Spiritual Information You Must Know About to be Saved
- Mortally sinful media!
- TV-series, films, cartoons
- 'Avatar' driving us to suicide, say fans
- How to control your eyes
- How to control your speech
- Video games
- On Music
- On Books
- Ouija board a controversial toy for tots
- On Masturbation
- Vanity, Immodest dressing, and makeup
- Padre Pio on modern-day fashions
- On bad thoughts
- Dances, Pubs, Balls
- Keep holy thy Sabbath day or Sunday
- Smoking and drugs
- On False Judgments and Slander
- On Envy and Pride
- Explaining the Laws of fast and abstinence, for days of fast and abstinence
- Natural Family Planning (NFP)
- On Rash Judgments and Slander (Continued)
- Chastity, Humility, Obedience, and Love
- Information about us and our mission
Most people of this generation, even those who profess themselves Christian, are so fallen away in morals that even the debauched people who lived a hundred years ago would be ashamed of the many things people today enjoy. And this is exactly what the devil had planned from the start, to step by step lowering the standard of morality in the world through the media until, in fact, one cannot escape to sin mortally by watching it with the intention of enjoying oneself. Yes to watch ungodly media only for enjoyment or pleasure or for to waste time (which could be used for God), as most people do, is mortally sinful.
54 years ago (1956), Elvis Presley had to be filmed above the waist up on a tv-show because of a hip-swiveling movement. Not that it was an acceptable performance, everything tending towards sensuality is an abomination, but still it serves to prove how much the decline has come since then, when even the secular press deemed inappropriate what today would be looked upon as nothing. But even at that time, in major Hollywood films like The Ten Commandments, could be seen both women and men that are incredibly immodestly dressed. The fall and decline of morals have been in progress ever since the invention of motion picture. God allowed this deceit to be invented because of people’s sins, especially for sins of the flesh. The media have such power that it preconditions peoples mind in such a way - since people look at TV as reality - that what was shameful yesterday will be the norm today! So if the media shows immodesty as norm, norm it will become!
“Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
We already know that almost everything on television will have the most abominable impurities and abominations presented in them so that a parent should be appalled by it and refuse his children to even take part of it, but this, sadly, is not the case for most. You will be amazed at how far this goes. Even children cartoons which one could think was acceptable and modest, is far from acceptable or modest but even many times worse then the general media broadcasted for older viewers, which will be dealt with shortly.
Firstly, you will almost always see fornication and adultery or other sexual impurities and sins of the flesh presented throughout the godless media as the norm to live, along with a rejection of the traditional way that people lived in before the beginning of 19th century. The sexual suggestions and perversions are endless in these shows. To sit and watch such shows or to allow your children to watch such shows is not only insanity but a clear mortal sin.
Secondly, there is a comedic part on almost every show which seems to hold no sin, but when examined closely will be revealed for what it really is. For gloating (also called disability humor) which is a most abominable and uncharitable sin will most certainly be impossible to escape if you watch TV-series! This odious sin of gloating prevails in every kind of media such as cartoons, films and shows, where people are beating each other or laughing at the different calamities or stupidities that another person will experience. Think about how evil this is: to laugh at another person’s calamity or sorrow! Yet, you cannot escape seeing this when you watch TV! Do to others as you would have them do to you, was one of the commandments of our Lord! (Matthew 7:12) - You would not want someone laughing or making fun of your calamities and miss-happenings, yet we laugh and approve it when sad things happen to others? Then we have the constant jokes about the Christian religion with countless of derogatory words uttered in a most blasphemous spirit by the media when it tries to depict how utterly stupid, foolish, and out of date it is to be a firm Bible believing Christian. The constant ridicule and mockery of God and the Christian religion should be sufficient cause for rejecting this mortally sinful filth entirely! Again, you would not approve of a show that blasphemed you, a friend, child or wife, yet you watch shows making a mockery of God and religion which is worth infinitely more than weak human beings.
Thirdly, we have the specifically evil sin of immodest clothing and make-up which every show holds as law to be followed, and there is no exception in cartoons for children. Most women-characters are half dressed or half naked in these cartoons showing off their whole body in a sexually suggestive way. This, in fact, is what the devil wants, for he preconditions children's sexuality to grow at a young age. The little mermaid for example, the main character in the Disney movie called “The Little Mermaid”, is completely naked from the waist up except for a small covering of sea shells over her breasts which is outrageous to say the least! Sadly, this is how most characters dress! The woman-character in Aladdin the movie is immodestly dressed showing most parts of her body. She even sexually seduces one of the males in a scene for whatever reason, and this is what our kids are watching and learning, from Satan himself! If you have allowed your children to watch such things, you should be ashamed of yourself!
There is a perfect reason why young children become sexually active at a young age. Young children watching such films and shows imitates the behavior, movements and way of acting by the characters; for example: the eye-rollings, the seducing of men or of women, the hip-swirlings and the seducing way of moving the body and the seducing way of walking, etc.
Tinker bell, a character featured in many Disney shows, is considered to be one of the most important branding icons of Disney, (according to Wikipedia sources).
“Tinker Bell is illustrated as a young (sexy), blonde haired, big blue eyed, white female, with an exaggerated hour-glass (model-shaped) figure. She is clad in a short lime-green (ultra revealing miniskirt) dress with a rigid trim, and green slippers with white puffs. She is trailed by small amounts of pixie dust when she moves, and this dust can help humans fly if they 'believe' it will (we will see more of the magic fairy tale crap and 'belief' in the occult, all for our children to watch as we move along). Some critics have complained that Tinker Bell is too sexually suggestive.” (And this is supposed to be a character for children movies. Outrageous to say the least, even the secular world agrees!)
These are just some of the examples I can come to think of, and my knowledge about children shows is very limited. One with more knowledge could easily fill a number of volumes on the same subject.
The sin of immodest clothing and make-up brings up innumerable impure and lustful thoughts, which is just what the devil wants when he incites people to commit these sins of immodest clothing and painting the face with makeup, as only harlots and heathens did until recently when “Catholics” started to follow this trend. Those who do these things, do them for the sole reason of making others lust at them, or for to make themselves seem more attractive to others. This is sinful to say the least and very displeasing to God.
Billions of souls are burning now as we speak in the excruciating fire of hell since they were tempted to sexual impurities in their thoughts by the media they watched! Will you follow them or let your children follow them and be the cause of your greater sorrow, when on top of being condemned, you must endure to be tormented forevermore by your own child? Absolute madness! You must hinder your child to use makeup and immodest clothing at any cost! You can only hope to save yourself from hell if you do everything in your power to prevent your children going there. Are you? If they refuse to obey you, throw them out! If they are youngsters, why then don't they obey you? There is a perfect reason why sacred scripture commands chastisement in the education of our children!
“He that loveth his son, frequently chastiseth him, that he may rejoice in his latter end... Give thy son his way, and he shall make thee afraid: play with him, and he shall make thee sorrowful. Laugh not with him, lest thou have sorrow, and at the last thy teeth be set on edge. Give him not liberty in his youth, and wink not at his devices. Bow down his neck while he is young, and beat his sides while he is a child, lest he grow stubborn, and regard thee not, and so be a sorrow of heart to thee. Instruct thy son, and labour about him, lest his lewd behaviour be an offence to thee.” (Ecclesiasticus 30:1-13)
Don't be fooled by the world. You do no sin whatsoever before God if you chastise your children in the education of righteousness. The world, or in truth, Satan, who rule this world, has made laws that says chastisement of children are wrong. This is one of many reasons he has succeeded to achieve the downfall of society! Remember that rebellious and ungodly children were one of the end times prophecies that the Bible mentioned (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Fourthly, there is the abominable and mortal sin of blasphemy which is uttered in almost every TV- show, even going so far as to exchange the name of God, Jesus or Christ for curse words. A few hundred years ago, people would have been horrified to commit this sin since it was then rightly punished by execution. But now, people commit this sin constantly and without fear, without anyone raising an eyebrow. Yet, when death comes, all blasphemers will open their eyes and find that they are in a sea of fire to burn and be tormented for all eternity. If you watch things which contain blasphemy, which would be almost every film or show in this age, then you are literally sick and despicable and Hell will be long for you unless you repent immediately and resolve to never do so again. Death will come and grab you whether you like it or not.
Fifthly, there is the universal acceptance of false religions, magic and occultism which was rightly punishable by death earlier in our history but which now is norm in the media. You will see the horrible sin of magic and occultism in every kind of TV-show; for example, in animated cartoons it's almost 'always' the norm; it is also a frequent occurrence on other shows broadcasted for the general public such as Buffy the vampire slayer, Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, etc! Many famous comedies are also making this evil filth seem fun and acceptable. But then again, the norm of comedian shows is to make fun of things that are abominable and sinful. A person cannot watch comedy-shows without being guilty of grave sin, for how can a person take delight and laugh about things which displease God?
Just to show you how far the sin of idolatry, magic, new age and occultism have come in the media, the following will be presented about the major blockbuster movie hit, Avatar.
This article will prove that a person watching media will be forced to agree or disagree with a number of events that unfolds throughout the storyline, and every time a person agrees with or fails to disagree with that which is against God, he in fact commits a grave sin. This is what makes the watching of media so deadly. People nowadays don’t fathom the severity of this crime but it is easily understood to be a most evil crime when one realizes that God will judge our every thought as a deed.
“James Cameron’s, Avatar, is a movie where worshipping a tree and communing with spirits are not only acceptable; they are attractive. Avatar is also markedly pantheistic and essentially, the gospel according to James Cameron. This pantheistic theme that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe is outwardly depicted by the heroes and heroine in the movie who all worship Eywa, the "All Mother" Goddess, who is described as "a network of energy” that “flows through all living things.”
“Overall, the movie is strewn with ritualistic magic, communion with spirits, shamanism, and blatant idolatry as it conditions the audience to believe these pagan occult lies. In addition, the audience is led to sympathize with the Avatar and even ends up pulling for him as he is initiated into pagan rituals. Even the lead scientist becomes a pagan in the end, proclaiming that she is "with Eywa, she's real," and goes to be with her upon her death.”
People nowadays don’t fathom the severity of this crime of magic, idolatry and paganism but it is easily understood to be a most evil crime when one realizes that magicians and occultists are communing with the devil when they do their magical rituals or offerings, whether it be worshipping a tree or stone, or something made by human hand. We are constantly being bombarded throughout the media to accept, magic, paganism, spiritualism, occultists, etc, in other words, false religions, which clearly shows that Satan is involved here.
Psalms 95:5- “For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils…”
1 Cor. 10:20- “But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.”
If someone were to make a show that presented child perversion paedophilia as a good and normal thing to do, everyone would be appalled, but now the worldly media present the communing with demons as something good and allowable and no one raises an eyebrow. To watch such filth is mortally sinful and your torment in hell will be eternal if you watch such things or allow your children to watch such things.
Sixthly, there is the most evil sin of greed and love of possessions which is showed universally on TV as something good and praiseworthy to follow. You will see the most extravagant displays of worldly excesses! This is abominable first off, since every kind of excess is an affront against the many poor people who don’t have enough money to even feed themselves with, and secondly since it tempts people to seek these useless and unnecessary things such as expensive cars, houses, and golden necklaces etc… instead of being content with food, clothing and shelter as the Apostle tells us to be. If God judges even every thought that you will have, how much more will He not judge deeds which is what watching ungodly media is!
It should also be understood that media gives the person who watches it a drug-like experience, an experience of false and unholy fire. The most dangerous effect from media is the dream state it puts a person into. After watching something worldly which made an impression, this is what will occupy your mind and your feelings for most part of the day or even weeks to come. From the blockbuster movie Avatar, this demonstration can be seen clearer. A news article published in the Economic Times reads as following:
LOS ANGELES: 'Avatar' may have enthralled worldwide audiences with its imagery of an utopian alien world but movie-goers have complained of depression and even suicidal thoughts after watching the sci-fi hit.
Fans of James Cameron's 3D magnum opus are seemingly finding it hard to separate fact from fiction and Internet forums have been flooded with posts by movie-goers plagued with suicidal thoughts about not being able to visit the planet Pandora, reported CNN online. North American fan site 'Avatar Forums' has received 2,000 posts under a thread entitled 'Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible'.
Forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian said, "The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."
Forum user 'Okoi' writes, "After I watched 'Avatar' at the first time, I truly felt depressed as I 'wake' up in this world again."
It should be understood that this depression arise from a lack of faith in God. The world they really long for is not a fairy tale dream world as depicted in the movie Avatar, but in fact the realm of Heaven and the eternal vision of God – for this is where all humanity were destined to come to had they abstained from sinning and loving the world through their five senses. No one can be happy without God, for God is happiness. Depression arises from a guilty conscience when a person refuses to do what he should to achieve salvation and the eternal vision of God. Satan is exchanging a longing of the real Heaven in people’s minds for a longing of fairy-tale-dreams in the media. Saddening to say the least!
A Christian should be spending his time on growing in his faith by praying, reading, and other good works, but most people do instead the contrary, and wastes most of their time on useless tales and fables, which will occupy their minds instead of God. That is why evil media leads countless souls to eternal damnation and the torments of hell. And this is also a clear fulfillment of end times prophecies, which said many would turn from God unto fables and fairy tales. Are you one of those prophesied about?
“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: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
This prophecy also predicted the false theory of evolution which a Christian, of course, cannot believe in since it contradicts the biblical story of creation, with death entering into the world first after sin.
The second greatest evil after the sexuality and immodesty in children's shows is the constant bullying and fun making of the weaker characters, and the violence in both magazines, shows, films (and video games of course). Even the secular press acknowledges that children's shows oftentimes are more violent than other programs broadcasted for the general public! This article below was taken from the Daily Mail and clearly proves this point further.
“High levels of violence in cartoons such as Scooby-Doo can make children more aggressive, researchers claimed yesterday. They found that animated shows aimed at youngsters often have more brutality than programs broadcast for general audiences. And they said children copied and identified with fantasy characters just as much as they would with screen actors.
The study also found that youngsters tended to mimic the negative behaviour they saw on TV such as rumour-spreading, gossiping and eye-rolling. The U.S. psychologists quizzed 95 girls aged ten and 11 about their favourite TV shows, rating them for violent content and verbal and indirect aggression. The shows included Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Idol, Scooby-Doo and Pokemon.
The researchers found that output aimed at children as young as seven, which included a number of cartoons, had the highest levels of violence. They recorded 26 acts of aggression an hour compared with just five in shows aimed at general audiences and nine in programmes deemed unsuitable for under-14s. 'Results indicated that there are higher levels of physical aggression in children's programmes than in programmes for general audiences,' the study said.”
The following story was taken from a Chinese newspaper further proving the point on how bullying, rebellion, disobedience, etc. is taught to children through anime/cartoons/magazines.
Educators Worry About Influence of Cartoons on Children
“Like many other eight-year-olds, Liu Yimin's favorite heroes aren't great scientists, or the national soccer team, or popular Chinese icons like Lei Feng. (According to the worldly norm, one should idolize weak human beings.)
His heroes are two Japanese animated characters who defy their parents and teachers. Local educators are worried and say that some of characters may be a bad influence on youngsters.
Xin San, an arrogant kindergarten student, bullies the weak, battles the strong, and constantly lusts after women - lots of women.
"I think the content of these shows is too mature for children," said Zhang Jinlian, director of the Shanghai Children and Juvenile Psychological Guidance Center. She said many students like to imitate the actions of these cartoon kids, causing trouble in the classroom and at home. Zhang would like to see steps taken to prevent children from reading books and watching videos and VCDs about Xin San, but the cartoon kid is just too popular to be avoided.
But today's kids don't want to be instructed, they want innovative cartoons with characters who are rebellious, Xu pointed out. Sales of books and VCDs of the two cartoon series, plus viewer ship levels of the "Chibi Maruko Chan" on Shanghai TV prove that rebellion is very popular with local youngsters.
Unfortunately, children are picking up those rebellious attitudes. Zhang said that many children now bully their parents into buying them a new toy - a trick that they picked up from Chibi Maruko Chan (undoubtedly they also bully their weaker classmates as they have been taught). Even worse, she said, some young boys lustfully gaze at their girl classmates.”
A while ago, when the Catholic Church had a great impact on morality in the Christian society, people looked up to and adored our divine savior Jesus Christ, the blessed Virgin Mary, and the fame and virtues of the Saints. Every Catholic child had a patron Saint of his choosing to look up to and follow. What better examples in virtues and good manners can there possibly be?
Satan has in fact exchanged an adoration of God for man through the media. This is why children nowadays look up to actors, artists, heroes or characters mainly found in media. What child today would not want to be as Superman, Spiderman or any other Superhero, who is depicted in the media as invincible, adored, and beloved by all? Why are both grownups and children nowadays so prideful and violent, unloving, disobedient, lustful and arrogant, etc., if not because we through media have been conditioned to act and behave in this way? With the devil as an example through his debauched actors and animated characters, it will always end badly.
With holy examples, such as of our Savior himself and of the Saints, virtues such as humility, patience, charity and love flourish and is found. Therefore, learn to educate your children in the knowledge of Christ and of His Saints, give them Catholic books about Saints so that they can learn about virtues, and good Catholic films about the Saints. You can find a lot of different Catholic books from Saints at this site below, and more is added frequently!
You cannot allow your children to watch anything unless you are 100% certain that the film, show or audio, they are viewing, have nothing in it that are against God’s law. Unless you keep this standard, you will have your children tormenting you for all eternity in hell since you allowed evil influences and sins to effect them at an early age. You are responsible for their spiritual well being as long as they live under your roof. This, of course, should make every parent very nervous. For if you had a real live tiger in your bedroom, you would never allow your child in there since the animal could kill them and eat them. The TV, Internet or media is far more dangerous than a tiger ever will be since it kills the immortal soul of your precious child! Yet, most people allow their children to watch TV without any supervision. If you say that you cannot supervise their viewing of media, then throw out the TV and other media appliances that they use to access sinful things or prepare yourself to suffer the eternal consequences in the fire of Hell for your actions!
Now a further examination will be made on the different kinds of programs that are presented throughout the media.
Now, you might ask: “So are you forbidding all media as wrong and sinful to watch?” The answer is no. Not all media is bad, but almost everything on television is however. You might have to watch less at what the box has to offer for you. There are for example numerous great religious films and series which is totally acceptable and good for the Spirit to watch (even though, in many films, especially newer ones, there will be immodest scenes or scenes of impurity. A Christian must not look on films or series which they know have bad scenes that will tempt them). Religious films are the best since they direct your mind toward spiritual things and God, which cannot be said of worldly films. When I am talking about Religious films, I am not referring to these worldly films disguised as religious films, which really has nothing at all to do about spirituality but really about the world, for example, stories about a man falling in love with a woman or a woman falling in love with a man, or other worldly motives, with jokes, much vain talk, etc. This is complete and utter nonsense and serves nothing at all for the edifying of soul, mind or body, and should be totally avoided as the trash it really is!
Most documentaries for example, (regarding on what documentaries you watch) can be watched even if most of them aren't good or edifying to the soul. Documentaries on prophecies, end times or doomsday, is acceptable since it draws your mind toward the end, death and coming judgment. Documentaries on animals, nature, space, history, etc. are in themselves not evil or sinful or contrary to God, and can be watched. However, they will many times be the beginning of great evil and sin. Whatever you watch or listen to, it is always a danger if you get too attached to it and allow too much time to be spent on it every day. As a rule, if you cannot stand a single day without visual and audible media, (television and music) this is a clear sign that you are addicted to media. So if you must watch something and if you can't abstain, you need to learn to watch programs that are not against God or Christian morals. But, the danger still of watching these are the same as with other bad shows since they will direct your mind towards worldly things, but at least it draws your mind towards God's creation or history which one may contemplate and draw fruit from, which cannot be said of fables and fairy-tale, pro-evolution anti-God films.
People however, that always prioritize worldly activities before spiritual ones will most assuredly lose their souls. A person must be able to make a resolution to leave worldly activities for hours per day and offer up those hours for God in solitude by praying and reading his words. Many people have time, but they spend it badly and chose to watch media or doing other fruitless works of damnation.
You would be a Saint if you had the same desire and longing for God as you have for worldly things. You can only receive a desire, love and longing for God as you have for worldly things when He is whom you desire and strive for above all other things. This will not happen as long as you are over-attached to worldly things. You must also be able - or at least have a desire to be able to - to come to the point were you want to give up watching media completely. For if a person doesn't even desire the better part, how then can he grow? God is the better and best part!
All films and series that leads your mind toward fantasies and fables such as Lord of the rings, Heroes, Smallville, Avatar, etc, even if we were to say, for the sake of argument, that they have nothing in them against God (which is not true), should still be avoided, since they direct our minds from God, from the natural world we live in, toward fantasies and all kinds of thoughts referring thereto. This is the main cause for it being so dangerous and the reason why so many persons watching these shows have unwholesome unrealistic desires or depressions. For a person that spends much time on finding God, will evidently dream and long much for God and come close to Him. In contrast, a person that spends much time on the world, is far from God and dead before God!
