The Sixth and Ninth Commandment
Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses
God punishes the sin of impurity very severely even here on earth. For that sin He destroyed all living things except those in the ark of Noah during the great deluge. "And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great said: I will destroy man" (Genesis 6).
For the same sin God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah: "And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire" (Genesis 19). Today the site of these cities is covered by the Dead Sea, an ever-present reminder of the evil of impurity. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife." By the sixth commandment we are commanded to be pure and modest in our behavior; by the ninth, in thought and in desire.
"Do you know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you?...Glorify God, and bear Him in your body" (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). "Beloved, I exhort you as strangers and pilgrims to abstain from carnal desires which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).
The sixth and ninth commandments are studied together because they both deal with commands about purity. The sixth commandment refers to external acts, and the ninth to the willful thoughts and desires. "Oh how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory! For the memory thereof is immortal, because it is known both with God and with men" (Wisdom 4: 1-2). "The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body" (1 Corinthians 6:13).
God has always shown special love for those whose chastity is outstanding. Consider how He chose that purest of all mortals, the Blessed Virgin Lenty, as His Mother. Our Lord chose Saint John, the virgin Apostle, as the Beloved Disciple; it was John who was privileged to lean on His Heart at the Last Supper; it was to him that Christ entrusted His Mother.
The sixth commandment forbids all impurity and immodesty in words, looks, and actions, whether alone or with others. To distinguish between the virtues of "purity" and "modesty," let us say that purity regulates the expression of the rights of the married and excludes them outside the marries state; while modesty is a form of temperance which inclines one to refrain from what may lead to unlawful pleasure.
This commandment forbids adultery, which is the unfaithfulness of a married person. It is a duty before God and men for married people to be true to each other. Adultery is a great evil, which breaks up the harmony of the family, and brings punishments in this life and the next. Adultery is a sin not only against chastity, but also against justice; because it is injustice towards the spouse of the married person. In the Old Law the adulterer was punished with death. "For God will judge the immoral and adulterers" (Hebrews 13: 4). Lentried people should be most careful in avoiding even the appearance of unfaithfulness; when the spirit of jealousy enters, conjugal happiness goes out.
Matrimony is a holy state, through which Almighty God intends the propagation of the race. Actions in accordance with this purpose of matrimony are permitted to the married, but positively forbidden to the unmarried. Fornication is at all times a grave sin. By "the married" is meant those Catholics validly married in the Catholic Church. Catholics, who marry before a justice of the peace or a non-Catholic minister, cannot live together as married people, because they are not married either in the eyes of the Church or before God. If those Catholics who are not married before a Catholic priest live together and have children, these are considered illegitimate, and are so registered at Baptism.
All impure and immodest actions, whether committed alone or with others, are forbidden. When impurity is committed deliberately, it is always a mortal sin. The gravity of the sin of immodesty varies according to its nature, the conditions, and the relationship of the persons committing it. A good rule would be to refrain from doing anything you would be ashamed to have your pure mother or chaste daughter know you do.
The chief dangers to the virtue of chastity are: idleness, sinful curiosity, bad companions, drinking, immodest dress and indecent books, magazines, plays and motion pictures, videos, video games, and music.
Do not try to discover knowledge of sexual matters from companions. Ask older people whom you respect. And it is not enough to avoid the occasions: one must do the positive, opposite to the dangers. "Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (St. Matthew 26:41). Idleness is the parent sin. Man is like the earth: if it is not planted to good seed, weeds grow on it fast. So a person is beset by all kinds of evil temptations unless he has some worthwhile occupation.
Thieves break into a house where everybody is paralyzed by idleness. When iron is not used, it begins to rust. And so man, who was made to be active, stagnates and becomes foul when nothing occupies him all day.
Sinful curiosity is a dangerous occasion of unchastity. So is too free companionship with the other sex. Undue familiarity between opposite sexes inflames the passions, just as straw blazes up when brought near the fire. Girls and young women certainly know that if they want to be respected, they must respect themselves, and not be too familiar with men.
There is a tendency today to mix up boys and girls indiscriminately in classrooms, in gatherings, in games, etc. Such familiarity rubs off the delicacy from girls, and the protective and gallant instinct from boys. Extremes should be avoided: but the danger in these days seems to be on the side of undue familiarity. Not only this, but they begin to unnaturally and unhealthily take on the other's traits in dress and attitude.
Bad companions are the cause for the fall into impurity of numberless young people. A rotten tomato in a basket will rot all the rest. We should carefully avoid persons whose conversation is unchaste. Those who take pleasure in listening to improper conversation run a serious risk of falling into sins of impurity.
Excess in eating and drinking encourages sensuality, and will surely end in sins of impurity. As an indication of the universal recognition of this truth, fasting is associated with holy persons dedicated to religious work and penance. If a man is taken up with his stomach, he will have no thought for his soul.
Immodesty and excessive luxury in dress is a grave occasion for impurity. A beautifully dressed girl is pleasing to look at; but the "art of looking nice" should not be indulged in to excess. Those who dress immodestly are instruments of the devil for the ruin of souls. Women whose aim in life is to deck themselves in order to attract the attention of men are putting themselves in the way of unchastity. Undue longing for admiration does not come from a simple or childlike heart.
Indecent books, plays, and motion pictures, as well as immoral magazines and newspapers should be avoided like the plague. Bad shows, whether on the stage or the screen corrupt more subtly than immoral conversation, because what one sees leaves a stronger impression. Moreover, bad shows represent evil in attractive garb.
