when men avoid the occasions of sin, God preserves them; but when they expose themselves to danger, they are justly abandoned by the Lord, and easily fall into some grievous transgressions.”

Attachment to images made me delay using the internet in this safe way for way too long. If there are images you want to view then you can always open another web-browser (with an ad-block installed!) where images are enabled, or enable them quickly on the web-browser you’re currently on. (Or you can just right click on the image and press “view image” on Firefox, so that the image can be seen.) Most of the time there are no real reason or necessity to see any images anyway. Only curiosity makes us want to see them. Of course, when images is necessary or needed, then it is lawful to surf with them on for as long as it is necessary, provided it is not a danger to one’s soul and the site is not bad. But how often do we need to see images at all times? Never. Only at a particular time or occasion, such as for a work, or for curiosity when reading some article, but other than that we have no reason or necessity to have them on, and therefore, they must be off.

The best and easiest user experience in using the internet in this safe way is using Google Chrome or Firefox web-browser with an add-on or extension installed that manually blocks and unblocks all images easily with just one click of a button, which means that you will not have to enter settings all the time to do this. By using extension to block images, you can just click on the icon visible on the top-right side of the web-browser, thus manually blocking and unblocking all images.

For an image blocker for Google Chrome web-browser, visit this link:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/block-image/pehaalcefcjfccdpbckoablngfkfgfgj

For an image blocker for Firefox web-browser, visit this link:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/image-block/

For a flash block (it blocks videos and other flash related objects from automatically playing or showing themselves without your authorization) for Google Chrome web-browser, visit these links:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashblock/gofhjkjmkpinhpoiabjplobcaignabnl

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/flashcontrol/mfidmkgnfgnkihnjeklbekckimkipmoe

For a flash block (java block; image block etc.) for Firefox web-browser, visit these links:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashblock/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/noscript/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/image-and-flash-blocker/

If you don’t use an add-on (which you should be doing) the best browser to use is the Google Chrome web-browser since it allows you the option to disable both images and JavaScript on all specific internet sites (Firefox doesn’t allow this option with Java or Images at all unless one first download extensions); and it is best since it allows you (after you have disabled images and Java in settings) an option to enable the images or java on the site you’re currently on without having to enter settings all the time to do this. The bad thing however with this option is that it perpetually enables and allows all images to be shown on that domain and not just temporarily. So do not allow images to be shown in this way on all sites or bad sites but only on trustworthy sites you go to often. It is idiocy to perpetually allow images on various websites just because you are curious of the pictures in one article. (You can also remove sites manually from “allow images” exceptions in settings afterwards if you made a mistake.)

Also, on Firefox, the images displayed by Google is not blocked by image blockers. I don’t know why this is. On Chrome however all images get’s blocked. (That is why we recommend users to use Google chrome instead of Firefox.) So when you search for something on this browser, you will not risk seeing something bad being displayed by Google against your will. The only option for Firefox is to block these images manually through an ad-block. If anyone want help with this, just contact us and we can give you the information and code needed.

Always surf without images on. Don’t be a fool by rejecting this advice of the Popes and Saints of the Church about the unlawfulness of looking on things that are unlawful to covet and that are a danger to one’s salvation. If you want to see images on some site, then allow the images only temporarily and afterwards block it again so that you do not continue surfing the internet with images on.

We also advice you to never watch news on television or the like since it is so filled with sins that it’s almost impossible to watch without seeing things that will injure your virtue like immodesty, make-up, sensuality, blasphemy, gloating, useless and unnecessary stories, lust, adultery, fornication... continuing in infinity. However, to watch news daily is hardly necessary and St. Alphonsus clearly rebukes people for this in his most excellent work, The True Spouse of Christ.

We ourselves do not watch any videos anymore except exclusively when for the sake of making videos. Now we only listen to audio, having all the movable images blocked. On YouTube, we do not watch the videos, but only listens to them, by downloading them as audio (or video) and listen to it only in audio or by avoiding watching at the screen. Anyone who cares about virtue and about their eternal salvation and for those who fears not to offend God by viewing or seeing bad scenes, will of course do the same thing, since it is almost impossible to watch anything today that does not contain immodesty or that will harm one’s virtue. Even purely Christian films, whether on tv or youtube, have many bad and unacceptable scenes, statues or images in them. What then could be said about more secular media, documentaries, or series?

That so much naked religious images have been made, spread and depicted even in churches! during the last 700 or more is undoubtedly a sign of the gradual falling away from God and the corruption of morals within and without the Church by the people, and indicates why God ultimately abandoned it (the Church) to what it is has become today.

Also consider that it is very easy to sin in one’s thought, in fact, one consent to an evil thought is enough to damn a person to burn in Hell for all eternity and all the bad scenes one sees in all the films, television, movies, series etc. tempts one to commit exactly this sin against God.

One of course cannot know whether a film, documentary or show that one watches or desires to watch have any bad images or scenes in them before having already viewed it. Therefore, it is playing with fire to watch movable images and risk one’s soul; and as we have seen, God will ultimately abandon a person that willfully put himself in danger of falling. Again, remember what St. Alphonsus said: “WHEN MEN AVOID THE OCCASIONS OF SIN, GOD PRESERVES THEM; BUT WHEN THEY EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO DANGER, THEY ARE JUSTLY ABANDONED BY THE LORD, AND EASILY FALL INTO SOME GRIEVOUS TRANSGRESSIONS.”

We recommend that no one watch videos or even audios at all (unless perhaps strictly religious things), but if you want to watch more secular things (such as news clips, documentaries or whatever else, even religious films) then listen to audio only. This means that you should turn the television around or put something over the screen. If on the internet, it means that you should avoid watching the video that is playing; or download vlc player and disable video in preferences, and download the videos instead of watching them on youtube, and watch them audio only through vlc or some other video player. You can also download videos and convert them to mp3 or download an extension or program that does it automatically for you. This is a good youtube video downloader that we recommend:

http://www.imtoo.com/download-youtube-video.html

You can set settings 360P and mp4 for easiest configuration that takes not too much space and yet is good quality, and just download the video you want to hear instead of watching it on youtube. If you enter youtube videos, you should disable auto play so that videos do not play automatically for the same reason (flash block addon linked to above does the trick). You can also disable youtube comments in channel settings. Many of them are pure evil, filthy and spiritually distracting anyway. But the comments vary in badness depending on the video you are watching or entering. But just so you know, it is possible to disable seeing them.

Images must also be blocked when surfing on youtube. The number of bad, immodest and mortally sinful inducing images I my self have seen on youtube, and especially in related videos while watching a video, is almost innumerable. Having images blocked goes for all websites that have any bad images in them, even wikipedia. Also, never watch a youtube video to the end, or, if you do, scroll down before the film ends since the related video images that are shown sadly does not get blocked by having images disabled. I have seen not a few evil images because of that, sadly. Now I know better, and that one must avoid seeing this and falling into this devilish trap.

Considering the quote of St. Alphonsus and how God demands more of certain souls that He has given more grace: it is highly important for one’s salvation not to watch media or expose oneself to dangerous occasions (such as by surfing the internet with images on):

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #61, March 4, 1679: “He can sometimes be absolved, who remains in a proximate occasion of sinning, which he can and does not wish to omit, but rather directly and professedly seeks or enters into.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #62, March 4, 1679: “The proximate occasion for sinning is not to be shunned when some useful and honorable cause for not shunning it occurs.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

St. Francis of Assisi used to exhort his brethren frequently to guard and mortify their senses with the utmost care. He especially insisted on the custody of the eyes, and he used this parable of a King’s two messengers to demonstrate how the purity of the eyes reveals the chastity of the soul:

A certain pious King sent two messengers successively to the Queen with a communication from himself. The first messenger returned and brought an answer from the Queen, which he delivered exactly. But of the Queen herself he said nothing because he had always kept his eyes modestly cast down and had not raised them to look at her.

The second messenger also returned. But after delivering in a few words the answer of the Queen, he began to speak warmly of her beauty. “Truly, my lord,” he said, “the Queen is the most fair and lovely woman I have ever seen, and thou art indeed happy and blessed to have her for thy spouse.”

At this the King was angry and said: “Wicked servant, how did you dare to cast your eyes upon my royal spouse? I believe that you may covet what you have so curiously gazed upon.”

Then he commanded the other messenger to be recalled, and said to him: “What do you think of the Queen?”

He replied, “She listened very willingly and humbly to the message of the King and replied most prudently.”

But the Monarch again asked him, “But what do you think of her countenance? Did she not seem to you very fair and beautiful, more so than any other woman?”

The servant replied, “My lord, I know nothing of the Queen’s beauty. Whether she be fair or not, it is for thee alone to know and judge. My duty was only to convey thy message to her.”

The King rejoined, “You have answered well and wisely. You who have such chaste and modest eyes shall be my chamberlain. From the purity of your eyes I see the chastity of your soul. You are worthy to have the care of the royal apartments confided to you.”