Now you might ask: “May I then watch other worldly films or series if the story is fixed on realistic things or the creation of God?” The answer to this question is that it depends on what movie or show you want to watch. I would say that one can watch movies and series about the end of the world, the afterlife and the paranormal, etc, since it leads your mind toward the judgment and the death of the body to come which is a good thing. From this can be understood that it depends on what fruit can be drawn out from it to begin with. “Every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down and cast into the fire.” (Luke 3:9)
You will without a doubt bring forth bad fruit if you spend much time on bad things. So if the film or show is about worldly and vain things, then one should not watch such shows since the fruit thereof is empty and vain. This point can be further proved from sacred scripture.
“Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ...” (Colossians 2:8)
This pretty much rules out all the films, shows and series (anime series and video games as well) that has ever been made in the entire world.
News in itself isn’t evil or contrary to God or morals, but most newspapers today have totally unacceptable pictures which make them extremely unsuitable to read. 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. For example, 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. (Adblock extension for Firefox or Google Chrome webbrowser is also a good tool to get rid of all ads, immoral or otherwise.) We advice you to never watch news on television or the like since it is so filled with sins that it is almost impossible to watch without seeing things that will injure your virtue like immodesty, make-up, blasphemy, gloating, lust, adultery etc... 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.
“St. Dorotheus says: "Beware of too much speaking, for it banishes from the soul holy thoughts and recollection with God." Speaking of religious that cannot abstain from inquiring after worldly news, St. Joseph Calasanctius said: "The curious religious shows that he has forgotten himself." It is certain that he who speaks too much with men converses but little with God, for the Lord says: I will lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart. If, then, the soul wishes that God speak to its heart, it must seek after solitude; but this solitude will never be found by religious who do not love silence." If," said the Venerable Margaret of the Cross, "we remain silent, we shall find solitude." And how will the Lord ever condescend to speak to the religious, who, by seeking after the conversation of creatures, shows that the conversation of God is not sufficient to make her happy? Hence, for a nun that delights in receiving visits and letters, in reading the newspapers, and in speaking frequently of the things of the world, it is impossible to be a good religious. Every time that she unnecessarily holds intercourse with seculars, she will suffer a diminution of fervor.”
You might ask: “Could not this way of viewing media then be applied to all shows?” The answer is no! Most shows are evil in themselves whether or not you fix your eyes on bad scenes. And the objects of discussion on those shows are often the cause of it being sinful; for it is vain, foolish or against God. News on the other hand is not unless you deliberately choose to delve in bad news or shows, such as celebrity news or celebrity shows such as 'Idol' and the like which is mortally sinful and complete and utter foolishness to watch and take delight in. For it is idol making of weak human beings. It’s truly sickening to behold how people worship worldly fame along with sinful and weak human beings!
We will not make much mention of films or shows like Prison break, Heroes, 24, Matrix, Terminator, 300, X-men, Transformers, Spiderman and the like, etc. For there should be no need of explanation about these shows. They are all against God, they are all based on breaking God's commandments and doing evil or violence, or enjoying others doing evil or violence. Whether or not the world or you claim it’s about good vs evil doesn't matter, for these shows in themselves are totally fruitless, often extremely violent, condoning crimes and sins, and often compels the viewer to agree or disagree with the actions of the characters, which more then often are more bad actions then 'good' if it is even possible to call them good. Every time you agree with or fail to disagree with something which obviously is against God, you committed sin! When you watch films or shows for pleasure which have the characters doing crimes and sins, you do in fact agree with them by your continual deed of watching and by your failure in renouncing it in the very same way a politician that is speaking against abortion would be a pro-abortionist when continually voting for allowing abortion. Thus, you are in fact in favor of evil by not denouncing and renouncing it completely!
Ask yourself, is it fitting for a child of God to take delight in such nonsense? Would God approve of these evil shows? Watching shows like this will only serve to stir you up towards wanting to watch more worldly and ungodly shows. Shows with much violence, superpowers, magic and fighting are the most dangerous since they excite our flesh and body in a false sensation or thrill exceedingly much. A person who does not cut this off from himself will lose his soul!
There are so much blasphemy, adultery, lust, pride, vanity, immodest clothing, idol-making of mortal human beings, greed, gluttony and sinful deeds and speech among countless other sins in today’s media, that it is a real abomination and sickening to behold! It is in fact a real and eternal spiritual slaughter of billions of people – which is far more horrifying and lamentable than any physical slaughter will ever be – which we observe happening in real time without anyone lifting an eyebrow! However, their laughter will turn into an eternal sorrow after the very moment their death will come! Then every word of mockery and blasphemy will have its special torment in hell for all eternity to come. Learn to meditate on Hell daily and you will not hesitate one second to quit watching evil and ungodly media!
The learning and controlling of your sight will be most necessary for salvation. You cannot fool God! Every time you look willfully with lust in your heart at an unchaste, enticing or unsuitable object, you have most assuredly committed a mortal sin! Therefore, whenever you come across something sinful (or even something licit but which is very beautiful) with your eyes, 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 a Hail Mary, which is highly recommended and helps against impurities. Countless of Saints have rebuked people for the great error of failing to controlling their eyes. St. Ignatius Loyola for example rebuked a brother for looking at his face more than a brief moment. St. Bridget made a specific confession for every single face she saw during each day! This is true wisdom, for the world tells you to always watch the person you are with in the face. This will many times lead to sins and impure thoughts.
MODESTY OF THE EYES IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
Question: Is it a sin to willfully look at persons or things that one are sexually attracted to and that arouse one’s sexual desire? Is it permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor?
Answer: Yes, it is a sin to willfully look at, and to continue to look at, things that arouse one’s sexual desire. In addition, the Church also condemns even putting oneself in “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” (Pope Innocent XI) which shows us that one is not even allowed to watch or listen to things like dangerous and worldly media or remain in situations where one can become tempted to commit a sin. This, of course, proves that the Church abhors every act of the will where we unnecessarily allow ourselves to be tempted, or to be in a place or situation where we know that there is a great chance that something will tempt us, or be against God.
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 must not read any newspaper or magazine or watch any show or film that contains immodesty of people tempting you.
St. Alphonsus, On Avoiding the Occasion of Sin: “Now, no one can receive absolution unless he purpose firmly to avoid the occasion of sin; because to expose himself to such occasions, though sometimes he should not fall into sin, is for him a grievous sin. And when the occasion is voluntary and is actually existing at the present time, the penitent cannot be absolved until he has actually removed the occasion of sin. For penitents find it very difficult to remove the occasion; and if they do not take it away before they receive absolution they will scarcely remove it after they have been absolved.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, p. 543)
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 internet browser and install an Adblock by virtue of obedience to God’s law that demands modesty and the avoidance of occasions of falling into sin when it is possible to do so.
That one must avoid the proximate occasion of sin in order to be Saved and receive Forgiveness of one’s sins from God is a certain fact of the Natural and Divine law that has always been taught by the Church and Her Saints. For instance, Blessed Pope Innocent XI during his papacy, condemned three propositions that denied this truth:
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.
Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #63, March 4, 1679: “It is permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.
Here we see that the Church confirms that the opinion that “It is permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” is directly condemned. And this condemnation is about those who “seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning” for a good cause, rather than for a selfish cause. But most people in this world do not even watch or listen to evil and ungodly media for a good cause but rather for the sake of pleasure or for other unnecessary reasons, and it is certainly not necessary “for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor.” This shows us that the Church and the Natural Law absolutely abhors and condemns the opinion that one can watch or listen to media that can tempt a person to sin. Indeed, not only the occasions of sin, like evil, worldly and ungodly media, but also the “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” must be totally rejected and shunned if one wants to attain salvation.
People who reject this advice and continue to put themselves in a proximate or near occasion of sin will undoubtedly lose their souls, since God will allow the devil to fool them in some way since they rejected the Word of God, and chose to put themselves in the way of temptation. Many there are, indeed, who presumptuously claim that they won’t get tempted by watching or listening to worldly media, or that they will be able to control it, but here we see in the condemnations of Blessed Pope Innocent XI that one may not even put oneself in “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor”. God will undoubtedly leave a person who is presumptuous and prideful, and the Church and Her Saints have always condemned such individuals that trusts in their own strength.
As a matter of fact, one can even understand from the light of natural reason that one is not allowed to put oneself in the occasion of sin, so those who do this act will have no excuse whatsoever on the day of judgment. In addition, a person who watches bad, worldly or ungodly media, tempts his fellow man to watch these evil things also, and thus, by his bad example, puts both himself and others in the way of damnation by his selfishness and presumption. So in addition to damning himself if he obstinately continues in such a course of life, such a person also actually tries to damn others by his bad example, trying to drag others with him into the eternal darkness and fire of hell. This is a kind of evil that is breathtaking to behold! It is thus a fact “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)
The pitiful and unreasonable addiction to media by so many “Catholics” or “Christians” today is something new, and almost no one before the 20th century was so miserably addicted to it as the weak and bad willed population of our own times! The amount of pitiful and pathetic excuses that we have had to hear from bad willed people who try to excuse their act of putting themselves in the proximate or near occasion of sin is, simply said, almost endless. Even though they understand that they are not allowed to endanger their souls, they just couldn’t care since they are hooked on the media, just like a drug addict, who need his daily “fix” to endure the day. For about a hundred years ago, almost no media existed as compared to today, and people thrived and the crime rates was as nothing when compared to today. So the unreasonable addiction to media cannot be excused, for man does not need media at all to survive, and putting oneself in the near or “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” is directly condemned by the Church.
If the priests as well as the laypeople that lived in a more virtuous time when the Catholic Church’s Law was followed by people in Europe would have seen any of the things we human today see through either media or even walking outside and seeing billboards or lasciviously clothed men or women walking in the street, they would have been outraged and would have fled from every such thing, for their conscience had not been perverted through the media so that their sense of modesty was totally crushed as is the case with us modern humans. God’s standard of modesty never changes, and the Church’s teaching that “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” must always be avoided is not allowed to be flouted in the 21st century however much modern man thinks that God allows their novelties and abominations.
We advice all people to use the internet in this safe way as described above, 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 click with the scroll mouse button on “view image” in Firefox so that the image can be seen in a new tab; in Chrome just right click and press “Open image in new tab” and it will show the image.) Most of the time there are no real reasons or necessity to see any images anyway. Only curiosity makes us want to see them. Of course, when images are 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. Therefore, if we have no reason or necessity to have them on, they must be off.
The best and easiest user experience in using the internet in this safe way is using a web-browser with add-ons or extensions 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 extensions 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, or just press on the image itself as explained in the Google Chrome section.
We generally recommend no one to use any other webbrowser than Google Chrome, since it is so much better when it comes to the extensions available, as is explained in the above article. The image blocker extension for Google Chrome is just superior to all other webbrowsers, which means that more people will continue using an image blocker when surfing the internet and not give up.
For the best ad-blocker for Google Chrome web-browser, visit this link:
This adblocker is the perhaps the best of them all but more advanced and comes with the additional plus that it has no “acceptable” advertising built into the program, which means there is no need to disable anything as with the other adblockers. It also helps you keep your Ad-Blocker active and the webpage working, when you visit a website and it asks you to disable.
In order to understand how to use and configure uBlock Origin in order to remove as much ads as possible, you need to read this and the following section.
If you want to use other adblockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:
For best image blockers for Google Chrome web-browser, visit these links:
Wizmage Image Blocker:
This image blocker is the most convenient and user friendly image blocker that I know of. With one click, you can display the image/video screen or hide it again. It is only available for Chrome and Chromium based browsers, such as Opera. If you want to learn how to use this image blocker and everything it can do you will need to read the more detailed instruction on how to use it.
But in order for the above image blocker to work more effectively, it will be necessary to also install Fast Image Blocker for Google Chrome and have it activated at the same time with Wizmage Image Blocker. The reason for this is that the Wizmage extension does not always block all images on certain sites nor does the programs always block all images immediately. You also have the additional benefit that the Wizmage’s image feature (of easily showing the images) still works in most cases with Fast Image Blocker activated at the same time.
Here is the direct download link to Fast Image Blocker for Google Chrome:
After installing Fast Image Blocker, click on the camera icon and remove every single site already put into the “exceptions list”. Press the X icon in order to remove a website from the list. There are a lot of websites put into this list as exceptions as you will see after having installed the program (not a smart move, since it makes people think the program doesn’t work!).
Only add exceptions (the + icon with the address already inserted) that are absolutely necessary or needed, since it won’t block images on that site if you have it added.
Also, when clicking the camera icon, if the camera icon in the menu is colored, this means the image blocker is activated; if it is grey, it means it is disabled for all websites.
Since there are some known problems when using both of these image blockers at the same time, it is advisable that you read the section “Solutions to some known problems when using the extensions”. It is important that you use both image blockers at the same time.
If you want to use other image blockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:
For best flash and html5 blockers for Google Chrome web-browser, visit these links:
(A flash blocker helps you have more control of flash content by preventing it from loading in webpages until you allow it, such as videos and other flash related content, which means that you cannot see videos or things that are flash related playing or showing their content automatically without you first having given your authorization.)
This flash blocker is the only one we currently recommend for Chrome since it blocks more flash content than any other flash blocker we know of.
But in order for the this flash blocker to work properly, you need also to download and install an extension that blocks html5 content from automatically playing on youtube and on other websites that you are browsing, such as this one:
Disable HTML5 Autoplay:
Since html5 is becoming the new standard online, is not enough with just a flash blocker anymore; and most youtube videos are also automatically played with the new html5 format when available.
In order to learn all the information you need to know about these flash and html5 blockers and how to use and configure them in the best possible way for your own convenience, please see the Flashcontrol section, and the Disable HTML5 Autoplay section for Google Chrome.
If you want to use other flash blockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:
Also, in Firefox, the images displayed by Google is not blocked by all image blockers. 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. Please see the best image blockers for Firefox for all the information on how to safely block all images in this web-browser.
Always surf without images on. Don’t be a fool by rejecting this advice of the Popes and Saints of the Church concerning the unlawfulness of putting oneself in the proximate occasion for sinning and of looking on things that are unlawful to covet or behold 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.
And yes, it is a sin to refuse to follow this advice since it’s virtually impossible to escape bad and immodest images and commercials of men or women tempting you every day when surfing the internet (and the same of course applies to watching most media too, which is why we recommend people never to watch movable images and that they only listen to the audio). Only a condemned person not fearing God or sin at all would refuse to follow this good advice that helps him avoid falling into sexual temptations and sins everyday.
St. Alphonus, On Avoiding the Occasions of Sin: “We find in this day’s gospel that after his resurrection Jesus Christ entered, though the doors were closed, into the house in which the apostles were assembled, and stood in the midst of them. St. Thomas says that the mystical meaning of this miracle is that the Lord does not enter into our souls unless we keep the door of the senses shut. (On John, 20, 4) If, then, we wish Jesus Christ to dwell within us, we must keep the doors of our senses closed against dangerous occasions, otherwise the devil will make us his slaves. I will show today the great danger of perdition to which they who do not avoid the occasions of sin expose themselves.
“1. We read in the Scriptures that Christ and Lazarus arose from the dead. Christ rose to die no more: "Christ rising from the dead, dies no more." (Rom. 6. 9); but Lazarus arose and died again. The Abbot Guerric remarks that Christ arose free and unbound; "but Lazarus came forth bound feet and hands." (John 11.44) Miserable the man, adds this author, who rises from sin bound by any dangerous occasion: he will die again by losing the divine grace. He, then, who wishes to save his soul, must not only abandon sin, but also the occasions of sin: that is, he must renounce such an intimacy, such a house; he must renounce those wicked companions, and all similar occasions that incite him to sin.
“2. In consequence of original sin, we all have an inclination to do what is forbidden. Hence St. Paul complained that he experienced in himself a law opposed to reason: "But I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin." (Rom. 7.23) Now, when a dangerous occasion is present, it violently excites our corrupt desires, so that it is then very difficult to resist them: because God withholds efficacious helps from those who voluntarily expose themselves to the occasion of sin. "He that loves danger shall perish in it." (Ecclus. 3.27) "When," says St. Thomas, in his comment on this passage, "we expose ourselves to danger, God abandons us in it." St. Bernardine of Siena teaches that the counsel of avoiding the occasions of sin is the best of all counsel, and as it were the foundation of religion.
“3. St. Peter says that "the devil goes about seeking whom he may devour." (1 Pet. 5.8) He is constantly going about our souls, endeavoring to enter and take possession of them. Hence, he seeks to place before us the occasions of sin, by which he enters the soul. "Explorat," says St. Cyprian, "an sit pars cujus aditu penetret." When the soul yields to the suggestions of the devil, and exposes itself to the occasions of sin, he easily enters and devours it. The ruin of our first parents arose from their not flying from the occasions of sin. God had prohibited them not only to eat, but even to touch the forbidden apple. In answer to the serpent tempting her, Eve said: "God has commanded us that we should not eat, and that we should not touch it." (Gen. 3.3) But "she saw, took, and ate" the forbidden fruit: she first looked at it, she then took it into her hands, and afterwards ate it. This is what ordinarily happens to all who expose themselves to the occasions of sin. Hence, being once compelled by exorcisms to tell the sermon which displeased him most, the devil confessed that it was the sermon on avoiding the occasions of sin. As long as we expose ourselves to the occasions of sin, the devil laughs at all our good purposes and promises made to God. The greatest care of the enemy is to induce us not to avoid evil occasions; for these occasions, like a veil placed before the eyes, prevent us from seeing either the lights received from God, or the eternal truths, or the resolutions we have made: in a word, they make us forget all, and as it were force us into sin.
“4. "Know it to be a communication with death; for you are going in the midst of snares." (Ecclus. 9.20) Everyone born in this world enters into the midst of snares. Hence, the Wise Man advises those who wish to be secure to guard themselves against the snares of the world, and to withdraw from them. "He that is aware of the snares shall be secure." (Prov. 11.15) But if, instead of withdrawing from them, a Christian approaches them, how can he avoid being caught by them? Hence, after having with so much loss learned the danger of exposing himself to the danger of sin, David said that, to continue faithful to God, he kept at a distance from every occasion which could lead him to relapse. "I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep your words." (Ps. 118.101) He does not say from every sin, but from every evil way which conducts to sin. The devil is careful to find pretexts to make us believe that certain occasions to which we expose ourselves are not voluntary, but necessary. When the occasion in which we are placed is really necessary, the Lord always helps us to avoid sin; but we sometimes imagine certain necessities which are not sufficient to excuse us. "A treasure is never safe," says St. Cyprian, "as long as a robber is harbored within; nor is a lamb secure while it dwells in the same den with a wolf." (Lib. de Sing. Cler.) The saint speaks against those who do not wish to remove the occasions of sin, and still say: "I am not afraid that I shall fall." As no one can be secure of his treasure if he keeps a thief in his house, and as a lamb cannot be sure of its life if it remain in the den of a wolf, so likewise no one can be secure of the treasure of divine grace if he is resolved to continue in the occasion of sin. St. James teaches that every man has within himself a powerful enemy, that is, his own evil inclinations, which tempt him to sin. "Every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, drawn away, and allured." (James 1.14) If, then, we do not fly from the external occasions, how can we resist temptation and avoid sin? Let us, therefore, place before our eyes the general remedy which Jesus has prescribed for conquering temptations and saving our souls. "If your right eye scandalize you, pluck it out and cast it from you." (Matt. 5.29) If you find that your right eye is to you a cause of damnation, you must pull it out and cast it far from you; that is, when there is danger of losing your soul, you must fly from all evil occasions. St. Francis of Assisi used to say, as I have stated in another sermon, that the devil does not seek, in the beginning, to bind timorous souls with the chain of mortal sin; because they would be alarmed at the thought of committing mortal sin, and would fly from it with horror: he endeavors to bind them by a single hair, which does not excite much fear; because by this means he will succeed more easily in strengthening their bonds, till he makes them his slaves. Hence he who wishes to be free from the danger of being the slave of hell must break all the hairs by which the enemy attempts to bind him; that is, he must avoid all occasions of sin, such as certain manners of speech, places, little presents, and words of affection. With regard to those who have had a habit of impurity, it will not be sufficient to avoid proximate (near) occasions; if they do not fly from remote occasions, they will very easily relapse into their former sins.