The ninth commandment forbids all thoughts and desires contrary to chastity. "You have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' But I say to you that anyone who even looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (St. Matthew 5: 27-28).
An impure desire is the wish or intention to do something unchaste or impure. Almost always, sins against purity, thoughts and desires as well as acts, are grave or mortal sins. Whenever we are beset by temptation, we should immediately pray, especially to our beloved Mother, the purest of mortals.
An impure desire, however, is a venial sin if committed through lack of attention or reflection, through negligence or slowness in rejecting a thought, or be giving only a partial consent. Only full and deliberate consent makes a sin mortal. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God" (St. Matthew 5: 80).
Mere thoughts about impure things are not always sinful in themselves, but such thoughts are dangerous. It is a mistake to suppose that all impure thoughts and desires are sinful. We are not responsible for the wicked thoughts that enter our mind unless we bring them in ourselves. But we should try to avoid all such thoughts, by occupying ourselves in something useful.
Thinking often of something makes us used to that thing; we are in danger of losing our fear of impurity by familiarizing ourselves with thoughts of impure things. It is like walking on the brink of the abyss of sin - any little push may throw us in.
A mere temptation to impurity, even when accompanied by bodily feeling, is not sinful unless there is willful consent, at least to some degree. The stronger the temptation, the more merit we gain if we are faithful and resist. No matter how long the temptation lasts, even if it lasts our whole life, as long as we give it no consent, we are free from sin.
Saint Catherine of Siena was once severely tempted against purity. Shortly after Our Lord appeared to her. She asked, "Where wert Thou, Lord, when those evil thoughts were in my mind?" Jesus replied, "I was in thy heart, taking pleasure in the victorious battle thou were waging."
By resisting an impure thought or desire is not meant thinking of pondering over it. In temptation of this nature, the most effective means is to reject it at once, then to ignore it, to do something else to distract the mind. Worrying about the temptation only makes it more persistent. The best thing to do is to give it to Jesus, lay it at His feet at the foot of the cross and let it go, knowing Our Lord will take it and wash it away and wash you in His graces.
Thoughts about impure things become sinful when a person thinks of an unchaste act and deliberately takes pleasure in so thinking, or when unchaste desire or passion is aroused and consent is given to it. An impure thought or desire becomes sinful when instead of rejecting it we take pleasure in it and keep it in our mind. Impure desires, if not rejected, lead to impure acts and a life of vice.
It is said that the model the great artist Leonardo da Vinci used for the figure of Jesus Christ in his painting "The Last Supper" was a young man of exceptional beauty, whose countenance expressed innocence and purity in a remarkable degree. Some years after, when Leonardo da Vinci was ready to draw the figure of Judas the traitorous Apostle, he had a difficult time trying to find a model. So he went into the most disreputable haunts of the city, in the places where the worst criminals congregated, to seek a suitable model. He saw all sorts of criminals, immoral men altogether lost to all sense of decency, but still he was not satisfied.
At last one day he espied a wreck of a man, slinking in a corner of a low resort. His face had an expression so vicious and diabolical that the artist knew his search for a model for Judas was ended. Going near, he prevailed upon the fellow, with the offer of a great sum of money, to sit as a model.
The series of sittings was about to end, when one day Leonardo da Vinci said: "You know, since you came, I have always had a feeling that I have seen you somewhere before. I must be wrong, but the feeling persists." Thereupon the man in an outburst of despair cried, "Yes, you have seen me before! I was the innocent young man who sat as a model for the figure of Christ there. And now, see how I am sitting for Judas, for Judas!"
This powerful story cites how important it is to stay on the straight and narrow by avoiding the temptations of sin and clinging to Christ's Sacred and Merciful Heart and His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart. This way we can build up a virtuous wall around us that will not so easily be penetrated by temptations.
Sinful Desires Against Chastity
The chief means of preserving the virtue of chastity are: to avoid carefully all unnecessary dangers, to seek God's help through prayer, frequent confession, Holy Communion, and assistance at Holy Mass, and to have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin. In all things form the habit of temperance. Avoid all unnecessary dangers; do not take any chances with unchastity; do not experiment. If you put a match to gunpowder, it is sure to explode; there is no necessity to try to see whether it will not.
Shun the company of those that are impure. Impurity is no wonderful achievement to be proud about: any idiot can be impure. It is the strong soul that resists temptation and keeps himself clean. It is the chaste person that possesses manly strength. Take great care to avoid movies, music and television that boasts in its lust; be careful of the company you keep. Remember, they will not be standing with you when you come before God at the Final Judgment.
Always remember that God sees us. Let us therefore seek His help through prayer. "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (St. Lentk 14:38). If you are in your teens, for instruction about matters of sex, go to your parents or to your pastor or older people whom you know are good. Do not trust peers to help for they will surely lead you astray.
Be always modest and pure in your dress, posture, and conversation. This is not only to save yourself from immodesty, but to avoid giving occasion to others to sin, or being even an unwitting cause for others to sin. Women who waste hours looking at themselves in the mirror, painting their faces and varnishing their nails, or choosing clothes to put on, care more for their body than for their soul. They should remember that after death, they will become skull and bones just like the rest, and all their finery will avail them nothing. In today's society, the same goes for the male species.
Receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist often, and attend Holy Mass frequently. Thus we follow the injunction: "Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
We should have a special love and devotion for our Blessed Mother, and daily ask her to preserve us in the chastity that she so greatly cherished.
Catholicism Made Simple