Then, turning to the other messenger, he said: “But you, who have such unmortified eyes, depart from the palace. You shall not remain in my house, for I have no confidence in your virtue. (The Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, London: R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 254-255)

St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-236 A.D.), From the Commentary of St. Hippolytus on Proverbs, writes:

[Proverbs 4:25 “Let thy eyes look straight on, and let thy eyelids go before thy steps.”] He “looks right on” who has thoughts free of passion; and he has true judgments, who is not in a state of excitement about external appearances. …

[Proverbs 6:27 “Can a man hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not burn?”] That thou mayest not say, What harm is there in the eyes, when there is no necessity that he should be perverted who looks? he shows thee that desire is a fire, and the flesh is like a garment. The latter is an easy prey, and the former is a tyrant. And when anything harmful is not only taken within, but also held fast, it will not go forth again until it has made an exit for itself. For he who looks upon a woman, even though he escape the temptation, does not come away pure of all lust. And why should one have trouble, if he can be chaste and free of trouble? … And, figuratively speaking, he keeps a fire in his breast who permits an impure thought to dwell in his heart. And he walks upon coals who, by sinning in act, destroys his own soul.

[Proverbs 7:21-25 “[21] She entangled him with many words, and drew him away with the flattery of her lips. [22] Immediately he followeth her as an ox led to be a victim, and as a lamb playing the wanton, and not knowing that he is drawn like a fool to bonds, [23] Till the arrow pierce his liver: as if a bird should make haste to the snare, and knoweth not that his life is in danger. [24] Now therefore, my son, hear me, and attend to the words of my mouth. [25] Let not thy mind be drawn away in her ways: neither be thou deceived with her paths.”] The “cemphus” [the fool] is a kind of wild sea-bird, which has so immoderate an impulse to sexual enjoyment, that its eyes seem to fill with blood in coition; and it often blindly falls into snares, or into the hands of men [Footnote: “The cemphus is said to be a sea-bird “driven about by every wind,” so that it is equal to a fool.” [Proverbs 7:22]]. To this, therefore, he [Solomon] compares the man who gives himself up to the harlot on account of his immoderate lust; or else on account of the insensate folly of the creature, for he, too, pursues his object like one senseless. And they say that this bird is so much pleased with foam, that if one should hold foam in his hand as he sails, it will sit upon his hand. And it also brings forth with pain.

[Proverbs 7:26 “For she hath cast down many wounded, and the strongest have been slain by her.”] You have seen her mischief. Wait not to admit the rising of lust; for her death is everlasting. And for the rest, by her words, her arguments in sooth, she wounds, and by her sins she kills those who yield to her. For many are the forms of wickedness that lead the foolish down to hell. And the chambers of death mean either its depths or its treasure. How, then, is escape possible?” (The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus, "On Proverbs," by St. Hippolytus of Rome, 170-236 A.D., vol. 5, Ante-Nicene Fathers)

Question 8: Is masturbation a sin?

Answer: There are four reasons why everyone automatically knows by instinct and by nature that masturbation is a mortal sin against both nature and God. The first reason is that all people know in their conscience that masturbation is a kind of rape of another person. The second reason is that it is a kind of drug abuse, since the sexual pleasure is an intoxicating pleasure that affects the person in a way similar to a strong drug. People who masturbate “look on a woman to lust after her” in order to become sensually aroused and thus, they commit “adultery with her” in their hearts (Matthew 5:28) and a kind of drug abuse that makes them guilty of a mortal sin against nature and God that will cause them to be damned forever in Hell by having their “whole body be cast into hell” and eternal torments, according to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words in The Holy Bible (cf. Matthew 5:29). The third reason is that all people know that the sexual pleasure is a shameful pleasure, which is why all people who masturbate hide in shame when they are committing this vile and shameful deed. And the fourth reason is that masturbation is non-procreative and unnatural, and the Church’s teaching is clear that the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI) and that is why the procreation of children is the only primary end or purpose that God allows the sexual act to be used for, which makes all other sexual acts (like masturbation) unnatural and mortally sinful.

Thus, these four reasons absolutely prove why masturbation is always inherently evil and mortally sinful since this vile act is totally unreasonable, unnatural and selfish; and that is why everyone without exception who commit this act can never be excused from sin through claiming ignorance of the fact that masturbation is a sin, and why they will be damned to burn forever in Hell since they all know by instinct and by nature that it is a sin just like they know that getting drunk or intoxicated is a sin against the Natural Law, God and reason.

First, masturbation is rape. Women are not toys, playthings, or “bunnies” from which to derive sexual stimulation. When women are used in sexual fantasies, they are sexually abused, even if they are untouched. Many men rape many women each day and commit adultery and fornication without laying a hand on them. Women also rape men and commit adultery and fornication in this way. These rapes, fornications and adulteries are not marked by physical violence but by psychological warfare. Because a person is often unaware of being used and abused, and because the abuser often does not fathom the real extent of the severity of his crime, this makes these mental and visual rapes/abuses seem less devastating. Nevertheless, grave sin with all its degradation and death is being committed.

Second, masturbation is a kind of drug abuse. The vehemence of the sexual pleasure is extremely strong and similar to a strong drug. All people of course knows that getting intoxicated or drunk for pleasure only is against the Natural Law. When a person uses a drug to get intoxicated, he or she knows that they commit a sin. Similarly, when a person is abusing sexual pleasure, and since his intention for the sexual act is purely selfish, he knows that he is committing a kind of drug abuse. In fact, the pleasure that is derived from the sexual pleasure is many times stronger than many drugs, and as such, are of course more sinful to abuse than these drugs. For “the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason...” and “lust there signifies any kind of excess.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II:II, Q. 154, Art. 1)

This can be proven by an example. Consider how a man that is sick and who suffers much pain is allowed by divine permission and justice to take morphine or other strong painkillers since he is in need of them. His reason when taking these drugs is not self-gratification but the alleviation of the pain that he experiences. This example could be likened with normal, natural, lawful and procreative marital relations between two married spouses, which is permitted and non-sinful as long as the spouses have “intercourse so that it [the seed] might germinate at the right place and in the right way and bear fruit [that is, bear children] for a just and rational cause.” (Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget, in St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 5, Interrogation 5)

However, whenever the sick person mentioned above would become well and yet continued to use morphine or other painkillers without any need to do so – and for the mere sake of getting high and for pleasure – he would have committed the sin of drug abuse. His just reason for using the painkiller became unjust the very moment he became well and did not need to use it anymore.

The sexual pleasure is always an evil pleasure to experience in itself since it is a shameful and intoxicating pleasure that is very similar to the evil pleasure people experience when they abuse alcohol or drugs, and this pleasure is evil to experience also for married couples, even though married spouses do not sin during their lawful and normal procreative marital acts. St. Augustine in his book On Marriage and Concupiscence explains this evil thus: “Wherefore the devil holds infants guilty [through original sin] who are born, not of the good by which marriage is good, but of the evil of concupiscence [lust], which, indeed, marriage uses aright, but at which even marriage has occasion to feel shame.” (Book 1, Chapter 27.--Through Lust Original Sin is Transmitted; Concupiscence of the Flesh, the Daughter and Mother of [Original] Sin)

Third, masturbation is shameful. Consider the fact that a person would be very ashamed if their parent, child or friend walked in on them when they were committing this shameful, selfish and evil act of masturbation. It is thus clear that their conscience tells them that it is an inherently shameful and evil act. Everyone (but complete perverts who have willfully destroyed their conscience over a period of time) knows that masturbation is a selfish, shameful, intoxicating and evil pleasure and that is why they are ashamed of it and why they hide themselves when committing this shameful deed.

For instance, consider how utterly stupid and unreasonable it is for a person to be ashamed of committing acts of sensuality and masturbation in front of other people while at the same time he refuses to feel this very same shame when masturbating in the presence of God and Mary and all the trillions of angels in Heaven... all the while hoping to not get noticed by anyone! The whole spiritual world sees his disgusting behavior – yet he doesn’t care. This person knows in his conscience that he justly deserves to be punished by God who sees him commit this evil and shameful act, and he also knows that he is committing an inherently evil, shameful and selfish act since he would be ashamed to commit it before other people. Yet his perverse lust quenches his perverse conscience in this case in order to satisfy his unnatural lusts.

Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes: “What a young boy [or anyone who have sinned through sensual touches or masturbation] should tell in confession: "I sometimes stroked myself or others, urged by disorderly pleasure; I fondled myself, in my bed and elsewhere, something I would not have dared to do if people had been there." Sometimes the priest cannot absolve such fondling. If they are not confessed and the details given, whatever the shame, one cannot be absolved, and the confession is worthless: one is destined to be damned for ever in Hell. The action and the way it has been done must be told.”

Some people may object that there are many other events that are shameful and that are not yet inherently sinful such as soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people against one’s own will. This objection, however, fails to notice the obvious difference between people committing acts of lust and events which are shameful but that are not desired or longed for by a person in a sensual way. Acts of lust are acts performed for the sake of a pleasure and are therefore performed with the will and purpose of satisfying a sensual desire while the events or acts of soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people is not a desire or lust that is sought after. Thus, these people do not desire that these events should happen. If those people who endured the events of soiling their clothes or naked exhibition against their own will would sensually desire or lust for that these shameful events would happen in the same way that a man or a woman lust for and desire that sexual acts or acts of lust happen, they would indeed be declared the most disgusting perverts. Who but a complete and satanic pervert would sensually desire or lust after soiling their pants or being exhibited naked?