“5. Impurity, says St. Augustine, is a vice which makes war on all, and which few conquer. "The fight is common, but the victory rare." How many miserable souls have entered the contest with this vice, and have been defeated! But to induce you to expose yourselves to occasions of this sin, the devil will tell you not to be afraid of being overcome by the temptation. "I do not wish," says St. Jerome, "to fight with the hope of victory, lest I should sometimes lose the victory." I will not expose myself to the combat with the hope of conquering; because, by voluntarily engaging in the fight, I shall lose my soul and my God. To escape defeat in this struggle, a great grace of God is necessary; and to render ourselves worthy of this grace, we must, on our part, avoid the occasions of sin. To practice the virtue of chastity, it is necessary to recommend ourselves continually to God: we have not strength to preserve it; that strength must be the gift of God. "And as I knew," says the Wise Man, "that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, … I went to the Lord, and besought him." (Wis. 8.21) But if we expose ourselves to the occasions of sin, we ourselves shall provide our rebellious flesh with arms to make war against the soul. "Neither," says the Apostle, "yield your members as instruments of sin unto iniquity." (Rom. 6.13) In explaining this passage, St. Cyril of Alexandria says: "You stimulate the flesh; you arm it, and make it powerful against the spirit." St. Philip Neri used to say that in the war against the vice of impurity, the victory is gained by cowards -- that is, by those who fly from the occasions of this sin. But the man who exposes himself to it, arms his flesh, and renders it so powerful, that it will be morally impossible for him to resist its attacks.
“6. "Cry out," says the Lord to Isaiah, "all flesh is grass." (Isa. 40.6) Now, says St. John Chrysostom, if all flesh is grass, it is as foolish for a man who exposes himself to the occasion of sin to hope to preserve the virtue of purity, as to expect that hay, into which a torch has been thrown, will not catch fire. "Put a torch into hay, and then dare to deny that the hay will burn." No, says St. Cyprian; it is impossible to stand in the midst of flames, and not to burn. "Impossibile est flammis circumdari et non ardere." (De Sing. Cler.) "Can a man," says the Holy Spirit, "hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not burn? or can he walk upon hot coals, and his feet not be burnt?" (Prov. 6.27, 28) Not to be burnt in such circumstances would be a miracle. St. Bernard teaches that to preserve chastity, and, at the same time, to expose oneself to the proximate occasion of sin, "is a greater miracle than to raise a dead man to life."
“7. In explaining the fifth Psalm, St. Augustine says that "he who is unwilling to fly from danger, wishes to perish in it." Hence, in another place, he exhorts those who wish to conquer, and not to perish, to avoid dangerous occasions. "In the occasion of falling into sin, take flight, if you desire to gain the victory." (Serm. 250 de temp.) Some foolishly trust in their own strength, and do not see that their strength is like that of flax placed in the fire. "And your strength shall be as the ashes of tow." (Isa. 1.31) Others, trusting in the change which has taken place in their life, in their confessions, and in the promises they have made to God, say: Through the grace of the Lord, I have now no bad motive in seeking the company of such a person; her presence is not even an occasion of temptations: Listen, all you who speak in this manner. In Mauritania there are bears that go in quest of the apes, to feed upon them: as soon as a bear appears, the apes run up the trees, and thus save themselves. But what does the bear do? He stretches himself on the ground as if dead, and waits till the apes descend from the trees. The moment he sees that they have descended, he springs up, seizes on them, and devours them. It is thus the devil acts: he makes the temptation appear to be dead; but when a soul descends, and exposes itself to the occasion of sin, he stirs up temptation, and devours it. Oh! how many miserable souls, devoted to spiritual things, to mental prayer, to frequent communion, and to a life of holiness have, by exposing themselves to the occasion of sin, become the slaves of the devil! We find in ecclesiastical history that a holy woman, who employed herself in the pious office of burying the martyrs, once found among them one who was not as yet dead. She brought him into her own house, and procured a physician and medicine for him, till he recovered. But, what happened? These two saints (as they might be called -- one of them on the point of being a martyr, the other devoting her time to works of mercy with so much risk of being persecuted by the tyrants) first fell into sin and lost the grace of God, and, becoming weaker by sin, afterwards denied the faith. St. Macarius relates a similar fact regarding an old man who suffered to be half-burned in defense of the faith; but, being brought back into prison he, unfortunately for himself, formed an intimacy with a devout woman who served the martyrs, and fell into sin.
“8. The Holy Spirit tells us that we must fly from sin as from a serpent. "Flee from sin as from the face of a serpent." (Ecclus. 21.2) Hence, as we not only avoid the bite of a serpent, but are careful neither to touch nor approach it, so we must fly not only from sin, but also from the occasion of sin -- that is, from the house, the conversation, the person that would lead us to sin. St. Isidore says that he who wishes to remain near a serpent, will not remain long unhurt. "Juxta serpentem positus non erit sin illaesus." (Solit., Bk. 2) Hence, if any person is likely to prove an occasion of your ruin, the admonition of the Wise Man is, "Remove your way far from her, and come not near the doors of her house." (Prov. 5.8) He not only tells you not to enter the house which has been to you a road to hell ("Her house is the way to hell." Prov. 7.27); but he also cautions you not to approach it, and even to keep at a distance from it. "Remove your way far from her." But, you will say, if I abandon that house, my temporal affairs shall suffer. It is better that you should suffer a temporal loss, than that you should lose your soul and your God. You must be persuaded that, in whatever regards chastity, there cannot be too great caution. If we wish to save our souls from sin and hell, we must always fear and tremble. "With fear and trembling work out your salvation." (Phil. 2.12) He who is not fearful, but exposes himself to occasions of sin, shall scarcely be saved. Hence, in our prayers we ought to say every day, and several times in the day, that petition of the Our Father, "and lead us not into temptation." Lord, do not permit me to be attacked by those temptations which would deprive me of your grace. We cannot merit the grace of perseverance; but, according to St. Augustine, God grants it to every one that asks it, because he has promised to hear all who pray to him. Hence, the holy doctor says that the Lord, "by his promises has made himself a debtor" (cf. Romans 4:25).” (Hell’s Widest Gate: Impurity, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Sermons (nn. 2-4) taken from Ascetical Works, Volume XVI: Sermons for all Sundays in the Year (1882) pp. 152-173)
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.
“St. Dorotheus says: "Beware of too much speaking, for it banishes from the soul holy thoughts and recollection with God." Speaking of religious that cannot abstain from inquiring after worldly news, St. Joseph Calasanctius said: "The curious religious shows that he has forgotten himself." It is certain that he who speaks too much with men converses but little with God, for the Lord says: "I will lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart." (Osee, ii. 14.) If, then, the soul wishes that God speak to its heart, it must seek after solitude; but this solitude will never be found by religious who do not love silence. "If," said the Venerable Margaret of the Cross, "we remain silent, we shall find solitude." And how will the Lord ever condescend to speak to the religious, who, by seeking after the conversation of creatures, shows that the conversation of God is not sufficient to make her happy? Hence, for a nun that delights in receiving visits and letters, in reading the newspapers, and in speaking frequently of the things of the world, it is impossible to be a good religious. Every time that she unnecessarily holds intercourse with seculars, she will suffer a diminution of fervor.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, Volume X, pp. 468-469)
We ourselves do not watch any videos anymore except exclusively when for the sake of making videos. We also try to avoid reading any secular news or other worldly websites. Now we only listen to audio, having all the movable images blocked. On YouTube, when we watch something on YouTube, we do not watch the videos but only listen to them by downloading them as audio (or video) and listened to them only in audio, or at least, by avoiding watching at the screen if we were watching it on youtube by scrolling down so that the player is not seen, or on other video sites. Anyone who cares about virtue and about their eternal salvation and for those who fear not to offend God by viewing or seeing bad scenes or images, will of course do the same thing, since it’s 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?
Question: In what way can I perform acts that might be an occasion of sinning? I like to watch different TV-programs and films, but now and then, there comes immodest and ungodly things. Is this sinful to watch?
Answer: It is almost impossible to not see bad and sensual pictures on youtube or in normal films, even so called Christian films, and this means that one must abstain from watching the film screen, and that one can only listen to the audio of the film or video. The examples of lascivious and bad things even in the most “religious” films or videos are very many as we have experienced ourselves, sad to say. Only in the case when one knows there is nothing objectionable in the film is it allowed to watch it, but since this is practically impossible to know about, one must abstain from watching the film.
Thus, those who rebel against the Church’s teaching that one may not even put oneself in “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” will undoubtedly lose their souls because of their carelessness in following Our Lord’s words. Many may think that this teaching of the Church is too harsh, but no one ever needed to watch a film screen to be saved, and in the first 5500 years of the world, all who were saved, were saved without watching any films. When we now have the direct knowledge that almost all media is suffused by lascivious pictures or acts, it is utterly unlawful to continue to put oneself in this occasion of sin.
If there were 100 doors, and only behind 1 door, there was a man eating tiger, would it be allowed for you to advice others to go into these doors just because of pleasure or curiosity or other unnecessary motives. Of course not! This is a perfect example of those who watch films. They do not know exactly what the film or video contains, and in so doing, they are risking their souls and placing themselves in the occasion of sin. Indeed, we see that the Church goes further than that by teaching that one may not even put oneself in “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor”. (Blessed Pope Innocent XI) The fact that society and the media in general have lost all sense of modesty and decency does not excuse a person who views videos or films which he does not know with certainty that there is nothing immodest in the film. In the beginning of the film industry, the films was much more modest, but even in the beginning stages, there were many lascivious acts and deeds which made it even unlawful at that time to watch films in general, since one risks one’s soul by chancing to watch a film or video. Since one now has the knowledge that the world’s media is filled with lasciviousness, it is utterly unlawful to continue to watch different films or videos unless one knows with certainty that the film or video does not contain lascivious pictures or acts.
Lamentably, even so called Catholics nowadays have no clue about the Church’s teaching about abstaining from all occasions of sin, and the blindness concerning purity and modesty is almost total even among those who call themselves traditional Catholic, which we have sadly experienced over and over again, until we understood that we would be forced to not watch any motion picture at all, even by so called traditionals. Sad to say, many times it seems that the more “traditional” an organization or group claims to be, the less they have any clue about what true modesty and purity is. Indeed, even an organization like “Most Holy Family Monastery” which is viewed by most so called Catholics as an ultra-traditional and ultra-strict organization, has no clue about even normal decency, and posted a picture of a totally nude statue of a man which showed the genitals or private sexual parts. In the video called “Fr. Z’s...”, which no one is allowed to watch on the screen as it is indecent, (but it can be lawfully listened to without seeing the video, motion picture or screen) MHFM was critiquing another man who had posted the picture of a statue of a muscular and totally naked man that was very life like, and thus could tempt many women. MHFM were of course right in criticizing him for tempting women by this naked picture, but then, in a fit of diabolical stupidity, MHFM themselves reposted this indecent image in the video for the whole world to see.
A so called traditional writer of the website traditioninaction.org who defended himself in publicly posting nude, half nude or totally immodestly posing or dressed women, such as in bikini’s, on his website for the purpose of “exposing” the Vatican II corruption, also dared to compare himself when publicly posting mortally sinful inducing images for the whole world to see with “When a lawyer in a courtroom describes details of the sexual humiliation suffered by a victim of a pedophile priest, he is not doing so to promote immorality or induce the members of the jury to sin.” But this is a false argument since what is occurring behind closed doors (and that is not for the public) and for a legal purpose has no comparison with his own action of publicly posting immodest and mortally sinful inducing images for not only the whole world to see, but also for minors, youths, the married, the weak and even the old alike!
This devil also said recently in defending himself when being accused for posting pictures that could only be described as pornographic: “If we would have completely covered with black stripes the provocative parts [of the nude model] of those photos, many would say that they do not prove anything; perhaps you would be among those. Since we let our readers know who that woman the Pope embraced actually is – distorting as much as possible those photos without destroying the evidence – you jumped against us claiming that you are scandalized and accusing us of promoting sin.”
The article the reader was exposed to said this: “We reproduce some of the [nude] model’s poses below to brief our readers and allow them to evaluate the inconceivable moral abyss into which Francis is dragging present day Rome [by having embraced this woman]”. It goes without saying, but no one may enter this website with images on or watch their evil image section “exposing” corruption since it is a mortal sin to behold such things and an occasion of sin; the same applies to novusordowatch.org and similar evil websites posting lascivious and nude images, but novusordowatch.org is worse since they have a function that pops up their other articles and related images to that article at the bottom of their website, which means that any image may be displayed there according to their perverted standard, which means that even if you read a religious article with images on that you deemed safe, something immodest may be forced in your face against your will when scrolling down. This is why we stress that one must avoid having pictures on when surfing nowadays, for even the most so called traditional websites, are totally clueless about what modesty and occasion of sin is.
Many might think that these “excuses” by this “traditional” writer excuses their film watching, but the Church, as we have seen, teaches that one may not even put oneself in “the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor” and those who watch most of the videos, does not do so for any necessity but only for fun or pleasure. Thus, it is obvious from the light of natural reason that one may not risk one’s soul, even in the case when one intends to do it for a spiritual good, according to the teaching of the Church.
No one ever needed to see such pictures to be able to understand truths of the Christian Faith, or in order to be saved. This is just a sinful excuse. Indeed, in a courtroom, when a criminal is being judged, for example, for possessing or selling drugs, the jury or judge does not try the drugs to see whether it is really drugs or not, but a single lab confirms this through a test, and the reason why not all in the courtroom does try it, is in part because all understand that drugs are harmful. This is a perfect example to sensual pictures. Since these pictures act like a drug on the man or woman who look at them: one must do all in one’s power to restrict access to these and similar things so that the weak may not fall and enter hell. So those who watch films or videos which they do not know with certainty has nothing lascivious in it, are committing the exact same act as a person who would say to another person: “Look, this pill may kill my soul, and place myself in the occasion of sinning, but I will have a taste and see whether it is evil or not!” Who but a madman would act in this way, and yet, this is exactly what most people do right now, when they tempt themselves or others by placing themselves in the occasion of sin.
Until our death, we are obligated under pain of mortal sin to avoid all occasions of sin. St. Alphonsus tells us in On Avoiding the Occasion of Sin: “Now, no one can receive absolution unless he purpose firmly to avoid the occasion of sin; because to expose himself to such occasions, though sometimes he should not fall into sin, is for him a grievous sin.” Indeed, “The catechist must explain that those who do not abstain from voluntary proximate occasions of grievous sin are guilty of a mortal sin, even though they have the intention of not committing the bad act, to the danger of which they expose themselves”. St Augustine’s Confessions reiterates this point: “I resist seductions of the eyes, lest my feet with which I advance on Your way be entangled; and I raise my invisible eyes to You, that You would be pleased to pluck my feet out of the net.”
When sensual pictures exist that shows us something we need to explain or expose to others, they must be described in text rather than in a picture, as the picture works in the same way as drugs on a drug addict. There can be no doubt that countless billions of souls have been damned because of lascivious acts in films as well as sensual pictures, and yet so called Christians are totally clueless to this truth that one can even understand from the light of natural reason. Thus, the only logical solution to our evil times, is to totally cut off watching all motion picture media.
This is truly the great challenge of our evil times: to be able to resist to watch media even though it is so delightful and fun to do so. Most people do not even try to cut off watching media, but are totally hooked on it like a drug addict, and this is undoubtedly a great reason, if not the greatest reason, why they will be damned. Since people nowadays do not resist their evil inclination to place themselves in the occasion of sinning, it is easy to see why so few nowadays possess any virtues, and why almost all are non-Catholic heretics. Simply said, one must choose whether one values one’s soul above the pleasure of watching a screen for a little and brief moment in this short life. A person who is God-fearing and who fears hell and often meditates on death and the eternal punishment of the damned, will of course not hesitate one moment to cut of all occasions of sinning. Those, however, who presumptuously scorns to listen to these facts of both the Natural Law as well as the teaching of the Church and Her Saints, refusing to meditate on hell and the punishment of going against God’s Eternal Law, will experience eternal hell at the moment of death, but then it will be too late to amend.
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)
Nowadays, however, the fear of Hell has vanished completely, and that is why no one cares anything about avoiding the occasion of sin. But the time will come when they shall lift up their voices in lamentation and weeping and curse themselves for refusing to avoid the occasion of sin, but then, it is sadly too late for them. “And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night...” (Apocalypse 14:11)
St. Leonard of Port Maurice (A.D. 1676-1751), when speaking on the fewness of the saved, shows us how the Church and Her Fathers and Saints is unanimous in teaching this biblical doctrine: “After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he [Suarez] wrote, ‘The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians [Catholics], there are more damned souls than predestined souls.’ Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, ‘Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom.’ Saint Anselm declares, ‘There are few who are saved.’ Saint Augustine states even more clearly, ‘Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned.’ The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: ‘Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence.’ (On The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved, by St. Leonard of Port Maurice)
What would not the billions of suffering souls in Hell do, who fell into the most horrifying torments imaginable for the sake of carnal impurities and temptations of the flesh, if they had a second chance to escape their eternal torment? In truth, they would gladly walk on the surface of the Sun, which is millions of degrees hot for a billion times billion years if God enabled them to do so. To choose a single second of sinful pleasure (which is how short this life is compared to eternity) for an infinite time of excruciating torments and tortures in hell is unfathomable, and yet, literally the whole world consents to this devilish trap!
Take heed that you, the reader, do not reject this admonishment, for it might be the last time you will hear such words before death suddenly strikes you and the Devil takes you and devours you for all eternity to come! “… Take all states, both sexes, every condition: husbands, wives, widows, young women, young men, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen, rich and poor, noble and plebian. What are we to say about all these people who are living so badly? The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, ‘Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to Heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.’ Our chronicles relate an even more dreadful happening. One of our brothers, well-known for his doctrine and holiness, was preaching in Germany. He represented the ugliness of the sin of impurity so forceful that a woman fell dead of sorrow in front of everyone. Then, coming back to life, she said, ‘When I was presented before the Tribunal of God, sixty thousand people arrived at the same time from all parts of the world; out of that number, three were saved by going to Purgatory, and all the rest were damned.’ O abyss of the judgments of God! Out of thirty thousand, only five were saved! And out of sixty thousand, only three went to Heaven! You sinners who are listening to me, in what category will you be numbered?... What do you say?... What do you think?...” (On The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved, by St. Leonard of Port Maurice)
Fr. Martin Von Cochem’s masterpiece book “The Four Last Things” (that deals specifically with the topics of Hell, the fear of God, death and judgment), explains the frightful truth of Our Lord’s words in the Gospel of how few people there actually are on this earth that even find the path to Heaven even once while living on this earth, and much less persevere on it until their death:
“Let me ask thee, O reader, what proportion thinkest thou of all who live upon this earth will be saved? Half? or a third part? or perhaps a quarter? Alas, I fear, and not without good reason, that the number will not be nearly so large. Jesus Christ, who is eternal Truth, His holy apostles, and the Fathers of the Church, all tell us that so it will be.
“What does Christ say about the number of the elect? His words are these: "Many are called, but few are chosen." He repeats these words when He speaks of the guest who had not on a wedding garment: "Bind his hands and his feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness. For many are called, but few chosen." Were nothing more to be found to this intent in the whole of the Scriptures, this passage could not fail to alarm us. But there are many other similar ones, of which I will quote one or two. In the Gospel of St. Matthew we read that Our Lord said: "Enter ye in at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth unto destruction, and many there are that go in thereat. How narrow is the gate and strait is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there are that find it." (Matt. 7:13) Are not these words calculated to inspire us with anxiety and apprehension? May not we be amongst those who go in at the wide gate, who walk on the broad road that ends in everlasting perdition? In order that thou mayst better appreciate the meaning of Our Lord’s words, and perceive more clearly how few are the elect, observe that Christ did not say that those were few in number who walked in the path to heaven, but that there were but few who found that narrow way. "How strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there are that find it." It is as if the Savior intended to say: The path leading to heaven is so narrow and so rough, it is so overgrown, so dark and difficult to discern, that there are many who, their whole life long, never find it. And those who do find it are exposed constantly to the danger of deviating from it, of mistaking their way and unwittingly wandering away from it, because it is so irregular and overgrown. This St. Jerome says, in his commentary on the passage in question. Again, there are some who when they are on the right road, hasten to leave it, because it is so steep and toilsome. There are also many who are enticed to leave the narrow way by the wiles and deceits of the devil, and thus, almost imperceptibly to themselves, are led downwards to hell.” (Fr. Martin Von Cochem, The Four Last Things, pp. 212-213)
If people could only open their fleshly eyes and start seeing with their spiritual eyes how short this life and the lust of the flesh is, everyone would immediately start avoiding the occasions of sin, but no one today wants to contemplate or meditate on the end of all flesh, which is death and decay in the grave. They behave as mentally ill people who willfully forgets that they must die and be judged by our Lord Jesus Christ. The thought of death is indeed powerful to conquer every sin and sinful occasion, but while people know that they must die, they willfully choose to forget this fact, since the very thought of death and change is repugnant to their fleshly beings, and directly associated with the thought of being judged by God for their sins. And so, they choose to forget that they must die and be judged by God in order to not have to feel any distress, fear or remorse from their evil conscience every time they sin.
