I can picture it now. It’s time for the homily at Sunday Mass. You resolve to pay close attention and remember details because you know that Fr. Z will ask…
Was there a good point or two made during the sermon at the Holy Mass which you heard to fulfill your Sunday obligation?
Let us know.
For my part, on this 18th Sunday after Pentecost (Extraordinary Form, of course), I picked up on the Lord’s harrowing line: Why do you harbor evil thoughts in your hearts?
I stressed that we can commit mortal sins by thinking and that all thoughts will be revealed at the General Judgment.
One of the ways that we can sin is through impure thoughts. Sometimes impure thoughts are mortal sin (when we give consent of will to them once they pop up and if we take pleasure in them). However, if we fight them off the sin might be venial or not sinful at all. St Francis de Sales pointed out that we can suffer temptations for the entire course of a lifetime, but if we don’t consent, we don’t commit a mortal sin.
We are surrounded more and more by immodesty and impurity, and so we have to condition ourselves against temptations and impure thoughts. Custody of the eyes is important, because we tend to desire what we fix our gaze on. Prayer to our Guardian Angels and to the Blessed Virgin is important when fighting temptations. We should also change our patterns, change activities and get busy with something else.
If we have temptations or if we have vicious habits, we will have to suffer to get rid of them. We mustn’t come down off the Cross when we begin to suffer.