Someone might say that it is the sexual member that is shameful or evil to expose to others, and not concupiscence or the sexual lust. But this argument is false and easily refuted since no one who is not a complete pervert would have sex or masturbate in front of other people even though their whole body was covered by sheets or blankets. This proves to us that it is the sexual pleasure that is shameful and evil, and not only the exhibition of the sexual organ. For “man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof,” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II:II, Q. 151, Art. 4) and this proves to us that not only the sensual desire is a shameful desire, but also the very sexual act and “also of all the signs thereof.”

Who would like to have their children or parents be a part of a porn movie? No one but a complete and satanic pervert. Who would want their child to be lusted at by other people? Only a son of Satan. This shows us that people know instinctively and by nature that the sexual pleasure is a shameful, evil and inherently disordered pleasure, since it plucks the innocence of people.

All people thus know in their hearts that masturbation is inherently evil and shameful. But since they have allowed their lust to reach such a level in their hearts that they do not want to resist it, they try to forget the obvious fact that this act is against their conscience and nature. They can only try to forget it, however, for they all know that it is an evil act since they are ashamed to do it in front of other people. Thus, their conscience convicts them and testifies against them on this point.

Matthew 5:27-30, Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke, saying: “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.”

Mark 9:42-47 “And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.”

People who masturbate “look on a woman to lust after her” in order to become sensually aroused, and thus, they commit “adultery with her” in their hearts and a mortal sin against nature and God. But masturbation is also a mortal sin and against the Natural Law even without thinking about women, which means that no one can be excused who commits this sin.

These verses from Our Lord Jesus Christ above also proves to us that the mere consent to lustful thoughts (without any physical activity) is enough to damn a person for ever in Hell — and that is why we must always control our eyes and keep them away from persons or objects that may arouse sensual or sinful thoughts.

Fourth, masturbation is non-procreative. The Church and the Natural Law teaches that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54) and that even the normal, natural and procreative act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Subjects Condemned in Decree (# 9), March 4, 1679).

The Natural Law is rooted in design. God, the Supreme Designer, has imprinted a design on all created things – including the human person, both in his spiritual and physical being – a purpose for which each has been created. Thus, with regard to the human person, the Creator has designed speech for communicating the truth and the mouth to swallow food etc. Likewise, the Creator has designed the sexual organs for something noble, namely, for procreating children. Thus, the Church’s teaching is clear that the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54)

Any action of the sexual organisms (the private parts) or other acts that are intended to arouse sensuality that is lacking the procreative function, is thus always mortally sinful and against the Natural Law. An action of the sexual faculties outside of the normal and natural marital act are lacking the procreative dimension and consequently, it would be sexual pleasure sought for itself, isolated from its procreative function – and that is an unreasonable, unlawful and unnatural lust.

What does the Bible Say about Masturbation?

Is masturbation a sin?” Many have found it difficult to answer this question according to the Bible because the Bible never mentions the word “masturbation” specifically. To understand how God feels about this topic, we only need to examine other verses that deal with issues such as lust, self-control, and purity.

It has been the constant and clear teaching of the Church from principles found in Holy Scripture that masturbation is a serious mortal sin that will keep one from Heaven (e.g., 1 Cor. 6:10). This is also clear from the teaching of the Church as well as from natural reason. In assigning a reason for such a serious prohibition, the Church teaches that the sexual function is meant by God to serve primarily for the begetting of children. Therefore, any deliberate activation of it is seriously inordinate and sinful.

The Lord has said: “Look not round about thee in the ways of the city, nor wander up and down in the streets thereof. Turn away thy face from a woman dressed up, and gaze not about upon another’s beauty. For many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and hereby lust is enkindled as a fire.” (Ecclesiasticus or Sirach 9:7-9) “Young men, in like manner, exhort that they be sober.” (Titus 2:6) “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Jesus feels the best thing to do about sexual sins is to gouge out our eyes (Matthew 5:29) and cut off our hands (Matthew 5:30). This is a very serious and extreme remedy. He does not literally mean for us to mutilate ourselves, but that we must cut off all occasions of sin. However, it is clear that sexual sins, and also the sexual fantasies that are so easily overlooked and neglected by so many people, are serious enough to be a part of the highway to Hell. If we let ourselves commit sin with the hand or be hit in the eye by the Devil, we are sure to lose our souls. Let us therefore guard our eyes, the lamps of our bodies, the way to our hearts and mind, and protect our other members from committing or falling into sin.

So we are to control our actions with others and also our actions when alone. We are not to let sin take root in our hearts. Romans 6:12-14 tells us, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Your “members” in this verse is referring to the different parts of your body: your hands, feet, fingers, etc. Are you using your body in masturbation in a way that you think would make God proud?

Many times we have the attitude of “If God gave me this body, shouldn’t I be able to enjoy it?” First of all, we have to remember that sex is God’s invention. He is the mastermind behind it. God Himself has declared that it is only in marriage that any form of sexual stimulation, that is, natural sexual intercourse open to procreation of children, is lawful.

Masturbation is a selfish act where we take advantage of and abuse our procreative power. God cares about what we do with our bodies, in public or in private, and He doesn’t want us to abuse ourselves in any way. Did you know that in older dictionaries the definition of the word masturbation is “self-abuse”? And if you were to look in a current dictionary under the word self-abuse, the word “masturbation” would be the second definition given. To this day, the two words of “masturbation” and “self-abuse” are linked together, masturbation/self-abuse.

You might be thinking, “How am I abusing myself by doing this?” You are abusing yourself by masturbating because you are improperly handling something that God entrusted to your care. You are taking something that God gave us (our bodies and minds) and using it in a perverse manner. When masturbating, you are defiling your mind with obscene thoughts and then defiling your body by using it to act out those thoughts. To “defile” something means “to make unclean, to make impure.” Matthew 15:19-20 reads, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications… these are the things which defile a man.”

And it is of faith that we all already know in our hearts that masturbating is wrong. When you engage in this activity, you know that you are committing a shameful and evil act.

This activity does not lift you up spiritually. It brings you down. God did not create our sexual organs so that we could fantasize and have sex by ourselves. Now, you might be thinking, “Well, isn’t it still better to masturbate than to commit fornication?” The only answer to this question is no, for you are still committing a mortal sin and it doesn’t really matter what form of mortal sin you are committing. You will still be sent Hell for it, whether it be by fornication or self-abuse. Maybe in your mind you feel that it is better to masturbate because at least you are the only one involved. Maybe you believe that it is the “lesser” of two evils.

In reality, masturbation is a mortal sin just like fornication and is considered as even a worse sin than fornication according to St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 12: “Whether the unnatural vice is the greatest sin among the species of lust? I answer that, In every genus, worst of all is the corruption of the principle on which the rest depend. Now the principles of reason are those things that are according to nature, because reason presupposes things as determined by nature, before disposing of other things according as it is fitting. … Therefore, since by the unnatural vices [masturbation, homosexuality, sodomy, bestiality, etc.] man transgresses that [purpose] which has been determined by nature [procreation] with regard to the use of venereal actions, it follows that in this matter [species of lust] this sin [the unnatural vice] is gravest of all.”

First of all, and we mentioned this before, when women are used in sexual fantasies, they are sexually abused, even if they are untouched. So many men rape many women each day and commit adultery and fornication without laying a hand on them. Women also rape men and commit adultery and fornication in this way. Second, masturbation will not truly relieve the sexual pressure that you may feel. It may for a short moment, but in the long run it only creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex, which will lead to more masturbation and, ultimately, the desire for sexual intercourse and pornography. Third, everyone must also be absolutely aware of that even if a person doesn’t think of women or men while masturbating, this sin is still one of those unnatural vices that are amongst the worst sins that one can commit against God and nature.

St. Alphonsus De Liguori, The Four Principal Gates of Hell, On Impurity: “Some will say that it is a trifling sin. Is it a trifling sin? It is a mortal sin. St. Antoninus writes that such is the nauseousness of this sin that the devils themselves cannot endure it. Moreover, the Doctors of the Church say that certain demons, who have been superior to the rest, remembering their ancient dignity, disdain tempting to so loathsome a sin. Consider then how disgusting he must be to God, who, like a dog, is ever returning to his vomit, or wallowing like a pig in the stinking mire of this accursed vice (2 Pet. 2:22). The impure say, moreover, “God has compassion on us who are subject to this vice, because He knows that we are flesh.” What do you say? God has compassion on this vice? But you must know that the most horrible chastisements with which God has ever visited the earth have been drawn down by this vice. St. Jerome says that this is the only sin of which we read that it caused God to repent of having made man, for all flesh had become corrupted (Gen. 6:6-12). And so it is, St. Jerome says, that there is no sin which God punishes so rigorously, even upon earth, as this. … Principally on account of this sin did God destroy mankind, with the exception of eight persons, by the flood. It is a sin which God punishes, not only in the other life, but in this also. “Because,” says God, “you have forgotten Me and turned your back upon Me, for a miserable pleasure of the flesh, I am resolved that even in this life you shall pay the price of your wickedness” (Ezek. 23:35).”