But the time will come when they – standing in shame and ignominy in front of the whole world at the day of judgment – will be forced against their will to remember and confess every single sinful and lustful act that they have ever committed from the moment they reached the age of reason to their very last breath, and then, after their just condemnation, their eternal punishment will begin. Their soul shall be separated from their sinful and fleshly rotting body for the sake of their vile and shameful affections and lusts and be cast into the eternal fire “in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Apocalypse 21:8)
And those who claim they are not troubled by the sensual pictures in videos or films still cannot excuse their film watching since they not only tempt themselves, but also others by their film watching, and no one can be so prideful to think that he cannot fall into sin at any moment. There is no way to know one has ever achieved such a state of purity that looking at an attractive woman would not cause concupiscence to flare up and overtake him. In addition, according to one story found in the Life of the Holy Fathers, it is explained how those people who, being already owned by the devil in other ways, may not even be tempted much by him with sexual temptations or imaginations, since, being already his own, he leaves them alone. Also, according to the same text, “those who are freed from [impure] thoughts are those who have moved into [sinful] deeds”. But if this is true with only thoughts, how much more true when actually viewing impure images? Hence if these people were more troubled with sexual temptations, one should think that they would be more on their guard and be more careful about themselves and of falling and exposing themselves (and others) to this sin. But since the devil don’t want evil people to be on their guard and that they should continue giving others a bad example, he sometimes leaves off tempting them.
Life of the Holy Fathers, Book 5, On Sexual Temptation: “There was a certain brother who was most zealous in ordering his life. And when he was grievously troubled by the demon of sex he went to a certain old man and told him his thoughts. When this “expert” heard, he was indignant and called the brother a miserable wretch unworthy of the monk’s habit to entertain such thoughts. The brother, hearing this, despaired of himself, left his cell and began to go back to the world. But by the mercy of God, abba Apollo met him, and seeing that he was upset and unhappy he asked him, "Brother, why so sad?" In great confusion of mind he was at first unwilling to answer, but in the face of much questioning by the old man as to what the matter was he at last confessed, saying, "I am bothered by thoughts of sex, and I confessed to that old man and according to him there is no hope of salvation for me, so in despair I’m going back to the world." When father Apollo heard this he talked and reasoned with him like a wise physician, saying, "Don’t be too dumbfounded, or despairing of yourself. Even at my age and state of life I can be greatly troubled by thoughts such as these. Don’t collapse in this time of testing; it can be cured not so much by human advice as by the mercy of God. But just for today grant me one request: go back to your cell." This the brother did. Abba Apollo however hastened to the cell of that old man who had sown despair and standing outside prayed the Lord, "Lord, who allows us to be tempted for our good, [temptations often leads us to avoid putting ourselves in the proximate danger of falling] turn the battle which this brother has suffered against this old man, that in his old age he may learn from experience what he didn’t learn long since, that you must have compassion on those who are troubled by this sort of temptation."
“Having completed his prayer he saw an Ethiopian standing by the cell casting arrows against this old man, who, severely wounded, began to stagger about here and there as if drunk with wine. Unable to bear it any longer he rushed out of the cell and began to return to the world by the same road as the young brother had taken. But abba Apollo, knowing what was happening, met him, and running up to him asked, "Where are you going? And what is the reason for the agitated state you are in?" But he, sensing that the holy man knew all about what was happening, could say nothing for very shame. "Go back to your cell," said abba Apollo, "and acknowledge your own weakness, recognise it as part of yourself. For either you have been overlooked by the devil up till now, or else despised as being so lacking in virtue as to be unworthy of striving against him. Did I say ‘strife’? You weren’t even able to put up with his attacks for a single day! But all this happened to you because when that young man was attacked by our common adversary, instead of giving him helpful advice against the devil as you ought, you drove him into despair, forgetful of that wise precept by which we are bidden to save those on a pathway towards death and neglect not to redeem the condemned (Proverbs 14). Nor have you heeded the sayings of our Saviour, ‘A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoking flax he shall not quench’ (Matthew 12.20). No one can withstand the attacks of the enemy, or quench and contain the fire of rebellious nature, unless the grace of God comes to the aid of our natural infirmity, which in all our prayer we beg God in his mercy to heal in us, and that he may turn away from us the attacks launched against us, for it is of him that we are cast down and again restored to the way of salvation, it is he who strikes and then heals us with his hands, he humbles and exalts, he kills and makes alive, he leads us down to the depths and raises us up again" (1 Kings 2).
“Having said this he prayed, and at once the old man was freed from that battle. And abba Apollo urged him to seek from the Lord a tongue of discretion, so that he might know when the time was right for giving a sermon.
“V.v.5. Syrus Alexandrinus, when asked about sexual thoughts replied thus, "If you didn’t have thoughts you would be a hopeless case, since those who are freed from thoughts are those who have moved into deeds, that is, those who have sinned in the body are the ones who have not fought against thoughts of sin, or turned them down. The one who sins in the body has gone beyond being troubled by thoughts." ”
St. Alphonsus Liguori speaks further of avoiding even the remote occasion of sin such as looking in the face, saluting with affection etc.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus: “4. The Flight from Dangerous Occasions.
“This fourth point should often be recommended in the mission; for an innumerable multitude of souls are lost by not wishing to avoid the occasions of sin. Oh, how many souls are now in hell who cry out, weeping: Unhappy me, if I had kept from this occasion I should never have damned my soul for all eternity!
“The Holy Ghost reminds us that he who loves the danger will fall into sin, will perish; ‘He that loveth danger shall perish in it.’ [Eccl. 3:26] St. Thomas explains to us the reason; commenting on this text, he says that when we voluntarily expose ourselves to danger, or when we neglect to keep from it, God abandons us in it. And St. Bernardine of Sienna assures us that among the counsels of Jesus Christ the counsel of fleeing from the occasion of sin is the most important, is, as it were, the foundation of religion.
“The preacher should then take care to remind the people that when they are tempted, especially if the occasion presents itself, they should avoid reasoning with the temptation. What the devil desires is precisely that we should parley with it; for thereby he will easily conquer us. We must in this case flee from the occasion at once, and invoke the names of Jesus and Mary without listening to the enemy who tempts us.
“St. Peter assures us that the devil prowls around every soul to devour it. [1 Pet. 5:8] On this text St. Cyprian says that the devil goes about without ceasing, and examines by what door he may enter. When a dangerous occasion presents itself, the devil at once says to himself: Here is the door by which I can enter this soul. And immediately he begins to tempt the soul. If we then neglect to flee from the occasion, we shall certainly yield to it, especially when the object of the temptation is a carnal sin. Hence the devil is not so much afraid of our good resolutions and our promises not to offend God as to see us flee from the occasion; for, if we do not flee from it, it becomes a bandage which is put over our eyes, and makes us forget all the eternal truths, all the lights received, and all the promises made to God. And if any one finds himself sunken in impure sins, he should avoid as much as possible the occasions, not only the proximate, but also the remote occasions, for he is less capable of resisting. We should not, then, labor under the illusion by pretending that it is a necessary occasion which we need not avoid; for Jesus Christ has said: ‘If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.’ [Matt. 5:29] Even if it were your right eye, to escape damnation it would be necessary to pluck it out and cast it from you, that is, by fleeing from this occasion, however remote it may be; for on account of your weakness it is proximate for you.
“St. Francis of Assisi, speaking of persons who have the fear of God, gives an excellent advice concerning remote occasions: he says that for persons who fear to lose God, the devil, in the occasions, does not at first excite them to grave faults; he begins by attaching them with a hair, which afterwards, in time, may through his suggestions become a chain, and he thus succeeds in dragging them into mortal sin. Hence in our relations with persons of the other sex, we should take care to break off from the beginning every kind of attachment, however feeble it may be, by avoiding even the remote occasions, such as looking them in the face, saluting them with affection, receiving notes or presents from them, and much more, saying tender words to them.
“We should, above all, be convinced that we who are by nature sensual have not the strength to preserve the virtue of chastity; God only in his goodness can grant us this strength. Now it is true that the Lord hears him who prays to him; but if any one exposes himself to the occasion, and knowing it, does not remove from it, his prayers are not heard, according to the words of the Holy Ghost already quoted: ‘He that loveth danger shall perish in it.’ Alas! how many are there who, for not having fled from the occasions of this kind, although they led holy lives, ended by falling into sin and becoming hardened in it? With fear and trembling, says the Apostle, work out your salvation: He that does not tremble, and dares to expose himself to dangerous occasions, above all to occasions of carnal sins, will be saved with difficulty.
“Since these counsels about the flight of dangerous occasions is so important, it is not sufficient, if the preacher speaks about it once to his people, or even devotes an entire sermon to it, as some do, and do well; but as these occasions are numerous, and men are careless about avoiding them, the world becoming thereby so corrupt, we must come back to this point and insist upon it several times during the mission. On this depends the salvation of those persons who, although they come to the mission, yet are not present at the sermon on the flight from dangerous occasions.
“I add another remark, which it would be well to make all understand, and especially confessors. When a penitent has never avoided the occasion in which he has been accustomed to sin, it will be necessary for him to make a general confession, because one should judge that all the confessions that he has made in this state are null. One should also presume the same thing in the case of those who, although they have always confessed their sins, yet never gave any sign of amendment, and fell back a little while after into sin; only a general confession can induce these people to amend their lives.”
From the very beginning, the movies often presented sensual or illicit acts, although the incidence of such occurrences have increased much more in our times. It is very sad, but our generation are born totally blind to God’s standard of modesty, and this blindness is also the reason why we do not avoid the occasion of sin. Although we can understand the truth from natural reason alone that one must avoid all occasions of sin if we examine the inner recesses of our soul, as we have shown here, so little is done nowadays to educate the young, which results in that their own bad will smothers every inspiration that their soul and conscience gives to them that their way of life is displeasing to Our Lord.
If Jesus today would have come to visit most of the people who deludes themselves into thinking that they are traditional Catholics or Christians, he would be outraged how little that person strove to avoid the occasions of sinning in media; and just because the media have evolved to such a state of degradation that almost all is evil does not minimize the guilt of all people who refuse to avoid things which they know can have things that will tempt their eyes and sensuality. “Everyone knows what damage is done to the soul by bad motion pictures. They are occasions of sin; they seduce young people along the ways of evil by glorifying the passions; they show life under a false light; they cloud ideals; they destroy pure love, respect for marriage, affection for the family. They are capable also of creating prejudices among individuals and misunderstandings among nations, among social classes, among entire races.” (Pope Pius XI, Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936)
“Concerning this matter We make a father’s appeal to Our dear young, trusting that -- since We speak of entertainment in which their innocence can be exposed to danger -- they will be outstanding for their Christian restraint and prudence. They have a grave obligation to check and control that natural and unrestrained eagerness to see and hear everything, and they must keep their minds free from immodest and earthly pleasures and direct them to higher things.” (Pius XII, Miranda Prorsus, June 29, 1936)
If it would be something else evil, such as visiting a brothel for some good reason, such as eating there, we would be attuned to the fact that this may be a great occasion of sin, and so rightly conclude that it would be a sin to go there, but now when we sit comfortably at home, we falsely think that God somehow requires less vigilance in keeping away from all occasions of sin. Regrettably, the comfort and ease of media coming directly to us at home, have undoubtedly helped bring untold of evils to so called Christians and their children, with the result of billions being damned, and the statistics of sins that have skyrocketed after Vatican II is a great testament to the fact that media have been the greatest cause in why people are so perverted and evil nowadays.
“It is unfortunate that, in the present state of affairs, this influence [of motion pictures] is frequently exerted for evil. So much so that when one thinks of the havoc wrought in the souls of youth and of childhood, of the loss of innocence so often suffered in the motion picture theatres, there comes to mind the terrible condemnation pronounced by Our Lord upon the corrupters of little ones: "whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones who believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea" [Matthew 18:5-6].” (Pope Pius XI, Vigilanti Cura) Indeed, knowing the danger of today’s media makes it seem idiotic to keep a TV, since it will undoubtedly be a great source of temptation to watch all kinds of TV-programs that can tempt a person or put them in the occasion of sin.
That so much naked religious images have been made, spread and depicted even in churches! during the last 700 years or so 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 the Church to what it is has become today. Our duty as Catholics, however, is to continue to reject the world and its vanities, however much the world may fall away from God and the Faith: “There must be no weariness in combating whatever contributes to the lessening of the people’s sense of decency and of honour. This is an obligation which binds not only the Bishops but also the faithful and all decent men who are solicitous for the decorum and moral health of the family, of the nation, and of human society in general.” (Pope Pius XI, Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936)
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.
St. Alphonsus: “Listen to this example: A boy used often to go to confession; and every one took him to be a saint. One night he had a hemorrhage, and he was found dead. His parents went at once to his confessor, and crying begged him to recommend him to God; and he said to them: "Rejoice; your son, I know, was a little angel; God wished to take him from this world, and he must now be in heaven; should he, however, be still in purgatory, I will go to say Mass for him." He put on his vestments to go to the altar; but before leaving the sacristy, he saw himself in the presence of a frightful spectre, whom he asked in the name of God who he was. The phantom answered that he was the soul of him that had just died. Oh! is it you? exclaimed the priest; if you are in need of prayers, I am just going to say Mass for you. Alas! Mass! I am damned, I am in hell! And why? "Hear," said the soul: "I had never yet committed a mortal sin; but last night a bad thought came to my mind; I gave consent to it, and God made me die at once, and condemned me to hell as I have deserved to be. Do not say Mass for me; it would only increase my sufferings." Having spoken thus, the phantom disappeared.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, p. 167)
“O eternity, eternity! The saints tremble at the mere thought of eternity; and ye sinners, who are in disgrace with God, you do not fear? You do not tremble? It is of faith that he who dies in the state of sin goes to burn in the fire of hell for all eternity!” (Ibid, p. 108)
Scripture teaches that few are saved (Mt. 7:13) and 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)
Why are most people damned? Most people are damned because they don’t care enough about God nor fear Him enough to avoid all sin and the occasions of falling into obvious sin, nor do they love Him more than they love their own perverse will or self-love—which is the direct reason for their indifferent lifestyle; neither do they care enough about God so as to avoid even what they obviously know will lead them into possible sin. The great St. Ambrose said concerning this: “True repentance [and thus love of God] is to cease to sin [all sin, however small].”
That of course means that one must do all in one’s power to avoid not only mortal sin, but also venial sin. It also means to in fact never even have a will to commit even the slightest sin that one knows to be a sin culpably or with full consent against the all good God — and now we may deduce already why most people in fact are damned.
Hence that most people are damned and always have been. So the only reason it would be hard for someone to be forgiven his sins and be saved is if he don’t love God enough, fear God enough, nor trust God enough with his whole heart—trust and love, such as believing in Him and that He will forgive you if you do what you must—and that He hears all your prayers and grants all your prayers that are good for you, such as all prayers for the grace of attaining forgiveness and salvation. Therefore, it is only hard to be saved for the bad — and not for the good souls.
Generally, one of course cannot know whether a film, documentary or show that one watches or desires to watch will have any bad images or scenes in them—before having already watched it. (There are some sites that offers warnings of immodesty, bad language, nudity etc., but their warnings probably are not enough, nor will they, in all likelihood, include a warning against the so-called modern day women’s fashion in which women show of their womanly figure by pants or revealing and tight clothing since this is how every one dress today (which in itself would be bad enough to forbid watching these shows entirely), and of course, the modern day “Catholic” or “Christian” standard of modesty is not enough and is even evil in many cases.) 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.” And the Seraphic Father, St. Francis, in one of his favorite sayings confirms that “These are the weapons by which the chaste soul is overcome: looks, speeches, touches, embraces.” (St. Francis of Assisi, Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, p. 146)
We recommend that no one watch videos or even listen to audios at all (unless perhaps you wish to only listen to 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 the internet, and listen to them only as audio through VLC Player (as far as we know, VLC Player is the only video player that even has an option to disable video in settings). 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 to mp3 website that we recommend (enter it without images on, of course, since I have no idea of what it may show!):
You can also follow our detailed instructions for Google Chrome and Chromium based browsers on how to easily watch youtube videos while having the video screen hidden so that you can only hear the audio playing and see the youtube captions (the video screen can still be enabled with one easy click). This is great for those who do not want to see the video and only hear the audio!
If you enter youtube videos, you should disable auto play so that videos do not play automatically for the same reason (the flashblock addons linked to above does the trick). You can also disable youtube comments in channel settings or by extensions. 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 myself have seen on youtube, and especially in the related videos while watching a video, or after it ended, is almost innumerable! (and no, I don’t watch sensual material and anyone who has spent any time on youtube will know from experience that related thumbnails can be pure evil and filthy regardless of what videos you are watching, be it a news clip or a religious video, and the latter example is especially true if it concerns a moral subject). Having images blocked goes for all websites that have any bad images in them, even wikipedia, unless the article is deemed safe. (For the same reason, it is evil and a sin to link to articles that one knows contains any bad images. Yet many people, even traditional so-called Catholics, as we have seen, frequently, and without any scruple, link to such articles and posts such materials all the time just as if they thought they will not receive a judgment for every person that has becomes affected or aroused sensually by what they posted, linked to or were personally responsible for.) Also, on Firefox, never watch a youtube video to the end, or, if you do, scroll down before the film ends, since the related video images on Firefox—that are shown in the video screen—sadly doesn’t 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 (but happily, we don’t even watch videos anymore and we encourage all to follow this same advice).
St. Alphonsus, On avoiding the occasions of sin: “Some also believe that it is only a venial sin to expose themselves to the proximate occasion of sin. The catechist must explain that those who do not abstain from voluntary proximate occasions of grievous sin are guilty of a mortal sin, even though they have the intention of not committing the bad act, to the danger of which they expose themselves. … It is necessary to inculcate frequently the necessity of avoiding dangerous occasions; for, if proximate occasions, especially of carnal sins, are not avoided, all other means will be useless for our salvation.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, pp. 351-355)
Considering the quotes of St. Alphonsus on avoiding occasions of sin and about how God demands more of certain souls that He has given more graces: it is highly important for one’s salvation to not 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.
Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #63, March 4, 1679: “It is permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori describes in his masterpiece book “The True Spouse of Jesus Christ” how Modesty of the Eyes is absolutely crucial for all people to have in order to save their souls:
St. Alphonsus: “On the mortification of the eyes, and on modesty in general. Almost all our rebellious passions spring from unguarded looks; for, generally speaking, it is by the sight that all inordinate affections and desires are excited. Hence, holy Job "made a covenant with his eyes, that he would not so much as think upon a virgin." (Job xxxi. 1) Why did he say that he would not so much as think upon a virgin? Should he not have said that he made a covenant with his eyes not to look at a virgin? No; he very properly said that he would not think upon a virgin; because thoughts are so connected with looks, that the former cannot be separated from the latter, and therefore, to escape the molestation of evil imaginations, he resolved never to fix his eyes on a woman.
“St. Augustine says: "The thought follows the look; delight comes after the thought; and consent after delight." From the look proceeds the thought; from the thought the desire; for, as St. Francis de Sales says, what is not seen is not desired, and to the desire succeeds the consent.
“If Eve had not looked at the forbidden apple, she should not have fallen; but because "she saw that it was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and beautiful to behold, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat." (Gen. iii. 6) The devil first tempts us to look, then to desire, and afterwards to consent.
“St. Jerome says that Satan requires "only a beginning on our part." If we begin, he will complete our destruction. A deliberate glance at a person of a different sex often enkindles an infernal spark, which consumes the soul. "Through the eyes," says St. Bernard, "the deadly arrows of love enters." The first dart that wounds and frequently robs chaste souls of life finds admission through the eyes. By them David, the beloved of God, fell. By them was Solomon, once the inspired of the Holy Ghost, drawn into the greatest abominations. Oh! how many are lost by indulging their sight!
“The eyes must be carefully guarded by all who expect not to be obliged to join in the lamentation of Jeremiah: "My eye hath wasted my soul." (Jer. iii. 51) By the introduction of sinful affections my eyes have destroyed my soul. Hence St. Gregory says, that "the eyes, because they draw us to sin, must be depressed." If not restrained, they will become instruments of hell, to force the soul to sin almost against its will. "He that looks at a dangerous object," continues the saint, "begins to will what he wills not." It was this the inspired writer intended to express when he said of Holofernes, that "the beauty of Judith made his soul captive." (Jud. xvi 11)
“Seneca says that "blindness is a part of innocence;" and Tertullian relates that a certain pagan philosopher, to free himself from impurity, plucked out his eyes. Such an act would be unlawful in us: but he that desires to preserve chastity must avoid the sight of objects that are apt to excite unchaste thoughts. "Gaze not about," says the Holy Ghost, "upon another’s beauty; . . . hereby lust is enkindled as a fire." (Ecc. ix. 8, 9) Gaze not upon another’s beauty; for from looks arise evil imaginations, by which an impure fire is lighted up. Hence St. Francis de Sales used to say, that "they who wish to exclude an enemy from the city must keep the gates locked."
“Hence, to avoid the sight of dangerous objects, the saints were accustomed to keep their eyes almost continually fixed on the earth, and to abstain even from looking at innocent objects. After being a novice for a year, St. Bernard could not tell whether his cell was vaulted. In consequence of never raising his eyes from the ground, he never knew that there were but three windows to the church of the monastery, in which he spent his novitiate. He once, without perceiving a lake, walked along its banks for nearly an entire day; and hearing his companions speak about it, he asked when they had seen it. St. Peter of Alcantara kept his eyes constantly cast down, so that he did not know the brothers with whom he conversed. It was by the voice, and not by the countenance, that he was able to recognize them.
“The saints were particularly cautious not to look at persons of a different sex. St. Hugh, bishop, when compelled to speak with women, never looked at them in the face. St. Clare would never fix her eyes on the face of a man. She was greatly afflicted because, when raising her eyes at the elevation to see the consecrated host, she once involuntarily saw the countenance of the priest. St. Aloysius never looked at his own mother in the face. It is related of St. Arsenius, that a noble lady went to visit him in the desert, to beg of him to recommend her to God. When the saint perceived that his visitor was a woman, he turned away from her. She then said to him: "Arsenius, since you will neither see nor hear me, at least remember me in your prayers." "No," replied the saint, "but I will beg of God to make me forget you, and never more to think of you."
“From these examples may be seen the folly and temerity of some religious who, though they have not the sanctity of a St. Clare, still gaze around from the terrace, in the parlour, and in the church, upon every object that presents itself, even on persons of a different sex. And notwithstanding their unguarded looks, they expect to be free from temptations and from the danger of sin. For having once looked deliberately at a woman who was gathering ears of corn, the Abbot Pastor was tormented for forty years by temptations against chastity. St. Gregory states that the temptation, to conquer which St. Benedict rolled himself in thorns, arose from one incautious glance at a woman. St. Jerome, though living in a cave at Bethlehem, in continual prayer and macerations of the flesh, was terribly molested by the remembrance of ladies whom he had long before seen in Rome. Why should not similar molestations be the lot of the religious who willfully and without reserve fixes her eyes on persons of a different sex? "It is not," says St. Francis de Sales, "the seeing of objects so much as the fixing of our eyes upon them that proves most pernicious."
“"If," says St. Augustine, "our eyes should by chance fall upon others, let us take care never to fix them upon any one." Father Manareo, when taking leave of St. Ignatius for a distant place, looked steadfastly in his face: for this look he was corrected by the saint. From the conduct of St. Ignatius on this occasion, we learn that it was not becoming in religious to fix their eyes on the countenance of a person even of the same sex, particularly if the person is young. 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 St. Gregory, "to behold what it is not lawful to covet." The evil thought that proceeds from looks, though it should be rejected, never fails to leave a stain upon the soul. 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.
“The indulgence of the eyes, if not productive of any other evil, at least destroys recollection during the time of prayer. For, the images and impressions caused by the objects seen before, or by the wandering of the eyes, during prayer, will occasion a thousand distractions, and banish all recollection from the soul. It is certain that without recollection a religious can pay but little attention to the practice of humility, patience, mortification, or of the other virtues. Hence it is her duty to abstain from all looks of curiosity, which distract her mind from holy thoughts. Let her eyes be directed only to objects which raise the soul to God.
“St. Bernard used to say, that to fix the eyes upon the earth contributes to keep the heart in heaven. "Where," says St. Gregory, "Christ is, there modesty is found." Wherever Jesus Christ dwells by love, there modesty is practiced. However, I do not mean to say that the eyes should never be raised or never fixed on any object. No; but they ought to be directed only to what inspires devotion, to sacred images, and to the beauty of creation, which elevate the soul to the contemplation of the divinity. Except in looking at such objects, a religious should in general keep the eyes cast down, and particularly in places where they may fall upon dangerous objects. In conversing with men, she should never roll the eyes about to look at them, and much less to look at them a second time.
“To practice modesty of the eyes is the duty of a religious, not only because it is necessary for her own improvement in virtue, but also because it is necessary for the edification of others. God only knows the human heart: man sees only the exterior actions, and by them he is edified or scandalized. "A man," says the Holy Ghost, "is known by his look." (Ecc. xix. 26) By the countenance the interior is known. Hence, like St. John the Baptist, a religious should be "a burning and shining light." (John, v. 35) She ought to be a torch burning with charity, and shining resplendent by her modesty, to all who behold her. To religious the following words of the Apostle are particularly applicable: "We are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men." (1 Cor. iv. 9) And again: "Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh." (Phil. iv. 5)
“Religious are attentively observed by the angels and by men; and therefore their modesty should be made manifest before all; if they do not practice modesty, terrible shall be the account which they must render to God on the day of judgment. Oh! what devotion does a modest religious inspire, what edification does she give, by keeping her eyes always cast down! St. Francis of Assisi once said to his companion, that he was going out to preach. After walking through the town, with his eyes fixed on the ground, he returned to the convent. His companion asked him when he would preach the sermon. We have, replied the saint, by the modesty of our looks, given an excellent instruction to all who saw us. It is related of St. Aloysius, that when he walked through Rome the students would stand in the streets to observe and admire his great modesty.
“St. Ambrose says, that to men of the world the modesty of the saints is a powerful exhortation to amendment of life. "The look of a just man is an admonition to many." The saint adds: "How delightful it is to do good to others by your appearance!" It is related of St. Bernardine of Sienna, that even when a secular, his presence was sufficient to restrain the licentiousness of his young companions, who, as soon as they saw him, were accustomed to give to one another notice that he was coming. On his arrival they became silent or changed the subject of their conversation. It is also related of St. Gregory of Nyssa, and of St. Ephrem, that their very appearance inspired piety, and that the sanctity and modesty of their exterior edified and improved all that beheld them. When Innocent II visited St. Bernard at Clairvaux, such was the exterior modesty of the saint and of his monks, that the Pope and his cardinals were moved to tears of devotion. Surius relates a very extraordinary fact of St. Lucian, a monk and martyr. By his modesty he induced so many pagans to embrace the faith, that the Emperor Maximian, fearing that he should be converted to Christianity by the appearance of the saint, would not allow the holy man to be brought within his view, but spoke to him from behind a screen.
“That our Redeemer was the first who taught, by his example, modesty of the eyes, may, as a learned author remarks, be inferred from the holy evangelists, who say that on some occasion he raised his eyes. "And he, lifting up his eyes on his disciples." (Luke, vi. 20) "When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes." (John, vi. 5.) From these passages we may conclude that the Redeemer ordinarily kept his eyes cast down. Hence the Apostle, praising the modesty of the Saviour, says: "I beseech you, by the mildness and modesty of Christ." (2 Cor. x. 1)
“I shall conclude this subject with what St. Basil said to his monks: "If, my children, we desire to raise the soul towards heaven, let us direct the eyes towards the earth." From the moment we awake in the morning, let us pray continually in the words of holy David: "Turn away my eyes, that they may not behold vanity" (Ps. cxviii. 37).” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Modesty of the Eyes, pp. 252-261)
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)
Concerning modesty of the eyes and related virtues, St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-236 A.D.) explains how Holy Scripture in the Book of Proverbs commands us to stay away from all occasions of sin:
“[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 “ She entangled him with many words, and drew him away with the flattery of her lips.  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,  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.  Now therefore, my son, hear me, and attend to the words of my mouth.  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)
Then we have the temptation of curiosity “Which is Stimulated by the Lust of the Eyes” according to St. Augustine’s famous work “The Confessions”. There can be no doubt that the temptation of curiosity is one of the most common reasons why people place themselves in the occasion of sin, and thus commit mortal sin by this act. In Chapter 35 that deals with the topic of “Another Kind of Temptation is Curiosity, Which is Stimulated by the Lust of the Eyes” we see very clearly how evil and dangerous this curiosity is:
“In addition to this there is another form of temptation, more complex in its peril. For besides that concupiscence of the flesh which lies in the gratification of all senses and pleasures, wherein its slaves who are far from You [God] perish, there pertains to the soul, through the same senses of the body, a certain vain and curious longing, cloaked under the name of knowledge and learning, not of having pleasure in the flesh, but of making experiments through the flesh. This longing, since it originates in an appetite for knowledge, and the sight being the chief among the senses in the acquisition of knowledge, is called in divine language, the lust of the eyes. (1 John 2:16) For seeing belongs properly to the eyes; yet we apply this word to the other senses also, when we exercise them in the search after knowledge. For we do not say, Listen how it glows, smell how it glistens, taste how it shines, or feel how it flashes, since all these are said to be seen. And yet we say not only, See how it shines, which the eyes alone can perceive; but also, See how it sounds, see how it smells, see how it tastes, see how hard it is. And thus the general experience of the senses, as was said before, is termed the lust of the eyes, because the function of seeing, wherein the eyes hold the pre-eminence, the other senses by way of similitude take possession of, whenever they seek out any knowledge.
“But by this is it more clearly discerned, when pleasure and when curiosity is pursued by the senses; for pleasure follows after objects that are beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, soft; but curiosity, for experiment’s sake, seeks the contrary of these—not with a view of undergoing uneasiness, but from the passion of experimenting upon and knowing them. For what pleasure is there to see, in a lacerated corpse, that which makes you shudder? And yet if it lie near, we flock there, to be made sad, and to turn pale. Even in sleep they fear lest they should see it. Just as if when awake any one compelled them to go and see it, or any report of its beauty had attracted them! Thus also is it with the other senses, which it were tedious to pursue. From this malady of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre [the evil media of their days]. Hence do we proceed to search out the secret powers of nature (which is beside our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know. Hence, too, with that same end of perverted knowledge we consult magical arts. Hence, again, even in religion itself, is God tempted, when signs and wonders are eagerly asked of Him—not desired for any saving end, but to make trial only.
“In this so vast a wilderness, replete with snares and dangers, lo, many of them have I lopped off, and expelled from my heart, as Thou, O God of my salvation, hast enabled me to do. And yet when dare I say, since so many things of this kind buzz around our daily life—when dare I say that no such thing makes me intent to see it, or creates in me vain solicitude? It is true that the theatres never now carry me away, nor do I now care to know the courses of the stars, nor has my soul at any time consulted departed spirits; all sacrilegious oaths I abhor. O Lord my God, to whom I owe all humble and single-hearted service, with what subtlety of suggestion does the enemy influence me to require some sign from You! But by our King, and by our pure land chaste country Jerusalem, I beseech You, that as any consenting unto such thoughts is far from me, so may it always be farther and farther. But when I entreat You for the salvation of any, the end I aim at is far otherwise, and Thou who doest what You will, givest and wilt give me willingly to follow You. (John 21:22)
“Nevertheless, in how many most minute and contemptible things is our curiosity daily tempted, and who can number how often we succumb? How often, when people are narrating idle tales, do we begin by tolerating them, lest we should give offense unto the weak; and then gradually we listen willingly! I do not nowadays go to the circus to see a dog chasing a hare; but if by chance I pass such a coursing in the fields, it possibly distracts me even from some serious thought, and draws me after it—not that I turn the body of my beast aside, but the inclination of my mind. And except Thou, by demonstrating to me my weakness, dost speedily warn me, either through the sight itself, by some reflection to rise to You, or wholly to despise and pass it by, I, vain one, am absorbed by it. How is it, when sitting at home, a lizard catching flies, or a spider entangling them as they rush into her nets, oftentimes arrests me? Is the feeling of curiosity not the same because these are such tiny creatures? From them I proceed to praise You, the wonderful Creator and Disposer of all things; but it is not this that first attracts my attention. It is one thing to get up quickly, and another not to fall, and of such things is my life full; and my only hope is in Your exceeding great mercy. For when this heart of ours is made the receptacle of such things, and bears crowds of this abounding vanity, then are our prayers often interrupted and disturbed thereby; and while in Your presence we direct the voice of our heart to Your ears, this so great a matter is broken off by the influx of I know not what idle thoughts.” (St. Augustine, The Confessions, Book X, Chapter XXXV.--Another Kind of Temptation is Curiosity, Which is Stimulated by the Lust of the Eyes.)
“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they grow much towards ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 2:16)
To talk overmuch of worldly and unnecessary things is also considered vain babblings and should be totally avoided. If you have nothing good to say, referring to God or the edification of the soul, then one should keep quiet. Vain babbling will lead to ungodliness as stated above, for that which a person talks much about, that he is full of in his heart. If God is not in the heart of man, then Satan must occupy that place, and you cannot serve both God and man!
Almost every kind of game that exists in our sad time has numerous mortally sinful things in them which make them impossible to play without going to hell. The younger generation especially, but also older people, is so perverted and drugged by these new games that they seem to live for nothing else!
Firstly, there are the countless games who have a person going around killing or hurting other humans or creatures for fun; for example, Counter-Strike, Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Starcraft, Modern Warfare, Gears of Wars, Tekken, etc. To play such a game is not only sick but abominable. Think about it: to play a game for fun or pleasure which is constituted of the murder or hurt of another being!
God solemnly declares that he will judge our every thought, how much more then will he judge our deeds? When we in our mind take delight and enjoy killing or hurting other beings, God takes this as an act in the very same way as he judges us as murderers if we hate our brother, or, as an adulterer if we look at a woman with lust in our heart. What then will God judge you to be when you in your heart love abominable things?
Secondly, there is the constant danger of hate, uncontrollable wrath, and pride in games when it doesn't go as people would like it to go, and this is more true when playing games online. For when people think of themselves that they are good in the game they play, they are puffed up and deceived into thinking that this victory in a worthless game actually makes them someone. This is truly pathetic! But if someone then beats them, their pride and arrogance gets hurt, and they get mad, angry and wroth. Who have not had experience of this in online-gaming? Sure, these things happen on single player games as well but it isn't as common. Online games are by far the worst and sinful of all the games, since they not only affects you, but the others you play with as well. Do you understand now why online games are the most dangerous of all the games? Do you realize now that every person you have affected by your gaming will demand just vengeance over you, unless you blot these sins out by penance, repentance and confession? Giving others a bad example and being the cause or accessory of another person’s damnation is the worst of all the sins one can be guilty of in this life. Every single thought, word, and deed will be carefully judged and avenged the moment you die. You cannot hide from death.
Thirdly, there are countless of games who try to display magic and the occult as not only acceptable but even good and praiseworthy; for example, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Oblivion, etc. Yes in those games, one is even awarded by magic and occult themes for murdering or hurting the opponent. Eternal Hell will be the home of all you who plays such games, for they are all against God, they are all based on breaking God's commandments and doing evil and violence, or enjoying others doing evil and violence. Whether or not you or the world say its good vs evil, or whether it be humans or monsters you are murdering or hurting, does not change the fact that the games in themselves are totally evil and fruitless, often extremely violent, and as with movies, often compels the player to take actions, agree or disagree with occurrences, which in godly terms are unacceptable and abominable. Playing these games will only serve to stir you up towards wanting to play more. Games with much violence and fighting, or with the ability of sinning in pride by show-offs, or with much usage of magic-powers of the occult, or with the ability to achieve personal fame in a fantasy land, or the show-off with skills, as with online-games, are all the most dangerous since they serve to stir up the flesh and body the most in a false and unholy fire of pleasure and thrill. A person that doesn't cut this off from himself will in fact lose his soul!
Pro-sports may seem to have no sin in it, but countless of mortal sins will be exposed when one examines it carefully.
First, almost every kind of pro-sports supports the mortal sin of gambling, and it is just a fact that these teams or players get a large portion of their pay-check from gambling. Pro-sports is in fact one of the biggest, if not the biggest generator of the mortal sin of gambling, which has destroyed countless of families and lead millions of poor souls to despair, suicide and hell. Thus, those who watch these games, watch people who are getting paid for supporting and making the mortal sin of gambling exist. To enjoy the eternal soul killing of other human beings is a clear cut mortal sin.
Second, almost every kind of pro-sport is played on Sundays which is a clear mortal sin since it is a work for these players and they get a pay-check from it. Therefore, they are breaking one of God’s Ten Commandments, and there is no excuse for such things. It is a clear mortal sin to enjoy someone committing mortal sin.
Third, as we can see from the Book of the Machabees, the Jewish people neglected the divine worship in order to attend to different sport festivities at the arena. This is now prophetically fulfilled in many people who call themselves Catholic. For instead of praying the Rosary, reading the word of God and playing with and educating their children in good Christian morals as the Sunday is intended for, they watch these sinful games while placing their children in front of another TV set, neglecting their spiritual well being. Many saints teach that sports in of itself is no sin - which it of course isn’t - but when it becomes too serious and more than a fun game between friends or when one take too much delight in it or makes too big thing of that which has no value, then they unanimously teach that it becomes sinful.
St. Francis de Sales- “Sports, plays, festivities, etc, are not in themselves evil, but rather indifferent matters, capable of being used for good or ill; but nevertheless they are dangerous, and it is still more dangerous to take great delight in them.”
St. Francis de Sales- “Walking, harmless games, music, instrumental or vocal, field sports, etc., are such entirely lawful recreations that they need no rules beyond those of ordinary discretion, which keep every thing within due limits of time, place, and degree. So again games of skill, which exercise and strengthen body or mind, such as tennis, rackets, running at the ring, chess, and the like, are in themselves both lawful and good. Only one must avoid excess, either in the time given to them, or the amount of interest they absorb; for if too much time be given up to such things, they cease to be a recreation and become an occupation; and so far from resting and restoring mind or body, they have precisely the contrary effect. After five or six hours spent over chess, one’s mind is spent and weary, and too long a time given to tennis results in physical exhaustion; or if people play for a high stake, they get anxious and discomposed, and such unimportant objects are unworthy of so much care and thought. But, above all, beware of setting your heart upon any of these things, for however lawful an amusement may be, it is wrong to give one’s heart up to it. Not that I would not have you take pleasure in what you are doing,—it were no recreation else,—but I would not have you engrossed by it, or become eager or over fond of any of these things.”
Fourthly, people are spending billions of dollars on something that is supposed to be a game of fun. They have made a worthless game which holds no significance whatsoever, to become something serious. Think about it. People say: This or that person runs so and so fast or won this or that game. And people think about it as though it is some kind of achievement worthy of praise, when it in fact is saddening and abominable since it leads souls to hell. It is grown people valuing a worthless game or sport as something that holds significance or value: it is truly pathetic. They waste their money and time on this filth when they could be trying to help souls that are falling daily to the eternal fire in hell.
“And so the human heart which is cumbered with useless, superfluous, dangerous clingings becomes incapacitated for that earnest following after God which is the true life of devotion. No one blames children for running after butterflies, because they are children, but is it not ridiculous and pitiful to see full-grown men eager about such worthless trifles as the worldly amusements before named, (SPORTS, balls, plays, festivities, pomps), which are likely to throw them off their balance and disturb their spiritual life.” (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction into the Devout Life)
Fifthly, most of the different athletes or players are very immodestly dressed in clothes that are absolutely abominable for God since they are tight and reveal so much flesh. Only a few hundred years ago, women would have been arrested and jailed for wearing the clothes that athletes or players wear now. To watch any game or sport that supports or condones the five reasons mentioned above is totally sinful and any honest person who has not refused to meditate on hell and who realizes that it is possible that he or she may go to hell will agree as long as he thinks about this issue in a rational and calm manner. Don’t allow your dependency on sports to trivialize clear cut mortal sins that are acted out in front of everyone. Repent before it is too late!
Objection: “I see... watching professional sports constitutes a mortal sin because professional sports leads to gambling and peoples lives have been ruined from gambling... but professional sports aren’t made FOR gambling, by their logic they would have to be for gun control to stay logical, and we all know that gun control is evil.”
Answer: What we said was that pro-sports supports the mortal sin of gambling; that their activities makes it exist; and that the players get a paycheck for this activity and for their support of gambling and other mortal sins – and that they thus are a part of all of this. We also said that it is a mortal sin to enjoy people committing mortal sin. The same truth of course applies to venial sins as well. For example, one cannot actually “enjoy” someone committing a mortal sin (or even venial sin), such as “enjoying” or “laughing” at someone committing adultery. For that is totally evil.
We will add some new thoughts in addition to the above:
1. Everyone knows that they play pro-sport matches on Sundays, and therefore it would be wrong to watch them play sports on Sundays by default. I think everyone can agree with that, since they get a paycheck for playing their games and it is a work for them.