St. Alphonsus De Liguori, The Four Principal Gates of Hell, On Impurity: “You say, “God has compassion upon men subject to this sin.” But it is this sin that sends most men to Hell. St. Remigius says that the greater number of the damned are in Hell through this vice [of impurity]. Father Segneri writes that as this vice fills the world with sinners, so it fills Hell with damned souls; and before him St. Bernardine of Siena wrote: “This sin draws the whole world, as it were, into sin.” And before him St. Bernard and St. Isidore said that “the human race is brought under the power of the devil more by lust than by all the other vices.” The reason is because this vice proceeds from the natural inclination of the flesh. Hence St. Thomas Aquinas says that the devil does not take such complacency in securing the commission of any other sin as of this, because the person who is plunged in this infernal mire remains lodged therein, and almost wholly unable to free himself again.”

James 1:14-15 tells us that “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” This verse is telling us that all sin begins with a thought, but that when we give in to the thought and act out the sin in deed or thought, we will sink deeper and deeper into sin. Sin always takes you farther than you wanted to go and keeps you longer than you wanted to stay. And with masturbation, there is a vicious circle. You are only temporarily satisfied. And the more you indulge in this activity, the more addicted you become to it. Then if you let yourself become enslaved to a sexual high, you will find that you need to go to increasingly extreme acts to maintain the same degree of excitement. I think the many daily perversions committed by sex and masturbation addicts proves this case quite clearly. In John 8:34, Jesus warns us, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”

So, again, masturbation is a dangerous activity to engage in for this reason: All sexual immorality, including masturbation, begins with a thought. Then a lustful thought not taken captive will eventually lead to other perversions, including deviant sexual practices, demonic obsession or possession and homosexuality, and other perversions like pedophilia, because sin reproduces itself if left unchecked. All sexual perverts proves that this is the case. For they all started out as masturbators just like ordinary people at some point in time. When we fantasize and masturbate, we open our hearts and minds up to demonic forces and strange and perverse thoughts and possibilities. We are giving the Devil an open invitation to take residence in our beings. If we do not deal with our evil thoughts, they will take root in our heart. It is for this reason that God is so concerned with our thought life. Jesus came not only to deliver us from our “outward” sins, but also from wickedness that begins in the heart.

Now, you may be thinking “It is unfair for God to demand sexual purity from us after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us.” First of all, and this is important to remember, Adam and Eve was not created by God with sexual temptations or desires. In other words, God did not create the human race with any of the sexual temptations or desires that we are now plagued with. These temptations are only the tragic and evil effect of the Fall and Original sin of Adam and Eve, and is something which God permits us to be tempted with as a punishment for the original sin.

Had Adam and Eve chosen not to sin, we would not now have had any sexual temptations tempting us. St. Augustine explains it thus: “…lust, which only afterwards sprung up as the penal consequence of [original] sin, the iniquity of violating it was all the greater in proportion to the ease with which it might have been kept.” (City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 12; also see The Origin of Fleshly Lust.)

Second, God never demands from us something that would be impossible for us to do. And even if it’s hard for us, “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). True, you may feel weak within yourself, but He will equip you with His holy power to overcome any sin if only you ask in faith.

Hence St. Augustine wisely observes, “The presumption of stability renders many unstable; no one will be so strong as he who feels his own weakness.” St. Alphonsus commenting on these words wisely adds, “Whosoever says that he entertains no fear of being lost, betrays a pernicious self-confidence and security by which he deceives himself. For, confiding in his own strength, he ceases to tremble, and being free from fear [of falling into sin], he neglects to recommend himself to God, and left to his own weakness, he infallibly falls.” (Treatise on Prayer, Chapter IV)

Some of you are probably saying, “Well, I agree with all of this in my head, but living it out on a day-to-day basis is another story.” Perhaps you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the temptations that you face. But never underestimate the power that you have over sin. On your own you are not that strong, but with God’s power, you can overcome. Second Corinthians 10:3-5 reads, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

These verses are telling us that we are not helpless. We can fight and be victorious against our sexual thoughts and desires—with the help of God. If you want to stop masturbating and you realize that this is what your Heavenly Father desires of you, you can. Confess this sin to a Catholic priest and to God and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you so that you can have control over your lustful thoughts and actions, and remember always to recommend yourself to Jesus and Mary in time of temptations, and you will never fall. And if you have a Catholic friend whom you trust, ask that person to pray for you in this area, also. And if you slip occasionally or even a lot, don’t give up. Self-control takes effort. If you truly want to stop masturbating, one thing that you must consider doing is to flee from and reject those things that will cause you to stumble, whether it be the internet or sexually-themed movies, music, books, videos, in other words, anything that fills your mind with images and words that will make you weak and vulnerable.

What you need to do, first of all, is avoid the occasions of sin that are causing you to fall into mortal sin. Take drastic action in that regard, if it is necessary. For example, if someone commits mortal sins on a computer, he or she should get rid of the computer. If people are stuck in such a state, Jesus says they must “cut off” the occasion lest they perish forever (Matthew 5:30).

Second, you need to pray the Rosary each day, and pray it well. Cultivate the habit of praying the Hail Mary as much as you can. There are many ways one can go about doing so. For example, each time you leave your room, you could go to your knees and pray one to three Hail Mary’s. Praying the Rosary and the Hail Mary is actually the most important point, for without those graces you will not come out of mortal sin or begin to avoid the occasions that are causing you to fall into sin. (See How to Pray the Rosary; See also The Revelations of St. Bridget which is a MUST READ book that is especially effective in helping a person to conquer his or her sensual temptations and faults.)

Sister Lucy of Fatima, regarding the Holy Rosary, said the following words to Fr. Augustin Fuentes on December 26, 1957:

Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Third, we would recommend these videos on Hell: http://www.trusaint.com/hell/

Finally, the first degree of humility is to fear God enough to avoid clear mortal sins. Mortal sinners don’t respect that God will cast them into Hell for their actions. If they did, they would alter their conduct. Thus, people who commit mortal sins lack humility. In their pride, they don’t fear or respect God; and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 110:10). A person who commits mortal sins needs to begin to respect and fear God for who He is and what He will do to them.

As far as confession goes, you may make it to a non-heretical and fully Catholic priest ordained in the traditional Catholic rite, as described in this article: “About Sacraments From Heretics and Prayer in Communion with Heretics”. You should focus on ceasing to commit the mortal sins that you are doing, acquiring a firm resolve not to commit them anymore, and making a proper confession. (See this file for help with ceasing to commit mortal and venial sins). (Also see The Steps to convert to the traditional Catholic faith and for those leaving the New Mass - Baptism and Conditional Baptism - the Council of Trent’s Profession of Faith for Converts).

St. Augustine of Hippo in his “Confessions” (written 397-398 A.D.) relates to us his own struggle with the evil of lust and how he was bound down by his own perverse iron will.

St. Augustine, The Confessions of Augustine, Book VIII, Chapter V, Of the Causes Which Alienate Us from God: … thus [I was] bound, not with the irons of another, but my own iron will [chaining me in lust]. My will was the enemy master of, and thence had made a chain for me and bound me. Because of a perverse will was lust made; and lust indulged in became custom; and custom not resisted became necessity. By which links, as it were, joined together (whence I term it a chain), did a hard bondage hold me enthralled. But that new will which had begun to develop in me, freely to worship You, and to wish to enjoy You, O God, the only sure enjoyment, was not able as yet to overcome my former wilfulness, made strong by long indulgence. Thus did my two wills, one old and the other new, one carnal, the other spiritual, contend within me; and by their discord they unstrung my soul. Thus came I to understand, from my own experience, what I had read, how that the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. (Galatians 5:17) I verily lusted both ways; yet more in that which I approved in myself, than in that which I disapproved in myself. For in this last it was now rather not I, (Romans 7:20) because in much I rather suffered against my will than did it willingly. And yet it was through me that custom became more combative against me, because I had come willingly whither I willed not. And who, then, can with any justice speak against it, when just punishment follows the sinner? Nor had I now any longer my wonted excuse, that as yet I hesitated to be above the world and serve You, because my perception of the truth was uncertain; for now it was certain. But I, still bound to the earth, refused to be Your soldier; and was as much afraid of being freed from all embarrassments, as we ought to fear to be embarrassed.”

I’ve broken every commandment. I’m trying to stay away from sin but I still find myself suffering with the same sins”

Tragically, many persons deluded by the Devil falsely claim that sexual sins and masturbation is no sin at all, while some try to minimize the wickedness of their actions; others still try to blame God for their failings. Here follows an email exchange with a certain person that probably many people can associate directly with.

I watched [the] video on "death and the journey into hell". Based on the video it almost seems like one little false move by whomever and you will be damned. We’ll never be perfect. We are all sinners until death. Based on how this world is now, I can see the thought of more going to hell then heaven. I’ve broken every commandment. I’m trying to stay away from sin but I still find myself suffering with the same sins. I pray to Jesus and Mary all the time. I pray the rosary and many other prayers. I try to make a point of doing goods acts in the name of Jesus whether great or small. This video made me feel as though no matter what I do I will be damned. Jesus be with you and your family.

Ace…

Answer: You say that it’s as if one little false move will send you to Hell. A mortal sin is not a false move, neither is it “little”; it’s a willful commission of an act that’s gravely offensive to God. It is a huge thing, a mortal sin. You clearly have a desire to downplay mortally sinful activity, and your problem is that you won’t exercise your will and resist sin, by doing the necessary sacrifices that is required of you in order to be saved and avoid sin. You claim that you pray; yet you persist in grave sins.

There are seven main reasons for this: First, you don’t pray with true faith and sincerity, or you pray too little of the Rosary and other mental and vocal prayers. Second, you spend too little time on reading God’s Word and other good, spiritual Catholic writings. Third, you don’t recommend yourself to God nor seek after God’s protection in time of temptation, for if you did recommend yourself to God and if you did ask for His help when assailed by the enemy, you would infallibly not have fallen into sin. Fourth, you have not cut off all the occasions of sin like evil and worldly friends, media, music, magazines, video games and the like that are opposed to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words and a holy life. Fifth, you have not made enough penance for your sins by fasting, mortification and self-denial of your own will. Sixth, you do not use your time, money and effort to save other people from the eternal fire of hell or care enough for their spiritual welfare to lead them to a better lifestyle, and because of this, you are lacking in or are devoid of charity and love for your fellow human beings. You refuse to speak about God with your family and friends, refusing to help or convert them from sin and infidelity and you refuse to take an active part in trying to help souls in general by whatever means are necessary to you, and in so doing, choose to become God’s enemy according to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words in the Holy Bible, which states that: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Matthew 12:30). All who can help their family or friends or themselves but refuse to do so will be damned for their lack of charity. Thus, “Those words of our Lord, He that is not with Me is against Me, will make you understand how destitute we here are of any friends to aid us in bringing this people to Jesus Christ. But we must not despond, for God at the end will render unto each one according to his deserts… And how severe are the punishments which God at last inflicts on His enemies, we see well enough, as often as we turn our mind’s eye to the inextinguishable furnace of hell, whose fires are to rage throughout all eternity for so many miserable sinners.” (St. Francis Xavier, A.D. 1544, In The Life and Letters of St. Francis Xavier, p. 223)

Our Lord Jesus Christ in The Revelations of St. Bridget shows us that a person who does not use his possessions for His sake “will incur a judgment” and “that every person who does not hearken to others will himself cry out and not be heard”, which means that he who does not have charity with others, using his time, money and effort to help and save them from hell “will himself cry out [to God] and not be heard” both in this life when he seeks to be relieved from his sins and sinful desires, and in the eternal fire of hell, which is the eternal abode of all who lack charity and love for their fellow human beings. Our Lord said to St. Bridget: “Reply firmly to him with the four things I tell you now. The first is that many people lay up treasure but do not know for whom. The second is that every person entrusted with the Lord’s talent who does not spend it cheerfully will incur a judgment. The third is that a person who loves land and flesh more than God will not join the company of those who hunger and thirst for justice. The fourth is that every person who does not hearken to others will himself cry out and not be heard.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 4, Chapter 81)

In truth, Catholic teaching teaches that a person is bound to give a tenth of his earnings to God, (usually to one’s local priest) and this teaching comes directly from the Old Testament which commands all God’s servants to give a tenth of their profits as a sacrifice to God. Today, however, there are no Catholic priests available to give one’s money to, and so, one must instead find a completely Catholic cause to give a tenth of one’s earnings to. When one understands that this is a law of charity that God requires all to follow, one can understand why so many are allowed to fall into sin and be unable to extricate themselves out of their sins. Their own greed and lack of charity for other souls who labor in darkness and infidelity directly causes them to be unable to defend themselves against the attacks of the devil. Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke rightly sayingthat every person who does not hearken to others will himself cry out and not be heard.” In truth, those who wish to please God in all but who have not fulfilled this Law of God of tithing, should find a good and perfectly Catholic cause and then donate a tenth of all they own to it, asking God to forgive them for their many years of forgetfulness and disobedience.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states concerning tithing that: “The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the canons of the Council of Maçon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of christendom. The Church looked on this payment as “of divine law, since tithes were instituted not by man but by the Lord Himself” (C. 14, X de decim. III, 30).”

The following example on the importance of charity can be seen clearer from St. Bridget’s revelations, in the book rightly entitled the “Book of Questions.” It is composed of questions which Our Lord and Judge gives wonderful answers to:

Third question. Again the monk appeared on his ladder as before saying: “Why should I not exalt myself over others, seeing that I am rich?”

Answer to the third question. The Judge answered: “As to why you must not take pride in riches, I answer: The riches of the world only belong to you insofar as you need them for food and clothing. The world was made for this: that man, having sustenance for his body, might through work and humility return to me, his God, whom he scorned in his disobedience and neglected in his pride. However, if you claim that the temporal goods belong to you, I assure you that you are in effect forcibly usurping for yourself all that you possess beyond your needs. All temporal goods ought to belong to the community and be equally accessible to the needy out of charity.

You usurp for your own superfluous possession things that should be given to others out of compassion. However, many people do own much more than others but in a rational way, and they distribute it in discreet fashion. Therefore, in order not to be accused more severely at the judgment because you received more than others, it is advisable for you not to put yourself ahead of others by acting haughtily and hoarding possessions. As pleasant as it is in the world to have more temporal goods than others and to have them in abundance, it will likewise be terrible and painful beyond measure at the judgment not to have administered in reasonable fashion even licitly held goods.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 5, Interrogation 7)

Seventh (as to the question why one falls back into sin), you don’t have the first degree of humility: a fear of God that compels one to avoid mortal sin. Hence, your problem is pride. You think God’s law is a joke – not serious enough to warrant a change in your lifestyle – and you are mistaken.

St. Benedict (c. 520): “The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes, shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded, that he always considereth in his mind how those who despise God will burn in hell for their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God.” (The Holy Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter VII, Of Humility.)

Rev. Francis Spirago, The Catechism Explained, Chapter VI, On Temptation (1899): “When we are tempted we ought to betake ourselves immediately to prayer, or think of our last end, or of the evil consequences of sin. If the enemy dares to attack the fortress in spite of the ramparts raised about it, it behooves us to defend it manfully. When assailed we must instantly assume the defensive; for of all things it is most important to repulse the first onslaught. The greater our determination, the sooner will our adversary be discouraged. If we falter, he will force an entrance, and gain the mastery over our imagination. He acts like soldiers, who when they have taken the enemy’s guns, instantly turn them upon him. St. Jerome says that he who does not resist immediately is already half conquered. A conflagration can be extinguished at the outset, but not later on. A young tree is easily bent, not an old one. But since we can do nothing in our own strength, we must strive to obtain divine grace. Wherefore let him who is tempted have recourse to prayer; let him imitate the apostles when a storm arose on the sea of Genesareth; or the child who, when he sees a large dog coming, runs to his mother. He who neglects prayer in the time of temptation is like a general, who, when surrounded by the enemy, does not ask for reinforcements from his monarch. Adam fell into sin because when he was tempted he did not look to God for help. We should say a Hail Mary, or at least devoutly utter the holy names of Jesus and Mary. “These holy names,” St. John Chrysostom declares, “have an intrinsic power over the devil, and are a terror to hell.” At the name of Mary the devils tremble with fear; when she is invoked their power forsakes them as wax melts before the fire. Prayer is the weapon wherewith to ward off the assaults of our spiritual foe; it is more potent than all the efforts of the demons because by prayer we procure the assistance of God, and nothing can withstand His might. Prayer is exactly opposed to temptation for it enlightens the understanding and fortifies the will. The sign of the cross and holy water have also great efficacy against the spirit of evil. He flies from the cross as a dog flies at the sight of the whip. Holy water derives its efficacy from the prayers of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas and many other saints frequently made use of the sign of the cross with excellent results. St. Teresa on the other hand constantly employed holy water. It is well to sprinkle the sick and dying with holy water, and we should never omit to take it on entering a church.”

St. Alphonsus De Ligouri, Prayer: The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection, Chapter 1, The Necessity Of Prayer: “Without prayer it is impossible to resist temptations and to keep the commandments. Moreover, prayer is the most necessary weapon of defense against our enemies; he who does not avail himself of it, says St. Thomas, is lost. He does not doubt that Adam fell because he did not recommend himself to God when he was tempted: ‘He sinned because he had not recourse to the divine assistance.’ St. Gelasius says the same of the rebel angels: ‘Receiving the grace of God in vain, they could not persevere, because they did not pray.’ St. Charles Borromeo, in a pastoral letter, observes, that among all the means of salvation recommended by Jesus Christ in the Gospel, the first place is given to prayer; and he has determined that this should distinguish his Church from all false religions, when he calls her ‘the house of prayer.’ My house is a house of prayer (Mt. 21,13). St. Charles concludes that prayer is ‘the beginning and progress and the completion of all virtues.’ So that in darkness, distress, and danger; we have no other hope than to raise our eyes to God, and with fervent prayers to beseech his mercy to save us: ‘As we know not,’ said king Josaphat, ‘what to do, we can only turn our eyes to you’ (2 Par. 20,12). This also was David’s practice, who could find no other means of safety from his enemies, than continual prayer to God to deliver him from their snares: ‘My eyes are ever towards the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the snare’ (Ps. 24,15). So he did nothing but pray: ‘Look upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor’ (Ibid. 16). ‘I cried to you, O Lord; save me that I may keep your commandments’ (Ps. 118,146). Lord, turn your eyes to me, have pity on me, and save me; for I can do nothing, and beside you there is none that can help me.