2. Having guns have a necessity. So if judging things by necessity, having or buying guns is nothing wrong. So this argument is clearly false and the Church condemns gambling and vain games of chance but not self-defense. That is also why the Church (since the beginning) outlawed the Olympics and it is only recently – prior to the Great Apostasy – that this useless activity started to be promoted again by the World and by Satan. It is very interesting to consider this fact, for it proves that the Church disapproves of such vain, useless and harmful activities which makes one forget about God and neglect one’s duties. In truth, the Church undoubtedly understood this truth about pro-sports in part from the example of the Old Testament and the books of the Maccabees which shows us that these kinds of vain games deceives people (as is proved by the example of the Jews during the time of the Maccabees who neglected God and their duties because of the sports arena that had been built there, in the Kingdom of Judah).
Apostolic Constitutions, Book II, Section 7:62, A.D. 380: “That Christians Must Abstain From All The Impious Practices Of The Heathens - Take heed, therefore, not to join yourselves... with those that favour the things of the devil, [for you] will be esteemed one of them, and will inherit a woe... lest by uniting ourselves to them we bring snares upon our own souls; that we may not by joining in their feasts... be partakers with them in their impiety. You are also to avoid their public meetings, and those sports which are celebrated in them. For a believer ought not to go to any of those public meetings, unless to purchase a slave, and save a soul? and at the same time to buy such other things as suit their necessities. Abstain, therefore, from all idolatrous pomp and state, all their public meetings, banquets, duels, and all shows belonging to demons.” (Apostolic Constitutions, Treatises on Early Christian Discipline)
3. And one could indeed say that today’s professional sport is in a large part made for and supported by gambling, and evil commercials, since this is what much of their income comes from. And obviously, sports today have become “Pro” for a reason; and that is that there is great profit to make from it.
4. Many professional sports teams and games also promote cheerleaders which is a damnable mortal sin similar to prostitution since they incite people to commit sins of impurity and adultery in their hearts (Matthew 5:28). One can truly say that the abominable activities of cheerleaders of today are very similar to striptease since they are not only half naked, showing almost every part of their body either directly or indirectly by tight clothes, but also because they dance and move in a sensual way in accordance to the match times. Thus, those who are watching these games are taking enjoyment in mortal sins that are integral to the game, and which would not exist but for this special game there and that are so evil that it screams to heaven for vengeance.
One can only shudder in amazement, trembling and fear over how many billions of impure thoughts that have been directly incited by these games, and how many millions or billions of people that have been damned because of them. Indeed, if we could see all those lost people right now as we speak burning in Hell, we would immediately cease watching these accursed games or have a liking for their evil activities, and would repent in sackcloth and ashes, never daring to open our eyes or mouth in contradiction to Our Lord’s Holy Will. But for the most part of humanity, the time of repentance will never come or come too late when they are already dead and judged to an eternal torment in Hell; but then it is sadly to late for them. For they all chose to do and enjoy things that their conscience knew was opposed to God’s Holy Law.
Objection: “You are blaming football players for scantily-clad cheerleaders. There’s no connection, they don’t make the rules or set the program about what the cheerleaders are wearing. This isn’t even material participation.”
Answer: The cheerleaders are part of the same team, and wouldn’t be there unless their team played the game. Hence that the players themselves are the direct cause of this problem. They are there and a part of the game. They are not excluded from it, but known by all. They are part of the game and attraction. They dance and move in accordance to the match times. They are part of the whole thing. To deny this is just simply to be a mortal sinner and an outrageous liar.
The players are obviously not unaware of the fact that millions of people are watching their games and thus see these whorish women half naked dancing there for the exact cause of their deed of approving of and consenting to playing these games. In fact, none of this would happen unless they (the players, their team, their supporters, and their viewers) all approved of this and supported this activity by their continual presence at these games or by their support of them, whether materially or directly. If someone were really opposed to the fact that this sin should take place, he would be obliged to stop participating in these matches and stop support the evil team that allows this to happen. If they don’t, they become a partner in the sin.
Catechism Question: “In how many ways may we either cause or share in the guilt of another’s sin?” Answer: “We may either cause or share the guilt of another’s sin in nine ways: 1. By counsel. 2. By command. 3. By consent. 4. By provocation. 5. By praise or flattery. 6. By concealment. 7. By being a partner in the sin. 8. By silence. 9. By defending the ill done.”
They are thus guilty in every way possible. Even more so when one considers that their games or work constitutes non-necessities. Their work is completely unnecessary and serves no real purpose except for a useless entertainment for vain people. It is also the greatest waste of money possibly on earth, billions or trillions of dollars are wasted on absolutely nothing.
Behold a perfect comparison of the evilness of cheerleaders and tacit consent: If there were a game like a gladiator game where people took amusement in other people killing each other - like in the old roman time - this would of course be a mortal sin to view and enjoy. Now, if there was a football game as the main attraction beside the gladiator game, and the gladiators (that is, the soul murdering cheerleaders in this comparison) were killing souls as a side attraction that is part of the main game, would it then be allowed for the players to be a part of this game or the viewers to view this game, if they knew that this game contained these things? Of course not! Now the cheerleaders are perhaps worse in killing souls than the gladiators since they tempt billions of people into sin and eternal death in Hell. They murder souls, yet the people who make this objection above sadly don’t seem to care one bit about this fact. Hell, however, will make all of them confess the truth the moment or second after they die.
Instead of excusing the players from culpability when they so obviously are all in on this together – and are a direct part of this problem – concerned people should rather tell these people to stop playing and supporting these evil, vain and useless matches and sports-teams that promotes such evil, soul slaying activities.
5. If you don’t enjoy any of the above mentioned things that are evil, then there is no reason for why you would even want to watch professional sports at all, or care that much about it. For if one considers this matter seriously, that is, that those people who take part in pro-sports activities are totally deceived by their vanity, vainglory, pride, fame, and by the praise and idolization of themselves by other weak human beings, then one would mourn for their sake rather than seek a useless, unprofitable enjoyment from them. For why would anyone want to enjoy people commit or support mortal sin and worldliness or be happy about that they are totally deceived by the world and that they are headed for Hell? It is totally evil.
Indeed, the enjoyment derived from such pro-sports games is completely useless anyway. One doesn’t even learn anything from it as one does from watching a documentary, an educational program or a good Christian film. And that is why some media can be excused while pro-sports that have any sin connected to it must be avoided. All one learns from pro-sport today essentially consists in this: vainglory, pride, vanity and lasciviousness (from the cheerleaders); bad, ungodly, sensual, superfluous and vain commercials; idolization and praise of weak human beings; and useless cares and worries for certain teams or players that will not help a person one bit in any way to get to Heaven, and what is worse, one may even start to secretly idolize or like them and what they do (and this last point undoubtedly often happens if one frequently watch or follows this useless activity).
Indeed, St. Francis de Sales’ words about the evil occupation of gambling applies perfectly to those who take vain pleasure in pro-sports matches, games and teams:
“Moreover, though such games may be called a recreation, and are intended as such, they are practically an intense occupation. Is it not an occupation, when a man’s mind is kept on the stretch of close attention, and disturbed by endless anxieties, fears and agitations? Who exercises a more dismal, painful attention than the [person obsessed by his beloved sports team, player, or superstar]? No one must speak [against them, their team, or idols] or laugh [or defeat them],—if you do but cough you will annoy [or sadden] him and his companions. The only pleasure in [these games] is to win, and this cannot be a satisfactory pleasure, since it can only be enjoyed at the expense of your antagonist.” (St Francis de Sales, writing “On Gambling”, but this could as well have been written directly with pro-sports in mind!)
All of this will thus lead to that one will become sad or happy based on the fact whether or not those whom one favored lost or won; and this is totally evil since this means one enjoys their deeds in their worldliness and ungodly lifestyle that is leading them to Hell. One is thus becoming worried, happy or sad about all of this – the evil they do and the deceived, unhappy lifestyle they lead – and the sadness, anxiety or attention about what they do in this case is not even about the right thing (that is, for their spiritual blindness and that they are deceived and are headed for Hell) but rather about the evil attachment for a vain pleasure and because one’s self-love was hurt; and because they lost a useless game – and because one cares for all of this! It is totally evil, useless and vain.
6. It is evil to be happy about musicians, sports players or other people living an ungodly lifestyle just because one likes what they do, and in this way, enjoy what they do. For example, it is evil to want Madonna to continue making music because she is committing mortal sin while she is doing so. One can enjoy a lawful moral song, but one cannot enjoy mortal sin or venial sin being committed or be happy about them or that their life is such; nor can one want them to continue in such a state or career or have a mindset to be obsessed by such (as many people sadly are today by being totally obsessed with pro-sports, players, artists, actors, musicians, and so called “superstars”). And even if one likes the song (a moral, lawful song), one must be sad and mournful for the person’s soul and spiritual state when thinking about their spiritual state, and wish that they will stop doing whatever they are doing that are leading them to Hell.
Objection: “Even if cheerleaders is wrong, modest gambling is not wrong, nor is it a sin. Neither does the Church forbid it. And one cannot really say that watching sports would be wrong because it supports gambling.”
7. Several councils as well as saints and holy people in addition to tradition have condemned and disapproved of gambling since the very beginning (as we will see below). Therefore, it is clear that God and the Church condemned and still condemns these activities as evil and forbidden.
So since the players get a paycheck for directly supporting evil and forbidden activities against the Church’s laws—such as gambling—as well as the cheerleaders—it is utterly unlawful, condemned and sinful to watch these sinful games and find enjoyment in them. Again, since all their pro-sport matches revolves around supporting and promoting condemned activities, mortal sins and non-necessities, it is clearly sinful and evil to watch and find enjoyment in their criminal activities.
Council of Elvira, Canon 79 (A.D. 306): “Christians who play dice for money are to be excluded from receiving communion. If they amend their ways and cease, they may receive communion after one year.”
Apostolic Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Canon 42: “Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who indulges himself in dice or drinking, either leave off those practices, or let him be deprived.” Canon 43: “If a sub-deacon, a reader, or a singer does the like, either let him leave off, or let him be suspended; and so for one of the laity.” (The Apostolic Constitutions, Treatises on Early Christian Discipline)
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 A.D.), who is regarded as one of the most important Doctors of the Church, writes the following concerning the above two canons: “We read in the Canons of the apostles (Can. xli, xlii): ‘A bishop, priest or deacon who is given to drunkenness or gambling, or incites others thereto, must either cease or be deposed; a subdeacon, reader or precentor who does these things must either give them up or be excommunicated; the same applies to the laity.’ Now such punishments are not inflicted save for mortal sins. Therefore drunkenness [and gambling] is a mortal sin.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 150, A. II. Whether drunkenness is a mortal sin?)
St. Clement of Alexandria, echoing the Church’s constant tradition from the beginning against gambling, and the pursuit of gain caused by the evil desire for riches “apart from the truth”, wrote in the second century A.D.: “The game of dice is to be prohibited, and the pursuit of gain, especially by dicing [and other such games of gambling], which many keenly follow. Such things the prodigality of luxury invents for the idle. For the cause is idleness, and a love for frivolities apart from the truth. For it is not possible otherwise to obtain enjoyment without injury; and each man’s preference of a mode of life is a counterpart of his disposition.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 2, p. 485)
The venerated Dominican friar and preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) expounds on gambling and related activities at some length, but more frequently inveighs against the corrupt manners of the age, denouncing in turn every vice that was then prevalent. This, for instance, is how he speaks against gambling: “If you see persons engaged in gambling in these days, believe them to be no Christians, since they are worse than infidels, are ministers of the evil one, and celebrate his rites. They are avaricious men, blasphemers, slanderers, detractors of others’ fame, fault-finders, they are hateful to God, are thieves, murderers, and full of all iniquity. I cannot permit ye to share in these amusements; ye must be steadfast in prayer, continually rendering thanks to the Almighty in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. He that gambles shall be accursed, and accursed he that suffers others to gamble; shun ye their conversation, for the father that gambles before his son shall be accursed, and accursed the mother that gambles in her daughter’s presence. Therefore, whoever thou art, thou shalt be accursed if thou dost gamble or allow others to gamble;” (Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola, chapter VIII, p. 105)
The Catholic Encyclopedia adds that: “From very early times gambling was forbidden by canon law. Two of the oldest (41, 42) among the so-called canons of the Apostles forbade games of chance under pain of excommunication to clergy and laity alike. The 79th canon of the Council of Elvira (306) decreed that one of the faithful who had been guilty of gambling might be, on amendment, restored to communion after the lapse of a year. A homily (the famous "De Aleatoribus") long ascribed by St. Cyprian, but by modern scholars variously attributed to Popes Victor I, Callistus I, and Melchiades, and which undoubtedly is a very early and interesting monument of Christian antiquity, is a vigorous denunciation of gambling. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215), by a decree subsequently inserted in the "Corpus Juris", forbade clerics to play or to be present at games of chance. Some authorities, such as Aubespine, have attempted to explain the severity of the ancient canons against gambling by supposing that idolatry was often connected with it in practice. The pieces that were played with were small-sized idols, or images of the gods, which were invoked by the players for good luck. However, as Benedict XIV remarks, this can hardly be true, as in that case the penalties would have been still more severe.” [Notice how a modernistic scholar tried to explain away the ancient Church teaching against gambling. However, this false theory of him (and of others like him) was of course refuted by Pope Benedict XIV]. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, "Gambling", A.D. 1909)
Wikipedia relates a little history of gambling, and it says the following: “Though lotteries were common in the United States and some other countries during the 19th century, by the beginning of the 20th century, most forms of gambling, including lotteries and sweepstakes, were illegal in the U.S. and most of Europe as well as many other countries.”
St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, in the section “Of Forbidden Amusements” in his book Introduction to the Devout Life, clearly shows us the inherent evil, unlawfulness and unreasonableness of gambling and how both civil and ecclesiastical law outlawed gambling in the past: “Dice, cards, and the like games of hazard, are not merely dangerous amusements, like dancing, but they are plainly bad and harmful, and therefore they are forbidden by the civil as by the ecclesiastical law [thus showing us that Catholic states banned or outlawed gambling totally]. What harm is there in them? you ask. Such games are unreasonable:—the winner often has neither skill nor industry to boast of, which is contrary to reason. You reply that this is understood by those who play. But though that may prove that you are not wronging anybody, it does not prove that the game is in accordance with reason, as victory ought to be the reward of skill or labour, which it cannot be in mere games of chance. Moreover, though such games may be called a recreation, and are intended as such, they are practically an intense occupation. Is it not an occupation, when a man’s mind is kept on the stretch of close attention, and disturbed by endless anxieties, fears and agitations? Who exercises a more dismal, painful attention than the gambler? No one must speak or laugh,—if you do but cough you will annoy him and his companions. The only pleasure in gambling is to win, and this cannot be a satisfactory pleasure, since it can only be enjoyed at the expense of your antagonist. Once, when he was very ill, St. Louis [IX, King of France] heard that his brother the Comte d’Anjou and Messire Gautier de Nemours were gambling, and in spite of his weakness the King tottered into the room where they were, and threw dice and money and everything out of the window, in great indignation. And the pure and pious Sara, in her appeal to God, declared that she had never had dealings with gamblers. "I beg, O Lord, that thou loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth. 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" [Tobias 3:15-17].” (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Chapter XXXII, Of Forbidden Amusements)
St. Francis de Sales also explains that we must confess all our motives in Confession when we have sinned, and he mentions gambling as a sin: “Again, do not be satisfied with mentioning the bare fact of your venial sins, but accuse yourself of the motive cause which led to them. For instance, do not be content with saying that you told an untruth which injured no one; but say whether it was out of vanity, in order to win praise or avoid blame, out of heedlessness, or from obstinacy. If you have exceeded in society, say whether it was from the love of talking, or gambling for the sake of money, and so on.” (St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, p. 63)
As with the use of alcohol, gambling can soon get out of hand and even become addictive, and this type of problem definitely has moral and religious overtones. An English proverb says, “The best throw of the dice is to throw them away” — and in light of the harm gambling can cause to one’s career, family life, and other relationships, such an approach is of course the wisest one. The examples from the lives of the saints that address this issue suggest a need for great prudence and restraint when gambling is involved. They also teach us to shun and avoid getting involved in gambling at all cost. St. Augustine stated very simply and bluntly that, “The Devil invented gambling,” and in one of his homilies, St. Basil the Great told his people that, “If I let you go, and if I dismiss this assembly, some will run to the dice, where they will find bad language, sad quarrels and the pangs of avarice. There stands the devil, inflaming the fury of the players with the dotted bones, transporting the same sums of money from one side of the table to the other, now exalting one with victory and throwing the other into despair, now swelling the first with boasting and covering his rival with confusion. Of what use is bodily fasting and filling the soul with innumerable evils? He who does not play spends his leisure elsewhere. What frivolities come from his mouth! What follies strike his ears! Leisure without the fear of the Lord is, for those who do not know the value of time, a school of vice. I hope that my words will be profitable; at least by occupying you here they have prevented you from sinning. Thus the longer I keep you, the longer you are out of the way of evil.” (St. Basil the Great, Hexaemeron, Homily 8:8)
As should be absolutely clear by now, the Catholic Church and Her Saints and Tradition condemns gambling and the evil pursuit of gain.
8. Instead of gambling for money you do not need to survive, you should instead use it to save another persons life from starvation, or their soul from eternal death in Hell, which is the only really absolutely important thing to do in this world. As a matter of fact, those who gamble truly mock those who starve physically or spiritually on this earth, since for the sake of materialism and greed, they waste money on things that are utterly worthless, unnecessary and devoid of godliness.
Consider very carefully how you would feel if you were starving or in need of a little money for something important, such as a medical treatment, and someone you knew just went and squandered it on something totally unnecessary without caring one bit that you were starving before his face. In truth, this is very similar to what gamblers are doing. They refuse to see that many people on this earth would only dream of having the money they themselves thoughtlessly squander for the purpose of superfluity, love of riches and materialism; but in Hell, the poor and those who had almost nothing in this life will indeed be thankful that they were not rich or had more possessions since everything we own, as well as every single word we utter in this life, will have to be accounted for in the day of judgment. All other things being equal on earth, the torment in the hellfire of all those who were poor on this earth will undoubtedly be less severe than for those who had much more money and squandered it on unnecessary things.
Consider that most of the world’s poor population in the developing world lives on less than $1 dollar a day. It’s shocking to learn how many hundred of millions of people live on less or a little more than $1 dollar a day—and yet people who gamble and waste money on nothing squander much more than that—the money those poor people could live on to survive.
9. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words in The Revelations of St. Bridget clearly 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, or their temporal and spiritual necessities, “will himself cry out [to God] and not be heard” both in this life when he seeks to be relieved from his own troubles on this earth, as well as in the eternal fire of Hell in the next, which is the eternal abode of all who lack charity and love for their fellow human beings.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke, saying: “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 Lords 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.” (In The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 4, Chapter 81)
10. One argument that wicked people use to try to defend the sin of gambling is that one may do whatever one wants with one’s money. But is this really true? May one do whatever one wants with one’s money? Of course not. It should go without saying that one may only use one’s money in accordance to the laws of God!
11. And if you think this moral truth of God and of His Church is “strict,” what do you think most critics, heretics and lax people throughout the ages have thought of the very teachings of the greatest amongst the Popes, Fathers and the Saints themselves?
It is indeed a characteristic of the saints and of holiness and zealousness to be strict and condemn and forbid useless, vain, and dangerous activities, teachings or things. That is also why the Church forbids and still forbids these things. Yet, it is not infrequently one hears or reads about how some people impiously claims that the Fathers, Saints, Popes and Councils were “wrong” or “too harsh” on many of the things they taught or wrote about. Some even go so far as to claim that they wrote for monks and similar ascetics or for the benefit of the people of their own time, and that as such, their writings or admonitions does not really apply to us, just as if they thought that the sinner in this world and age of ours will be judged by another judgment than the monk or the spiritual man of former times! Well, they will not! St. John Chrysostom writes concerning this, “You certainly deceive yourself and are greatly mistaken if you think that there is one set of requirements for the person in the world and another for the monk. The difference between them is that one is married [and cares for the vanities of the world] and the other is not: in all other respects they will have to render the same account.” (Oppugn., III; PG 47.372; Harkins (1977), p. 156.)
So all of their criticisms and excuses solely stems from their own personal, biased opinions rather than the truth that the Church has always taught, since they obviously want to excuse themselves and follow their own indulgent, worldly, selfish, and sensual lifestyle rather than the safer, stricter, and narrower way.
St. Anselm, Archbishop and Doctor of the Church: “If thou wouldst be certain of being in the number of the elect, strive to be one of the few, not of the many. And if thou wouldst be quite sure of thy salvation, strive to be among the fewest of the few; that is to say: Do not follow the great majority of mankind, but follow those who enter upon the narrow way, who renounce the world, who give themselves to prayer, and who never relax their efforts by day or by night, that they may attain everlasting blessedness.” (Fr. Martin Von Cochem, The Four Last Things, p. 221)
Few are saved from being judged to Hell for all eternity according to God’s Holy and Infallible word in the Bible (Mt. 7:14). That means that most people are damned and always have been. Yet most people seem totally oblivious to this fact and ignores it, and therefore choose to live their lives accordingly, as if nothing really was required of them - just as in the days of Noah!