“… St. Bernard’s teaching is the same: ‘What are we, or what is our strength, that we should be able to resist so many temptations? This certainly it was that God intended; that we, seeing our deficiencies, and that we have no other help, should with all humility have recourse to his mercy.’ God knows how useful it is to us to be obliged to pray, in order to keep us humble, and to exercise our confidence; and he therefore permits us to be assaulted by enemies too mighty to be overcome by our own strength, that by prayer we may obtain from his mercy aid to resist them; and it is especially to be remarked that no one can resist the impure temptations of the flesh without recommending himself to God when he is tempted. This foe is so terrible that, when he fights with us, he, as it were, takes away all light; he makes us forget all our meditations, all our good resolutions; he makes us also disregard the truths of faith, and even almost lose the fear of the divine punishments. For he conspires with our natural inclinations, which drive us with the greatest violence to the indulgence of sensual pleasures. He who in such a moment does not have recourse to God is lost. The only defense against this temptation is prayer, as St. Gregory of Nyssa says: ‘Prayer is the bulwark of chastity’; and before him Solomon: ‘And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him’ (Wis. 8,21). Chastity is a virtue which we have no strength to practice, unless God gives us; and God does not give this strength except to him who asks for it. But whoever prays for it will certainly obtain it.

“… Wrongly, therefore, do those sinners excuse themselves who say that they have no strength to resist temptation. But if you have not this strength, why do you not ask for it? is the reproof which St. James gives them: ‘You have it not, because you ask it not’ (James 4:2). There is no doubt that we are too weak to resist the attacks of our enemies. But, on the other hand, it is certain that God is faithful, as the Apostle says, and will not permit us to be tempted beyond our strength: ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will make also with the temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it’ (1 Cor. 10,13). ‘He will provide an issue for it,’ says Primasius, ‘by the protection of his grace, that you may be able to withstand the temptation.’ We are weak, but God is strong; when we ask him for aid, he communicates his strength to us, and we shall be able to do all things, as the Apostle reasonably assured himself: ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me’ (Phil. 4, 13). He, therefore, who falls has no excuse (says St. Chrysostom), because he has neglected to pray; for if he had prayed, he would not have been overcome by his enemies: ‘Nor can anyone be excused who, by ceasing to pray, has shown that he did not wish to overcome his enemy.’”

Masturbation is definitely a mortal sin

Since so many are coming out of mortal sin and are convincing themselves that certain things are not sins, we must preach against those sins with some specificity lest people perish in their ignorance.

Masturbation is definitely a mortal sin. There are about three places where St. Paul gives a list of some of the main mortal sins which exclude people from Heaven. These lists do not comprise every mortal sin, of course, but some of the main ones. Well, it always puzzled many people exactly what is being referred to in the following passages by the sin of “uncleanness” and “effeminacy.” St. Paul says that these sins exclude people from Heaven. Does “effeminacy” refer to acting like and being a homosexual? What does “uncleanness” refer to?

Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 5:5-8 “For this ye know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of unbelief. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

St. Thomas Aquinas identifies masturbation as the biblical “uncleanness” and “effeminacy.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 11: “I answer that, As stated above (A6,9) wherever there occurs a special kind of deformity whereby the venereal act is rendered unbecoming, there is a determinate species of lust. This may occur in two ways: First, through being contrary to right reason, and this is common to all lustful vices; secondly, because, in addition, it is contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race: and this is called "the unnatural vice." This may happen in several ways. First, by procuring pollution, without any copulation, for the sake of venereal pleasure: this pertains to the sin of "uncleanness" which some call "effeminacy." Secondly, by copulation with a thing of undue species, and this is called "bestiality." Thirdly, by copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female, as the Apostle states (Romans 1:27): and this is called the "vice of sodomy." Fourthly, by not observing the natural manner of copulation, either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation.”

Thus, not only is masturbation a mortal sin, but it’s a mortal sin which is identified in three different places in Holy Scripture as one which excludes people from the Kingdom of God. It’s also classified by St. Thomas as one of the sins against nature, for it corrupts the order intended by God. That’s probably why it’s called “effeminacy.” Though it’s not the same as the abomination of Sodomy (Homosexuality), it’s still inherently disordered and unnatural. We believe that this sin – since it’s contrary to nature and is classified as “effeminacy” and “the unnatural vice” – is the cause of some people being given over to unnatural lusts such as homosexuality, as well as acts of pedophilia and bestiality and other perverse and evil lusts.

The truth of the fact that all homosexuals are spiritually possessed by a demonic spirit is also corroborated by the fact that society has recently seen an incredible increase in the number of people who consider themselves homosexuals. This is easily explained by the fact that, with the advent and explosion of the internet and other technological means which make access to pornography and impurity easy, millions more people are committing sins of impurity, millions more people are becoming possessed, and countless more are becoming homosexuals. (And, of course, not all who commit mortal sins of impurity become homosexuals, so those who somehow think they are okay because they are not homosexuals, even though they are committing sins of impurity, are sorely deceived and are also on the road to Hell and in bondage to the Devil.)

St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 43:6 (c. 470-543 A.D.): “If they had faith and believed in God they would dread the coming judgment with fear and trembling. It is evident that they trust men but not God, for publicly where men see them they shun adultery, but in secret where God sees they are entirely without fear. If they had just a spark of faith they would not dare to commit adultery in the sight of their Lord, just as they do not allow their servants to offend in their presence. Of such men the Holy Spirit exclaims though the Prophet: ‘The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God.’ [Ps. 13.1] It is certain that a man does not believe in God if he fears to do publicly in the presence of men what he does secretly in darkness before the face of God.”

Therefore, people who are committing this sin need to cease the evil immediately and, when prepared, make a good confession. If people are really struggling in this area, then they are not near the spiritual level where they need to be. God’s grace is there for them; but they need to pray more, pray better, avoid the occasions of sin (bad media being one of them) and exercise their wills. They need to consistently pray the 15-decade Rosary (i.e. daily). They need to put out more effort spiritually and then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Masturbation is not made moral or lawful within marriage or the marriage act

Masturbation, in fact, has always been considered as a grave mortal sin in the Catholic Church and even by most protestant so-called churches until very recently, and this sin doesn’t cease to be a mortal sin just because the spouses are married. Yet, many married “Catholic” and other so-called “Christian” couples actually believe that this sin is right to do within a marriage and the marriage act; and although most of them know or even admit that it’s wrong or a mortal sin to masturbate outside of marriage or the marriage act, they nevertheless believe that it’s right to do it within a marriage or marriage act; and that it is an exception. But what Church teaching, Bible passage or Saint can they cite to support this demonic teaching? None! Only evil, perverted, ignorant and heretical modern “theologians” or other heretical modern-day “Catholic” or “Christian” laymen’s private opinions during the last 100 years or so, can they cite to support this teaching. This fact, then, is quite telling, for it proves that this teaching was totally unheard of in the Christian world before the beginning stages of the Great Apostasy and the modern world. Their heretical and modernistic opinions or teachings are utterly worthless! All masturbatory touching of the genitals of oneself or one’s spouse in the same or similar manner as would be done in masturbation (i.e. manipulative sexual acts), is immoral and a mortal sin. Any type of masturbatory touching is immoral (regardless of whether or when climax occurs) because it is an act that is non-procreative, unnatural and shameful.

Also see Foreplay is intrinsically evil and a mortal sin against the natural law

Additional quotes on the vice of impurity, and how to overcome it

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Sermons for all the Sundays in the Year, Sermon 45, On Impurity: ““And behold, there was a certain man before him, who had the dropsy.” (Luke 14:2) The man who indulges in impurity is like a person laboring under the dropsy. The latter is so much tormented by thirst, that the more he drinks the more thirsty he becomes. Such, too, is the nature of the accursed vice of impurity; it is never satiated. “As,” says St. Thomas of Villanova, “the more the dropsical man abounds in moisture, the more he thirsts; so, too, is it with the waves of carnal pleasures.”

I will speak today of the vice of impurity, and will show, in the first point, the delusion of those who say that this vice is but a small evil: and, in the second, the delusion of those who say that God takes pity on this sin, and that he does not punish it.

1. Delusion of those who say that sins against purity are not a great evil.

The unchaste, then, say that sins contrary to purity are but a small evil. “Like the sow wallowing in the mire,” (2 Peter 2:22) they are immersed in their own filth, so that they do not see the malice of their actions; and therefore they neither feel nor abhor the stench of their impurities, which excite disgust and horror in all others. Can you, who say that the vice of impurity is but a small evil—can you, I ask, deny that it is a mortal sin? If you deny it, you are a heretic; for as St. Paul says: “Do not err. Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, etc., shall possess the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9) It is a mortal sin; it cannot be a small evil. It is more sinful than theft, or detraction, or the violation of the fast. How then can you say that it is not a great evil? Perhaps mortal sin appears to you to be a small evil? Is it a small evil to despise the grace of God, to turn your back upon Him, and to lose His friendship, for a transitory, beastly pleasure?

St. Thomas teaches, that mortal sin, because it is an insult offered to an infinite God, contains a certain infinitude of malice. “A sin committed against God has a certain infinitude, on account of the infinitude of the Divine Majesty.” Is mortal sin a small evil? It is so great an evil, that if all the angels and all the saints, the apostles, martyrs, and even the Mother of God, offered all their merits to atone for a single mortal sin, the oblation would not be sufficient. No; for that atonement or satisfaction would be finite; but the debt contracted by mortal sin is infinite, on account of the infinite Majesty of God which has been offended. The hatred which God bears to sins against purity is great beyond measure. If a lady find her plate soiled she is disgusted, and cannot eat. Now, with what disgust and indignation must God, who is purity itself, behold the filthy impurities by which his law is violated? He loves purity with an infinite love; and consequently he has an infinite hatred for the sensuality which the lewd, voluptuous man calls a small evil. Even the devils who held a high rank in heaven before their fall disdain to tempt men to sins of the flesh.

St. Thomas says that Lucifer, who is supposed to have been the devil that tempted Jesus Christ in the desert, tempted him to commit other sins, but scorned to tempt Him to offend against chastity. Is this sin a small evil? Is it, then, a small evil to see a man endowed with a rational soul, and enriched with so many divine graces, bring himself by the sin of impurity to the level of a brute? “Fornication and pleasure,” says St. Jerome, “pervert the understanding, and change men into beasts.” In the voluptuous and unchaste are literally verified the words of David: “And man, when he was in honor, did not understand: he is compared to senseless beasts, and is become like to them.” (Psalm 48:13) St. Jerome says, that there is nothing more vile or degrading than to allow one’s self to be conquered by the flesh. Is it a small evil to forget God, and to banish him from the soul, for the sake of giving the body a vile satisfaction, of which, when it is over, you feel ashamed? Of this the Lord complains by the Prophet Ezechiel: “Thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast forgotten Me, and hast cast Me off behind thy back.” (Ezechiel 23:35) St. Thomas says, that by every vice, but particularly by the vice of impurity, men are removed far from God.

Moreover, sins of impurity on account of their great number, are an immense evil. A blasphemer does not always blaspheme, but only when he is drunk or provoked to anger. The assassin, whose trade is to murder others, does not, at the most, commit more than eight or ten homicides. But the unchaste are guilty of an unceasing torrent of sins, by thoughts, by words, by looks, by complacencies, and by touches; so that when they go to confession they find it impossible to tell the number of the sins they have committed against purity. Even in their sleep the devil represents to them obscene objects, that, on awakening, they may take delight in them; and because they are made the slaves of the enemy, they obey and consent to his suggestions; for it is easy to contract a habit of this sin. To other sins, such as blasphemy, detraction, and murder, men are not prone; but to this vice nature inclines them. Hence St. Thomas says, that there is no sinner so ready to offend God as the votary of lust is, on every occasion that occurs to him. The sin of impurity brings in its train the sins of defamation, of theft, hatred, and of boasting of its own filthy abominations. Besides, it ordinarily involves the malice of scandal. Other sins, such as blasphemy, perjury, and murder, excite horror in those who witness them; but this sin excites and draws others, who are flesh, to commit, it, or, at least, to commit it with less horror.

St. Cyprian says that the devil through impurity triumphs over the whole of man. By lust the evil triumphs over the entire man, over his body and over his soul; over his memory, filling it with the remembrance of unchaste delights, in order to make him take complacency in them; over his intellect, to make him desire occasions of committing sin; over the will, by making it love its impurities as his last end, and as if there were no God. “I made,” said Job, “a covenant with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a virgin. For what part should God from above have in me?” (Job 31:1-2) Job was afraid to look at a virgin, because he knew that if he consented to a bad thought God should have no part in him. According to St. Gregory, from impurity arises blindness of understanding, destruction, hatred of God, and despair of eternal life. St. Augustine says, though the unchaste may grow old, the vice of impurity does not grow old in them. Hence St. Thomas says, that there is no sin in which the devil delights so much as in this sin; because there is no other sin to which nature clings with so much tenacity. To the vice of impurity it adheres so firmly, that the appetite for carnal pleasures becomes insatiable. Go now, and say that the sin of impurity is but a small evil. At the hour of death you shall not say so; every sin of that kind shall then appear to you a monster of hell. Much less shall you say so before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ, who will tell you what the Apostle has already told you: “No fornicator, or unclean, hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and God.” (Ephesians 5:5) The man who has lived like a brute does not deserve to sit with the angels.

Most beloved brethren, let us continue to pray to God to deliver us from this vice; if we do not, we shall lose our souls. The sin of impurity brings with it blindness and obstinacy. Every vice produces darkness of understanding; but impurity produces it in a greater decree than all other sins. “Fornication, and wine, and drunkenness take away the understanding.” (Osee 4:2) Wine deprives us of understanding and reason; so does impurity. Hence St. Thomas says, that the man who indulges in unchaste pleasures, does not live according to reason. Now, if the unchaste are deprived of light, and no longer see the evil which they do, how can they abhor it and amend their lives? The Prophet Osee says, that blinded by their own mire, they do not even think of returning to God; because their impurities take away from them all knowledge of God. “They will not set their thought to return to their God: for the spirit of fornication is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.” (Osee 5:4) Hence St. Laurence Justinian writes, that this sin makes men forget God. “Delights of the flesh induced forgetfulness of God.” And St. John Damascene teaches that “the carnal man cannot look at the light of truth.” Thus, the lewd and voluptuous no longer understand what is meant by the grace of God, by judgment, hell, and eternity. “Fire hath fallen upon them, and they shall not see the sun.” (Psalm 57:9) Some of these blind miscreants go so far as to say, that fornication is not in itself sinful. They say, that it was not forbidden in the Old Law; and in support of this execrable doctrine they adduce the words of the Lord to Osee: “Go, take thee a wife of fornication, and have of her children of fornication.” (Osee 1:2) In answer I say, that God did not permit Osee to commit fornication; but wished him to take for his wife a woman who had been guilty of fornication: and the children of this marriage were called children of fornication, because the mother had been guilty of that crime. This is, according to St. Jerome, the meaning of the words of the Lord to Osee. “Therefore,” says the holy Doctor, “they are to be called children of fornication, because born of a harlot.” But fornication was always forbidden, under pain of mortal sin, in the Old, as well as in the New Law. St. Paul says: “No fornicator or unclean hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5) Behold the impiety to which the blindness of such sinners carry them! From this blindness it arises, that though they go to the sacraments, their confessions are null for want of true contrition; for how is it possible for them to have true sorrow, when they neither know nor abhor their sins?

The vice of impurity also brings with it obstinacy. To conquer temptations, particularly against chastity, continual prayer is necessary. “Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” (Mark 14:38) But how will the unchaste, who are always seeking to be tempted, pray to God to deliver them from temptation? They sometimes, as St. Augustine confessed of himself, even abstain from prayer, through fear of being heard and cured of the disease, which they wish to continue. “I feared,” said the saint, “that Thou wouldst soon hear and heal the disease of concupiscence, which I wished to be satiated, rather than extinguished.” St. Peter calls this vice an unceasing sin. “Having eyes full of adultery and sin that ceasest not.” (2 Peter 2:14) Impurity is called an unceasing sin on account of the obstinacy which it induces.

Some person addicted to this vice says: “I always confess the sin.” So much the worse; for since you always relapse into sin, these confessions serve to make you persevere in the sin. The fear of punishment is diminished by saying: “I always confess the sin.” If you felt that this sin certainly merits hell, you would scarcely say: “I will not give it up; I do not care if I am damned.” But the devil deceives you. “Commit this sin,” he says, “for you afterwards confess it.” But, to make a good confession of your sins, you must have true sorrow of the heart, and a firm purpose to sin no more. Where are this sorrow and this firm purpose of amendment, when you always return to the vomit? If you had had these dispositions, and had received sanctifying grace at your confessions, you should not have relapsed, or at least you should have abstained for a considerable time from relapsing. You have always fallen back into sin in eight or ten days, and perhaps in a shorter time, after confession. What sign is this? It is a sign that you were always at enmity with God. If a sick man instantly vomits the medicine which he takes, it is a sign that his disease is incurable.

St. Jerome says that the vice of impurity, when habitual, will cease when the unhappy man who indulges in it is cast into the fire of hell. “O infernal fire, lust, whose fuel is gluttony, whose sparks are brief conversations, whose end is hell.” The unchaste become like the vulture that waits to be killed by the fowler, rather than abandon the rottenness of the dead bodies on which it feeds. This is what happened to a young woman, who, after having lived in the habit of sin with a young man, fell sick, and appeared to be converted. At the hour of death she asked leave of her confessor to send for the young man, in order to exhort him to change his life at the sight of her death. The confessor very imprudently gave the permission, and taught her what she should say to her accomplice in sin. But listen to what happened. As soon as she saw him, she forgot her promise to the confessor and the exhortation she was to give to the young man. And what did she do? She raised herself up, sat in bed, stretched her arms to him, and said: “Friend, I have always loved you, and even now, at the end of my life, I love you: I see that, on your account, I shall go to hell: but I do not care: I am willing, for the love of you, to be damned.” After these words she fell back on the bed and expired. These facts are related by Father Segneri. Oh! how difficult is it for a person who has contracted a habit of this vice, to amend his life and return sincerely to God! how difficult is it for him not to terminate this habit in hell, like the unfortunate young woman of whom I have just spoken.