“And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage [and living as bad as always as if nothing really was required of them in order to be saved], even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away [that is, all the bad people, which was the whole world!]...” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Look at the world today, does anyone even care anything about penances, mortifications, and prayer? No. That is also why most people choose to ignore the Church’s constant teaching and tradition from the beginning, and why they despise the harsher, stricter and narrower way and advice of those few saints and Catholic writers who actually have managed to save themselves from the eternal hellfire. For as we have seen already, the saints and Councils of the Church are unanimous in teaching that pro-sports and gambling are completely evil and vain, and indeed, many more quotes from them on this issue could be quoted in addition to the ones already quoted, if one just looked for them.
It is thus clear that this is not only the “opinions” of mere men, but the teaching tradition of the Church and of the Bible, as well as of the Popes, Fathers and Saints of the Catholic Church, in addition to reason and logic – which all can understand – that all proves that gambling and modern day pro-sports with all its evils are completely forbidden to take part in, support and enjoy. The unreasonableness and inherent evil of gambling and pro-sports have thus been abundantly proven both from the teachings of the Church, as well as from the teaching of the Divine and Natural Law.
It is just a fact that all kinds of popular music are mortally sinful trash that is made by the Devil for the sole reason to drag your soul to an eternal hell fire. There will be countless of impure suggestions toward sin along with a rejection of any kind of morality and decency. Popular music praises sin, and oftentimes speak against God and morality. In short, it contains the same errors and sins that worldly media have, such as: immodest clothing, adultery, blasphemy, foul language and cursing, greed, fornication, make-up, vanity, gloating, magic, occultism, acceptance of false religions, idol-making of mortal humans etc… and are many times even worse. Popular songs that doesn't praise the idolatry and worship of man is hard to find today, and its even harder today to find popular songs which does not praise or worship sin and worldliness as norm. But worse still are the music-videos. A person cannot even listen to these songs without grave sin, but how much more then does a person sin when watching these sinful music-videos with half naked women/men worshiping sin and the occult by deed and example? This is sadly what many of your children are watching daily on the TV you have given them! You must reject this evil music entirely and not accept this to be played in your home.
Not all music are bad or sinful, you can for example listen to religious music, instrumental music, classical music or other music in line with decency and morals. But the highest good is of course not to listen to music at all. Giving up one’s own will is always the highest good.
The best music which one may listen to is of course religious music, since it draws your mind and heart toward our Lord Jesus Christ, Mary, the joy of Heaven, etc.
The next best music which one may listen to is classical music and instrumental music where no singing is involved, for this will not affect your mind toward worldly things as worldly songs always otherwise do.
The worst kind of music one could listen to is music which sings about worldly affairs. A person that listens much to music should avoid listening to worldly songs, otherwise he or she will be drawn toward these worldly things and affairs which are sung about. It is also very necessary to test yourself if you are addicted to music in any way, even totally acceptable music. This is easily done by going a few days without music so that you can test if some withdrawal symptoms effect you. All addictions of earthly things are evil and effect the soul in a harmful way. Just because you don’t see or understand the effect doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Spiritual sloth and depression among other things are common attributes of an addiction to media or music.
The effects from the wrong kind of music, and secular songs are very dangerous. There are numerous quotes from the secular world that can be brought forth to prove this point.
"Music directly represents the passions of states of the soul-gentleness, anger, courage, temperance...if one listens to the wrong kind of music he will become the wrong kind of person..." (Quote from Aristotle)
Brain specialists, Dr. Richard Pellegrino declared that music has the uncanny power to "...trigger a flood of human emotions and images that have the ability to instantaneously produce very powerful changes in emotional states." He went on to say: "Take it from a brain guy. In 25 years of working with the brain, I still cannot affect a person's state of mind the way that one simple song can."
Dr. Allan Bloom is quite correct when he asserts that "popular music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire... but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored ... popular music gives children, on a silver plate, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up ... Young people know that rock and popular music has the beat of sexual intercourse ... Never was there such an art form directed so exclusively to children...(Every Catholic should understand that masturbation is a clear mortal sin!) The words implicitly and explicitly describe bodily acts that satisfy sexual desire and treat them as its only natural and routine culmination for children who do not yet have the slightest imagination of marriage or family." (Dr. Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind, pp. 73-74).
Dr. Allan Bloom: "Today, a very large proportion of young people between the ages of 10 and 20 live for music. It is their passion; nothing else excites them as it does; they cannot take seriously anything alien to music. When they are in school and with their families, they are longing to plug themselves back into their music. Nothing surrounding them - school, family, church - has anything to do with their musical world. At best that ordinary life is neutral, but mostly it is an impediment, drained of vital…"
Dr. Paul King, medical director of the adolescent program at Charter Lakeside Hospital, in Memphis, TN, says more than 80% of his teen patients are there because of rock music. Dr. King says, "the lyrics become a philosophy of life, a religion."
To allow yourself or your children to have any kind of music like rock, pop, rap, techno, trance, or any kind of music that is even remotely similar to this is mortally sinful and really idiotic when presented with these facts. Billions of souls are burning now as we speak in the excruciating fire of hell since they refused to stop listening to bad and sinful music! You will have your children eating your heart out for all eternity in hell, because of the violent hatred they will have against you, since you could have hindered them in their sin, but refused to do so.
"Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God's service...” (Prophecy of La Salette, 19th of September 1846)
According to Catholic Prophecy, bad books would dominate in the end, and we can now see this happening right in front of our eyes with the worldly school system and with worldly evil books like the Harry Potter series which teaches kids that magic and the occult is something good and praiseworthy to do or enjoy. Magic is an abominable mortal sin which was rightly punished by execution when the Catholic Faith was in control of Europe and South America. But now, blinded “Catholics” not only tell their kids that being a magician or an occultist is fine, they also buy these books to their kids. Think about it: If someone made a game on how to make contact with demons and on top of this sold this for your children to play with in stores, then every Christian would be appalled, for every Christian know that making contact with demonic spirits are possible. Yet, many parents let their children read filth or watch movies which portray magic and channeling with demonic spirits as normal and good.
Believe it or not, the example used has now in fact become a reality because of parents as yourself, whom says that bad is good and good is bad. Satan has no limit, he would do even worse if the world or God would allow him. Sadly, as time goes on however, worse things will become a norm.
Toys R Us is selling Ouija boards, promoting them as acceptable for children as young as eight years old.
The pink edition of the Ouija board is listed for girls eight-years-old and up while the regular version is designated for all children eight and up. Stephen Phelan, communications manager of Human Life International, checked the website and reports that the findings are disturbing.
"It is just troubling that these things are treated as casually as any other game, like Monopoly or anything else on this Toys R Us site -- and I think it's something Christians should be aware of and really not support," he states.
"If you go to the comments section on the Toys R Us [web]site, you'll read comments from people who talk about being obsessed with it, talk about missing school for it, talk about the spirits they spoke to on the other side and how creepy it was," Phelan describes.
The communications manager adds that the primary groups that deny the evils of the Ouija board are the ones who deny the spirit world entirely. He goes on to say Christians have a biblical mandate.
"We're supposed to deal with the truth only," he notes. "We're supposed to have nothing to do with dark spirits. We're not supposed to dabble in anything that would compromise our souls, and that's exactly what this does." The manufacturer of the product is Hasbro.
Lord of the Rings is another famous book series which presents magic, occultism, fairy tales and fables as something good and praiseworthy but is in reality just another abomination before the Lord. Sadly, many “Catholics” refuses to accept these facts and still believes that Lord of the Rings is good or even Catholic. You can fool yourself, but you cannot fool God!
“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: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
St. Teresa even confessed that reading books which in themselves was not evil, was still a beginning of great harm and lukewarmness on her part. What then are one to say about evil media, evil video games and sinful stinking books? A person cannot do these things without becoming completely lukewarm and cold in the service of God exactly as it also happened to the glorious St. Theresa, for those who always seek after worldly things are in fact diminishing in the fervor of God!
The following quote further proving this point was taken from the Life of St. Teresa- “What I shall now speak of was, I believe, the beginning of great harm to me. I contracted a habit of reading books; and this little fault which I observed was the beginning of lukewarmness in my good desires, and the occasion of my falling away in other respects. I thought there was no harm in it when I wasted many hours night and day in so vain an occupation, even when I kept it a secret from my father. So completely was I mastered by this passion, that I thought I could never be happy without a new book.”
Doesn't this sound familiar? Don't we all think as Teresa did, that we cannot be happy without our daily media, our evil movies and series, our bad video games or bad books? If the effect on this Saint was the start of a great harm, what then will it be for you, when what you do in comparison with her is infinitely more damaging and dangerous to your soul? How utterly stupid and foolish is it not to spend one's time reading bad worldly books, when one can spend time reading good Catholic books about virtue that would edify soul, mind and body? You will find innumerable good Catholic books if you just look for them, one good place to start is here: http://www.catholic-saints.net/
“To a spiritual life the reading of holy books is perhaps not less useful than mental prayer. St. Bernard says reading instructs us at once in prayer, and in the practice of virtue. Hence he concluded that spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won..." St. Alphonsus
Burn every book, film or music album immediately which can be accounted to be sinful, and repent, do penance, and confess of this evil. As you would throw away poison in order that it may not be able to hurt yourself or your child, do the same here. Think about pleasing God first and not yourself or your child. Life is too short and Hell is too long and painful to refuse to follow God’s law.
For the Love of God, keep your children away from public school, (if that option is available for you) and the company of other bad men. You must do everything in your power to hinder the worldly school-system from indoctrinating your children, even going so far as moving from your country if your country forces public school on children. The responsibility of an eternal soul that is greater than the universe must not be lightly dealt with. If you can home-school your kids but doesn't do it, then you really don't care for the spiritual well being of your children. How can a Catholic parent with good conscience let his kids go to public school where he know they will be exposed to bad influences by other children, and brainwashed by teachings such as evolution and sexual education? Most of the things we learn in school is superfluous anyway and will never be needed. We are bombarded with unnecessary teachings that will occupy much of our time. This will lead souls to forget God and their own spiritual well being! The school system before was very different from today, for back then most states was Christian, and God and the Bible was not banned from school.
Will you allow your children to go to public school and go out with worldly or ungodly friends? Then sadly, you will in fact lose them to the world! God does not tell us as much as to be on guard against demons as with men (Matthew 10:17), for men are oftentimes more harmful to us then the devils are, for demons can be expelled by invoking the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, but man on the other hand cannot be expelled in the same way. And if a man tries to change his life, he will be reviled, despised, and called a most miserable fool, a good for nothing and a man of no education. Many weak souls sadly turn back to the vomit from such and like reproaches out of fear for the loss of human respect!
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 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 Theologiae, Pt. II-II, Q. 154, A. 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 Scripture as one which excludes 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, it’s 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 (homosexuality).
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 one 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.
For the full article on masturbation and all the information, questions, objections, and on the help & how to overcome it, please see this file: http://www.catholic-saints.net/masturbation/
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."
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women [and men] of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful." (1 Peter 3:3-6)
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. For every single person you have tempted with your immodest appearance will demand that God executes his righteous vengeance on you since you tempted them into lustful thoughts!
Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches in St. Bridget’s revelations, that all who uses make-up or immodest clothing will be especially tormented for every single person that have seen them 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! What a horror! 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!
"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." (Deut 22:5).
Women should not dress or act like men, for this is an abomination in God's eyes. 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 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.
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 vise 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." (Mt 5:17-19).
Padre Pio used to refuse to hear the confession of women who were wearing pants or an immodest dress.
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.
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 Cor 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 make-up 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 make-up or dress vainly, God will still judge you to hell if you 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! This accounts for all kinds of makeup a person may use for vanity. How abominable to want to be accepted for your appearance rather than for your opinions! Oh, vanity, 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 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 5:28)
God solemnly declares that he will judge our every thought, how much more then will he judge our deeds? When we in our mind take delight in sinful thoughts, God takes this as an act in the very same way as he judges us as murderers if we hate our brother, or, as an adulterer if we look at a woman with lust in our heart. What then will God judge you to be when you in your heart love abominable things?
No one can escape to have bad thoughts, for we are not yet angels but mere men. We cannot escape these bad thoughts, but we can refuse to enjoy them. Don't be surprised if you have all kinds of abominable thoughts. Many people are unlearned and do not understand that this is Satan tempting and giving them these thoughts. Sure, many bad thoughts arise from various bad occasions you have put yourself in during the course of the day or life, but still, if you do not think about these thoughts willfully and it still assail you, then it must be Satan tempting you!
Every time you get bad thoughts against your own will, and you resist them, you have not committed any sin.
When you get bad thoughts against your will and you enjoy them a little, and repents almost immediately, you have still committed sin.
If you however, willfully delve in bad thoughts and enjoy them, you have without a doubt committed mortal sin! A clearer demonstration of this can be seen in St. Bridget's revelations:
The Son of God speaks to the bride (St. Bridget): “"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)
“There is not a commandment of God which dancing does not cause men to break! Mothers may indeed say: ‘Oh, I keep an eye on their dress; you cannot keep guard over their heart.’ Go, you wicked parents, go down to Hell where the wrath of God awaits you, because of your conduct when you gave free scope to your children; GO! It will not be long before they join you, seeing that you have shown them the way so well! Then you will see whether your pastor was right in forbidding those Hellish amusements.” (The Curé D’Ars, St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney, p. 146)
St. Alphonsus (c. 1755): “In the year 1611, in the celebrated sanctuary of Mary in Montevergine, it happened that on the vigil of Pentecost the people who thronged there profaned that feast with balls, excesses, and immodest conduct, when a fire was suddenly discovered bursting forth from the house of entertainment where they were feasting, so that in less than an hour and a half it was consumed, and more than one thousand five hundred persons were killed. Five persons who remained alive affirmed upon oath, that they had seen the Mother of God herself, with two lighted torches set fire to the inn.” (The Glories of Mary, p. 659.)
From these quotes, everyone can see how evil dances are. Dancing causes thousands of tempting and lascivious thoughts that leads countless of lost souls to hell. To obstinately defend dances between boys and girls or between men and women is absolutely despicable, and those parents who allow their children to go to such events or those who even at times force their children to such events, will experience the most excruciating torment in hell unless they amend immediately. To go to pubs which only sell alcohol or which propagate gambling or other mortal sins is absolutely unacceptable and sinful. These places were fervently preached against by St. John Vianney, and he called them real hell holes and the cause of countless of mortal sins!
Since many people who are reading this have not been taught these concepts by modernist heretics, we must point out a few other things in this regard: servile works are forbidden on Sundays; people should not do laundry on Sundays; people should not do yard work (such as mowing the lawn, etc.) on Sundays; people should not shop food on Sundays unless they are starving etc... Exceptions to this would be work that absolutely must be done. For example, making a fire in your home so that you can be warm and survive is works that are completely acceptable. If you are able to make your food for the whole family before the Sunday, you must do so. One should not spend the Sunday on making food for the family which may take several hours of the day. You may of course (if you don't have any prepared food) take time to make something small for you or the family which does not require much of your time or take some food that you already have and warm it up. You cannot cut wood on Sundays and you must restrict yourself to only do things that are absolutely necessary for survival. If you must shovel out your driveway after a heavy snowfall, so that you can get to work, then you could do so on a Sunday. This, of course, implies some preplanning, but no one should refuse to obey the divine commandments since this action will undoubtedly lead to eternal damnation. An obedient person will see the beauty of God forcing man to rest from physical works.
To do unnecessary works on Sundays is completely unacceptable unless you starve and don't have the means necessary to support your family. In the richer countries, even going so far as begging or receiving social welfare checks every month is far better than to do unnecessary work on Sundays, since this not only damns yourself, but also damns your employer (unless ignorance excuse him). Your employer will in fact be punished for every single person he has allowed or forced (by threatening with layoffs) to work on Sundays. That can be thousands and thousands of people attacking one man for all eternity! What a horror!
People should of course also try to arrange with their employers that they don't have to work on Sundays. Likewise, other work that should or must be done on Sundays, due to one's work, occupation or state (such as tending the sick), can be done. If you have exhausted all the options for not working on Sundays or for receiving an income, for example: looking for another job or moving to another place, or any other lawful means of receiving an income, (like receiving social welfare checks for the support of the necessities for you or your family, as long as this do not imply that you have to compromise your faith or safety in any way,) then you are not obligated to stay away from work and can safely work on Sundays as long as it is your last option. Below are some examples of acceptable reasons of why you can work on Sundays.
If you cannot continue home-schooling your children for example, this would be an acceptable reason with continuing to work on Sundays. Another example would be if you had to move to a bad neighbourhood with much drugs, violence or lasciviousness that would influence you or your family in a sinful way, or if by quitting your work, you may be forced to take another work that is sinful or immoral. This would be another reason to continue to work on Sundays until you have found another work where you are not forced to work on Sundays or forced to put your family's spiritual wellbeing in jeopardy.
This goes to say if the work you do is acceptable before God. If you sin against God or your neighbour by the specific work you do, such as selling, packing or stocking contraception, porn, bad newspapers with immodest images or stories about sex or other sins etc, then you cannot go to that work even if you starve or don't have the means to support yourself or your family. In such cases you have to put your entire trust in God. You cannot be the cause of your brothers mortal sins without yourself being guilty of mortal sin!
“Therefore I say to you: Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. The life is more than the meat: and the body is more than the raiment... seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Lk. 12:22-24, 27-28, 31)
However, in the poorer countries where there is no chance of getting social welfare or income in any other way, it is totally acceptable to work on Sundays as long as the person must do it in order to survive. Many people do not operate under these conditions but work on Sundays in order to have more money than they need to survive. Yes, many people have the means necessary to stay away from work on Sundays, but only go to work to receive more abundance in riches. This is a clear mortal sin!
The following example on this 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 give 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."
“The third commandment is that thou have mind and remember that thou hallow and keep holy thy Sabbath day or Sunday. That is to say, that thou shalt do no work nor operation on the Sunday or holy day, but thou shalt rest from all worldly labour and intend to prayer, and to serve God thy maker, which rested the seventh day of the works that he made in the six days before, in which he made and ordained the world. This commandment accomplish he that keep to his power the peace of his conscience for to serve God more holily. Then this day that the Jews called Sabbath is as much to say as rest. This commandment may no man keep spiritually that is encumbered in his conscience with deadly sin, such a conscience can not be in rest nor in peace as long as he is in such a state. In the stead of the Sabbath day which was straightly kept in the old law, holy church hath established the Sunday in the new law. For our Lord arose from death to life on the Sunday, and therefore we ought to keep it holily, and be in rest from the works of the week before, and to cease of the work of sin, and to intend to do spiritual works, and to follow our Lord beseeching him of mercy and to thank him for his benefits, for they that break the Sunday and the other solemn feasts that be established to be hallowed in holy church, they sin deadly, for they do directly against the commandment of God aforesaid and holy church, but if it be for some necessity that holy church admitteth and granteth. But they sin much more then, that employ the Sunday and the feasts in sins, in lechery, in going to taverns in the service time, in gluttony and drinking drunk, and in other sins, outrages against God. For alas for sorrow I trow there is more sin committed on the Sunday and holy days and feasts than in the other work days. For then be they drunk, fight and slay, and be not occupied virtuously in God’s service as they ought to do. And as God command us to remember and have in mind to keep and hallow the holy day, they that so do sin deadly and observe and keep not this third commandment.” (From the Golden legend or the Lives of the Saints, volume 1, page 122-123)
From the above quote can be learned that man should not do the things on a Sunday as he would do on the other days. The Sunday is intended for God to be kept in holiness. Thus, if the only difference for you on Sundays is that you keep away from servile work, and do not give any of your time to God, what profit is there for you? (It is nothing wrong with walking the dog on a Sunday, or to have sporting activities with friends and family.)
God commanded at least one day off for man so that man could rest from the world and use it for his and his family's spiritual wellbeing, in praying, reading, picnicking and doing other good works for the soul of oneself and the family. You should thus spend the Sunday in abstaining from your own will, such as watching the tv, playing games, listening to music or the radio, etc, and instead strive to know God in solitude, prayer and meditation.
We don’t know if smoking in very small amounts once in a while is a sin. But we believe that smoking habitually or regularly 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. This is not even to get into the issue that we know it’s horrible for health and leads to death. If you are smoking, you are giving a horrible example to people, tempting them to start smoking 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.
The same can be said of all addictive substances that you don’t need to survive, such as: coffee, candy, chips, cookies, soda, good meats etc... If you can’t abstain from these substances for even a few days, then you are addicted to them and need to learn to abstain from them. Good days for learning to abstain from one’s own desires are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Fridays has always been a day of abstinence in the Catholic Church – since Our Lord suffered and died on that day – which means that one cannot eat anything containing meat under pain of mortal sin (there is no obligation of fast or abstinence on a holy day of obligation such as Christmas, even if it falls on a Friday). One should of course also abstain from other superfluous substances. While some substances may appear to be harmless, grace is highly diminished in people who always uses things which are superfluous.