2. Illusion of those who say that God takes pity on this sin.

The votaries of lust say that God takes pity on this sin; but such is not the language of St. Thomas of Villanova. He says, that in the sacred Scriptures we do not read of any sin so severely chastised as the sin of impurity. We find in the Scriptures, that in punishment of this sin a deluge of fire descended from heaven on four cities, and in an instant, consumed not only the inhabitants, but even the very stones. “And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And He destroyed these cities, and all things that spring from the earth.” (Genesis 19:24) St. Peter Damian relates, that a man and a woman who had sinned against purity were found burnt and black as a cinder.

Salvian writes that it was in punishment of the sin of impurity that God sent on the earth the universal deluge, which was caused by continued rain for forty days and forty nights. In this deluge the waters rose fifteen cubits above the tops of the highest mountains; and only eight persons along with Noah were saved in the ark. The rest of the inhabitants of the earth, who were more numerous then that at present, were punished with death in chastisement of the vice of impurity. Mark the words of the Lord in speaking of this chastisement which he inflicted on that sin: “My spirit shall not remain in man forever: because he is flesh.” (Genesis 6:3) “That is,” says Liranus, “too deeply involved in carnal sins.” The Lord added: “For it repenteth Me that I made man.” (Genesis 6:7) The indignation of God is not like ours, which clouds the mind, and drives us into excesses: his wrath is a judgment perfectly just and tranquil, by which God punishes and repairs the disorder of sin. But to make us understand the intensity of his hatred for the sin of impurity, he represents himself as if sorry for having created man, who offended him so grievously by this vice. We, at the present day, see more severe temporal punishment inflicted on this than on any other sin.

Go into the hospitals, and listen to the shrieks of so many young men, who, in punishment of their impurities, are obliged to submit to the severest treatment and to the most painful operations, and who, if they escape death, are, according to the divine threat, feeble, and subject to the most excruciating pain for the remainder of their lives. “Thou hast cast Me off behind thy back; bear thou also thy wickedness and thy fornications.” (Ezechiel 23:35)

St. Remigius writes that, if children be excepted, the number of adults that are saved is few on account of the sins of the flesh. In conformity with this doctrine, it was revealed to a holy soul that as pride has filled hell with devils, so impurity fills it with men. St. Isidore assigns the reason. He says that there is no vice which so much enslaves men to the devil as impurity. Hence St. Augustine says that with regard to this sin, “the combat is common and the victory rare.” Hence it is that on account of this sin hell is filled with souls.

All that I have said on this subject has been said, not that any one present, who has been addicted to the vice of impurity, may be driven to despair, but that such persons may be cured. Let us, then, come to the remedies. These are two great remedies—prayer, and the flight of dangerous occasions.

1. Prayer, says St. Gregory of Nyssa, is the safeguard of chastity. And before him, Solomon, speaking of himself, said the same. “And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave, it . . . I went to the Lord, and besought Him.” (Wisdom 8:21) Thus it is impossible for us to conquer this vice without God’s assistance. Hence as soon as temptation against chastity presents itself, the remedy is to turn instantly to God for help, and to repeat several times the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, which have a special virtue to banish bad thoughts of that kind. I have said immediately [to turn instantly to God for help, and to repeat several times the most holy names of Jesus and Mary], without listening to, or beginning to argue with, the temptation. When a bad thought occurs to the mind, it is necessary to shake it off instantly, as you would a spark that flies from the fire, and instantly to invoke aid from Jesus and Mary.

2. As to the flight of dangerous occasions, St. Philip Neri used to say that cowards that is, they who fly from the occasions gain the victory. Hence you must, in the first place, keep a restraint on the eyes, and must abstain from looking at young women. Otherwise, says St. Thomas, you can scarcely avoid the sin. Hence Job said: “I made a covenant with my eves that I would not so much as think upon a virgin.” (Job 31:1) He was afraid to look at a virgin; because from looks it is easy to pass to desires, and from desires to acts. St. Francis de Sales used to say that to look at a woman does not do so much evil as to repeatedly look at her a second time. If the devil has not gained a victory the first, he will gain the second time. And if it be necessary to abstain from looking at women, it is much more necessary to avoid conversation with them. “Tarry not among women.” (Ecclesiasticus 42:12) we should be persuaded that, in avoiding occasions of this sin, no caution can be too great. Hence we must be always fearful, and fly from them. A wise man feareth and declineth from evil; a fool is confident.” (Proverbs 14:16) A wise man is timid, and flies away: a fool is confident, and falls.”

Question 9: What is the best prayer to use in order to be able to conquer temptations, and especially sexual temptations?

Answer: The Holy Rosary is undoubtedly the most powerful prayer of all the prayers against the temptations of the flesh as well as any other temptation that may befall a person. The reason behind the fact that the Holy Rosary is especially powerful in conquering sexual temptations of the flesh is that Our Lord and Our Lady – the Blessed Virgin Mary – loves the virtue of chastity with such a great love that they especially honor and help all those who honestly salute Our Blessed Mother in the Angelic salutation with the intention of gaining Her help to conquer their sensual or sinful temptations.

Even though the Holy Rosary is the best weapon against temptations of the flesh, it is also necessary that it be joined with mental prayers and prayers from the heart as well as fasting and other penances with a complete avoidance of all occasions of sin in order to smother the might of the Devil and his temptations. Countless of people have reported that their fleshly temptations diminished or vanished the moment that they started to pray the Rosary. The authors of this text can also testify that this have happened for themselves and for people close to them. Simply said, there’s no prayer that is more powerful than the Rosary.

St. Louis De Montfort: “Our Lady revealed to Blessed Alan De la Roche that no sooner had St. Dominic begun preaching the Rosary than hardened sinners were touched and wept bitterly over their grievous sins… everywhere that he preached the Holy Rosary such fervor arose that sinners changed their lives and edified everyone by their penances and change of heart.” (The Secret of the Rosary, p. 66.)

And Sister Lucy of Fatima, regarding the Holy Rosary, said the following words to Fr. Augustin Fuentes on December 26, 1957:

Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Pope Pius XI truly loved the Rosary, as did many other Popes before him, and he published an Encyclical called Ingravescentibus Malis that explained the Rosary’s special and miraculous power to help us achieve victory in our life.

Pope Pius XI, Ingravescentibus Malis (# 3), On the Rosary, 1937: “Thus the Faithful of every age, both in public misfortune and in private need, turn in supplication to Mary, the benignant, so that she may come to their aid and grant help and remedy against sorrows of body and soul. And never was her most powerful aid hoped for in vain by those who besought it with pious and trustful prayer…We beseech God through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin, so acceptable to Him, since, to use the words of St. Bernard: "Such is the will of God, who has wished that we should have all things through Mary." (Sermon on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.)… From it, the young will draw fresh energy with which to control the rebellious tendencies to evil and to preserve intact the stainless purity of the soul; also in it, the old will again find repose, relief and peace from their anxious cares. To those who devote themselves to Catholic Action may it be a spur to impel them to a more fervent and active work of apostolate; and to all those who suffer in any way, especially the dying, may it bring comfort and increase the hope of eternal happiness. The fathers and mothers of families particularly must give an example to their children, especially when, at sunset, they gather together after the day’s work, within the domestic walls, and recite the Holy Rosary on bended knees before the image of the Virgin, together fusing voice, faith and sentiment. This is a beautiful and salutary custom, from which certainly there cannot but be derived tranquility and abundance of heavenly gifts for the household. When very frequently We receive newly married couples in audience and address paternal words to them, We give them rosaries, We recommend these to them earnestly, and We exhort them, citing Our own example, not to let even one day pass without saying the Rosary, no matter how burdened they may be with many cares and labors.”

Confession and Prayer

If no non-heretical priest is available for confession, then one must confess one’s sins directly to God. It’s also important to pray to the Holy Ghost for forgiveness, contrition and guidance in this regard. This short prayer – or a variation of it – is recommended:

O, Holy Ghost, source of all light, come to my assistance and enable me to make a good confession. Bring to my mind the evil which I have done and the good which I have neglected. Grant me, moreover, heartfelt sorrow for my sins and the grace of a sincere confession. Mary, my Mother, help me to make a good confession.”

It is very good to pray three Our Father and three Hail Mary prayers before confession, asking the Blessed Mother specifically for the assistance to make a good confession. The Act of Contrition prayer should of course be prayed as well daily and often. This short prayer – or a variation of it – is highly recommended:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven, and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.”

Part 1 & 2 & 3 will be updated shortly with a lot of new quotes and information.


PART 1.


PART 3.


PART 4.
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