St. Francis of Assisi was well aware of the truth that seeking pleasure corrupts the soul. St. Francis even 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 saints have refused to eat food that taste good. However, no one should get the idea that it’s sinful to eat tasty 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.
Everyone of course knows that the consuming of mind altering drugs such as smoking marijuana or taking LSD or ecstasy is a mortal sin, just like getting drunk is a mortal sin, because when “a man willingly and knowingly deprives himself of the use of reason, whereby he performs virtuous deeds and avoids sin... he sins mortally by running the risk of falling into sin. For [Saint] Ambrose says (De Patriarch. [De Abraham i.]): "We learn that we should shun drunkenness, which prevents us from avoiding grievous sins. For the things we avoid when sober, we unknowingly [or knowingly] commit through drunkenness." Therefore drunkenness, properly speaking, is a mortal sin.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 150, Article 2. Whether drunkenness is a mortal sin?)
A person who uses a drug that makes him intoxicated needs an absolutely necessary reason (such as a grave illness) to excuse his usage of the drug from being a sin, and when he does not have such an absolutely necessary excuse to excuse his drug usage, he commits the sin of drug abuse. 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 and for mere pleasure, or continues to use the drug after he gets well, he commits the sin of drug abuse. This is a perfect example of those who use drugs for the mere sake of pleasure. They are gluttonous or overindulgent in their sensual appetite, and are thus sinning against their reason and the Natural Law. For “the sin of lust [or pleasure seeking] 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)
St. Alphonsus Liguori, one of the most well known doctors of the Church, in his masterpiece “The True Spouse of Jesus Christ”, shows 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)
Since almost the whole world today have fallen into this mortal vice of judging falsely, it is necessary to speak briefly about it in order to make people aware of that evil thoughts, judgments or conclusions about other people – thinking negatively, evil or bad about them, calumniating their intentions, character or meanings with slight or no proof – is a mortal sin.
This means that you are not to presume why or what other people are or what their intentions or motives are when they do or say certain things with slight or no proof other than your own evil presumptions. To do otherwise is to slander them and think evil of them. Evil men usually judge others by themselves and hence conclude that others must be evil as themselves and therefore, they do not think good of others or try to excuse them first since they are evil and would have, or think they could have, done evil in the same or a similar situation.
However, and the sad thing is, the very same people who so easily judge and condemn their neighbor at the slightest apprehension of evil, would many times instantly have tried to excuse their own friend, child, family, or wife in the same situation, but whenever their neighbor is involved, or someone they don’t like or know about, then this just and right thought process that they would have had towards their own family members or friend is instantly abandoned. So while many of them want to excuse their own loved ones as much as possible and not think evil of them without some proof or reason – however much their actions or deeds seem to have been evil at first – they cannot stand and, in most cases never have, the same just thought process towards other people they don’t know about or like. This is clearly an injustice!
For example, some people presume that just because someone is homeless, this means he must be a bum, a thief, a lazy person or a drug and alcohol addict without even considering the circumstances that led him to become homeless. Others still imagine that one can conclude calumniating, slanderous or evil things about others just because they don’t speak about a specific subject or are silent about it or because they behave in a certain way. In truth, what would you think if people always judged you evilly based on what you did or did not say or because of how you behaved in certain citations?
In contrast to this, others still presume to conclude that just because someone spoke favorably of some subject, this means he himself must do this or be guilty of it, such as practicing contraception, performing abortions, or be a homosexual! No, just because someone spoke favorably of homosexuality, abortion or contraception, doesn’t mean he or she himself is a practicing homosexual, use contraception, or perform abortions. That is common sense. Sure, those people who speak favorably of these evil things are themselves evil and damned people and heretics against the natural law, but just because they are evil, doesn’t mean one can leave of justice and presume unjustified, additional evils about them concerning what they do or do not do.
So many people fall into these deadly errors all the time today. To presume things about others have sadly become the norm. That is mostly due to the media, magazines and the internet where one is exposed to this evil behavior or attitude almost daily by evil, judgmental, presumptuous and prideful people that think they can presume things about other people’s intentions without having to render a strict account of every word, thought or deed that they have ever said or thought of their neighbor – whether it be true or false. “For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2)
Innumerable more examples could be given. St. John Vianney in the Sermons of the Cure of Ars, explains this vice further and gives some additional examples demonstrating the evil of Rash Judgments:
ST. NICHOLAS AND THE THREE GIRLS
Tell me, now, my brethren, on what foundation are rash judgments and sentences based? Alas! They are based upon very slight evidence only, and most often upon what “someone said.” But perhaps you are going to tell me that you have seen and heard this and that. Unfortunately, you could be mistaken in the testimony of both your sight and hearing, as you are going to see.... Here is an example which will show you, better than anything else can, how easily we can be mistaken and how we are nearly always wrong.
What would you have said, my dear brethren, if you had been living during the time of St. Nicholas and you had seen him coming in the middle of the night, walking around the house of three young girls, watching carefully and taking good care that no one saw him. Just look at that bishop, you would have thought at once, degrading and dishonouring his calling; he is a dreadful hypocrite. He seems to be a saint when he is in church, and look at him now, in the middle of the night, at the door of three girls who do not have a very good reputation! And yet, my dear brethren, this bishop, who would certainly have been condemned by you, was indeed a very great saint and most dear to God. What he was doing was the best deed in the world. In order to spare these young persons the shame of begging, he came in the night and threw money in to them through their window because he feared that it was poverty which had made them abandon themselves to sin.
This should teach us never to judge the actions of our neighbour without having reflected very well beforehand. … Yes indeed, my brethren, I have seen people making wrong judgments about the intentions of their neighbour when I have known perfectly well that these intentions were good [Vianney was a confessor and heard peoples confessions]. I have tried in vain to make them understand, but it was no good. Oh! Cursed pride, what evil you do and how many souls do you lead to Hell!
YOUR HEART IS BUT A MASS OF PRIDE
You will tell me, perhaps, that you never judge people except by what you see or after you have actually heard or been the witness of some action: “I saw him doing this action, so I am sure. I heard what he said with my own ears. After that, I could not be mistaken.”
But I shall reply by telling you to begin by entering into your own heart, which is but a mass of pride wherein everything is dried up. You will find yourself infinitely more guilty than the person whom you are so boldly judging, and you have plenty of room for fear, lest one day you will see him going to Heaven while you are being dragged down to Hell by the demons. “Oh, unfortunate pride,” says St. Augustine to us, “you dare to judge your brother on the slightest appearance of evil, and how do you know that he has not repented of his fault and that he is not numbered among God’s friends? Take care rather that he does not take the place which your pride is putting you in great danger of losing.”
Yes, my dear brethren, all these rash judgments and all these interpretations come only from a person who has a secret pride, who does not know himself, and who dares to wish to know the interior life of his neighbour, something which is known to God alone. If only, my dear children, we were able to arrive at the stage of eradicating this first of the capital sins from our hearts [envy and pride], our neighbour would never do any wrong according to us. We should never amuse ourselves by examining his conduct. We should be content to do nothing else save weep for our own sins and work as hard as we could to correct them.
THE TONGUE OF THE SCANDAL-MONGER
Anyone who is unfortunate enough to come under the tongue of the scandalmonger is like a grain of corn under the grinding stone in a mill: he is torn, crushed, entirely destroyed. People like these will fasten onto you intentions that you never had; they will poison all your actions and your movements. If you have enough piety to wish to fulfill your religious duties, you are only a hypocrite, an angel in the church and a demon in the house. If you do any good or charitable works, they will think that this is just through pride and so that you may gain notice. If you are not worldly and not interested in worldly affairs, you are said to be odd and singular and to have no spirit. If you look after your own affairs carefully, you are nothing but a miser. Let me go further, my dear brethren, and say that the tongue of the scandalmonger is like the worm which gnaws at the good fruit – that is, the best actions that people do – and tries to turn all to bad account. The tongue of the scandalmonger is a grub which taints the most beautiful of the flowers and upon them leaves behind it the disgusting trace of is own slime.
THE EVIL TONGUES
There are some who, through envy, for that is what it amounts to, belittle and slander others, especially those in the same business or profession as their own, in order to draw business to themselves. They will say such evil things as “their merchandise is worthless” or “they cheat”; that they have nothing at home and that it would be impossible to give goods away at such a price; that there have been many complaints about these goods; that they will give no value or wear or whatever it is, or even that it is short weight, or not the right length, and so on.
A workman will say that another man is not a good worker, that he is always changing his job, that people are not satisfied with him, or that he does no work, that he only puts in his time, or perhaps that he does not know how to work. “What I was telling you there,” they will then add, “it would be better to say nothing about it. He might lose by it, you know.” “Is that so?” you answer. “It would have been better if you yourself had said nothing. That would have been the thing to do.”
A farmer will observe that his neighbour’s property is doing better than his own. This makes him very angry so he will speak evil of him. There are others who slander their neighbours from motives of vengeance. If you do or say something to help someone, even through reasons of duty or of charity, they will then look for opportunities to decry you, to think up things which will harm you, in order to revenge themselves. If their neighbour is well spoken of, they will be very annoyed and will tell you: “He is just like everyone else. He has his own faults. He has done this, he has said that. You didn’t know that? Ah, that is because you have never had anything to do with him.”
A great many people slander others because of pride. They think that by depreciating others they will increase their own worth. They want to make the most of their own alleged good qualities. Everything they say and do will be good, and everything that others say and do will be wrong. But the great bulk of malicious talk is done by people who are simply irresponsible, who have an itch to chatter about others without feeling any need to discover whether what they are saying is true or false. They just have to talk. Yet, although these latter are less guilty than the others – that is to say, than those who slander and backbite through hatred or envy or revenge – yet they are not free from sin. Whatever the motive that prompts them, they should not sully the reputation of their neighbour. … perhaps, my friend, you are mistaken [in your judgments], and although everything may have been exactly as you have said, perhaps he is already in Heaven, perhaps God has pardoned him. But, in the meantime, where is your charity?
St. Francis de Sales in his Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 28, explains the vice of Hasty Judgments:
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged,” said the Saviour of our souls; “condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned:” and the Apostle Saint Paul, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” Of a truth, hasty judgments are most displeasing to God, and men’s judgments are hasty, because we are not judges one of another, and by judging we usurp our Lord’s own office. Man’s judgment is hasty, because the chief malice of sin lies in the intention and counsel of the heart, which is shrouded in darkness to us. Moreover, man’s judgments are hasty, because each one has enough to do in judging himself, without undertaking to judge his neighbour. If we would not be judged, it behoves us alike not to judge others, and to judge ourselves. Our Lord forbids the one, His Apostle enjoins the other, saying, “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” But alas! for the most part we precisely reverse these precepts, judging our neighbour, which is forbidden on all sides, while rarely judging ourselves, as we are told to do.We must proceed to rectify rash judgments, according to their cause. Some hearts there are so bitter and harsh by nature, that everything turns bitter under their touch; men who, in the Prophet’s words, “turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth.” Such as these greatly need to be dealt with by some wise spiritual physician, for this bitterness being natural to them, it is hard to conquer; and… it is very dangerous, because it gives rise to and fosters rash judgments and slander within the heart. Others there are who are guilty of rash judgments less out of a bitter spirit than from pride, supposing to exalt their own credit by disparaging that of others. These are self-sufficient, presumptuous people, who stand so high in their own conceit that they despise all else as mean and worthless. It was the foolish Pharisee who said, “I am not as other men are.” Others, again, have not quite such overt pride, but rather a lurking little satisfaction in beholding what is wrong in others, in order to appreciate more fully what they believe to be their own superiority. This satisfaction is so well concealed, so nearly imperceptible, that it requires a clear sight to discover it, and those who experience it need that it be pointed out to them. Some there are who seek to excuse and justify themselves to their own conscience, by assuming readily that others are guilty of the same faults, or as great ones, vainly imagining that the sin becomes less culpable when shared by many. Others, again, give way to rash judgments merely because they take pleasure in a philosophic analysis and dissection of their neighbours’ characters; and if by ill luck they chance now and then to be right, their presumption and love of criticism strengthens almost incurably.
Then there are people whose judgment is solely formed by inclination; who always think well of those they like, and ill of those they dislike. To this, however, there is one rare exception, which nevertheless we do sometimes meet, when an excessive love provokes a false judgment concerning its object; the hideous result of a diseased, faulty, restless affection, which is in fact jealousy; an evil passion capable, as everybody knows, of condemning others of perfidy and adultery upon the most trivial and fanciful ground. In like manner, fear, ambition, and other moral infirmities often tend largely to produce suspicion and rash judgments.
What remedy can we apply? They who drink the juice of the Ethiopian herb Ophiusa imagine that they see serpents and horrors everywhere; and those who drink deep of pride, envy, ambition, hatred, will see harm and shame in every one they look upon. The first can only be cured by drinking palm wine, and so I say of these latter,—Drink freely of the sacred wine of love, and it will cure you of the evil tempers which lead you to these perverse judgments. So far from seeking out that which is evil, Love dreads meeting with it, and when such meeting is unavoidable, she shuts her eyes at the first symptom, and then in her holy simplicity she questions whether it were not merely a fantastic shadow which crossed her path rather than sin itself. Or if Love is forced to recognise the fact, she turns aside hastily, and strives to forget what she has seen. Of a truth, Love is the great healer of all ills, and of this above the rest. Everything looks yellow to a man that has the jaundice; and it is said that the only cure is through the soles of the feet. Most assuredly the sin of rash judgments is a spiritual jaundice, which makes everything look amiss to those who have it; and he who would be cured of this malady must not be content with applying remedies to his eyes or his intellect, he must attack it through the affections, which are as the soul’s feet. If your affections are warm and tender, your judgment will not be harsh; if they are loving, your judgment will be the same. Holy Scripture offers us three striking illustrations. Isaac, when in the Land of Gerar, gave out that Rebecca was his sister, but when Abimelech saw their familiarity, he at once concluded that she was his wife. A malicious mind would rather have supposed that there was some unlawful connection between them, but Abimelech took the most charitable view of the case that was possible. And so ought we always to judge our neighbour as charitably as may be; and if his actions are many-sided, we should accept the best. Again, when Saint Joseph found that the Blessed Virgin was with child, knowing her to be pure and holy, he could not believe that there was any sin in her, and he left all judgment to God, although there was strong presumptive evidence on which to condemn her. And the Holy Spirit speaks of Saint Joseph as “a just man.” When a just man cannot see any excuse for what is done by a person in whose general worth he believes, he still refrains from judging him, and leaves all to God’s Judgment. Again, our Crucified Saviour, while He could not wholly ignore the sin of those who Crucified Him, yet made what excuse He might for them, pleading their ignorance. And so when we cannot find any excuse for sin, let us at least claim what compassion we may for it, and impute it to the least damaging motives we can find, as ignorance or infirmity.
… [Many times] We do not necessarily judge because we see or are conscious of something wrong. Rash judgment always presupposes something that is not clear, in spite of which we condemn another. It is not wrong to have doubts concerning a neighbour, but we ought to be very watchful lest even our doubts or suspicions be rash and hasty. A malicious person seeing Jacob kiss Rachel at the well-side, or Rebecca accepting jewels from Eleazer, a stranger, might have suspected them of levity, though falsely and unreasonably. If an action is in itself indifferent, it is a rash suspicion to imagine that it means evil, unless there is strong circumstantial evidence to prove such to be the case. And it is a rash judgment when we draw condemnatory inferences from an action which may be blameless.Those who keep careful watch over their conscience are not often liable to form rash judgments, for just as when the clouds lower the bees make for the shelter of their hive, so really good people shrink back into themselves, and refuse to be mixed up with the clouds and fogs of their neighbour’s questionable doings, and rather than meddle with others, they consecrate their energies on their own improvement and good resolutions.No surer sign of an unprofitable life than when people give way to censoriousness and inquisitiveness into the lives of other men. Of course exception must be made as to those who are responsible for others, whether in family or public life;—to all such it becomes a matter of conscience to watch over the conduct of their fellows. Let them fulfill their duty lovingly, and let them also give heed to restrain themselves within the bounds of that duty.”
From St. John Vianney’s Sermons of the Cure of Ars
NOT LIKE THE OTHERS
“I am not like the others!” That, my dear brethren, is the usual tone of false virtue and the attitude of those proud people who, always quite satisfied with themselves, are at all times ready to censure and to criticize the conduct of others. That, too, is the attitude of the rich, who look upon the poor as if they were of a different race or nature from them and who behave towards them accordingly.
Let us go one better, my dear brethren, and admit that it is the attitude of most of the world. There are very few people, even in the lowliest conditions, who do not have a good opinion of themselves. They regard themselves as far superior to their equals, and their detestable pride urges them to believe that they are indeed worth a great deal more than most other people. From this I conclude that pride is the source of all the vices and the cause of all the evils which have occurred, and which are still to come, in the course of the centuries. We carry our blindness so far that often we even glorify ourselves on account of things which really ought to cover us with confusion. Some derive a great deal of pride because they believe that they have more intelligence than others; others because they have a few more inches of land or some money, when in fact they should be in dread of the formidable account which God will demand of them one day. Oh, my dear brethren, if only some of them felt the need to say the prayer that St. Augustine addressed to God: “My God, teach me to know myself for what I am and I shall have no need of anything else to cover me with confusion and scorn for myself.”
We could say that this sin is found everywhere, that it accompanies man in what he does and says. It is like a kind of seasoning or flavouring which can be tasted in every portion of a dish. Listen to me for a moment and you can see this for yourselves. Our Lord gives us an example in the Gospel when He tells us of the Pharisee who went up into the temple to pray and, standing up where all could see him, said in a loud voice: “O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men steeped in sin. I spend my life doing good and pleasing you.” Herein consists the very nature of the proud man: instead of thanking God for condescending to make use of him for a good purpose and for giving him grace, he looks upon whatever good he does as something which comes from himself, not from God. Let us go into a few details and you will see that there are hardly any exceptions to this general sin of pride. The old and the young, the rich and the poor, all suffer from it. Each and everyone congratulates himself and flatters himself because of what he is or of what he does – or rather because of what he is not and what he does not. Everyone applauds himself and loves also to be applauded. Everyone rushes to solicit the praises of the rest of the world, and everyone strives to draw them to himself. In this way are the lives of the great majority of people passed.
The door by which pride enters with the greatest ease and strength is the door of wealth. Just as soon as someone improves his possessions and his sources of wealth, you will observe him change his mode of life. He will act as Jesus Christ told us the Pharisees liked to act: these people love to be called master and to have people saluting them. They like the first places. They begin to appear in better clothes. They leave behind their air of simplicity. … Take a young woman who has a shapely figure or who, at any rate, thinks she has. You see her walking along, picking her steps, full of affectation, with a pride which seems colossal enough to reach the clouds! If she has plenty of clothes, she will leave her wardrobe open [or be sure to display them to others in some way] so that they can be seen [and this vice applies to any material possessions, deeds, or even body parts that people are sure to display to others through vanity and pride].
People take pride in their animals and in their households. They take pride in knowing how to go to Confession properly, in saying their prayers, in behaving modestly and decorously in the church. A mother takes pride from her children. You will hear a landowner whose fields are in better condition than those of his neighbours criticising these and applauding his own superior knowledge. Or it may be a young man with a watch, or perhaps only the chain, and a couple of coins in his pocket, and you will hear him saying, “I did not know that it was so late,” so that people will see him looking at the watch or will know that he has one. … No, my dear brethren, there is nothing that is quite as ridiculous or stupid as to be forever talking about what we have or what we do. Just listen to the father of a family when his children are of an age to get married; in all the places and gatherings where he is to be found you will hear him saying: “I have so many thousand francs ready; my business will give me so many thousands, etc.” But if later he is asked for a few coppers for the poor, he has nothing.
If a tailor or a dressmaker has made a success of a coat or a frock and someone seeing the wearer pass says, “That looks very well. I wonder who made it?” they will make very sure to observe: “Oh, I made that.” Why? So that everyone may know how skilful they are. But if the garment had not been such a success, they would, of course, take good care to say nothing, for fear of being humiliated. … And I will add this to what I have just said. This sin is even more to be feared in people who put on a good show of piety and religion.
A PUBLIC PLAGUE
As you know my dear brethren, we are bound as fellow creatures to have human sympathy and feelings for one another. Yet one envious person would like, if he possibly could, to destroy everything good and profitable belonging to his neighbour. You know, too, that as Christians we must have boundless charity for our fellow men. But the envious person is far removed indeed from such virtues. He would be happy to see his fellow man ruin himself. Every mark of God’s generosity towards his neighbour is like a knife thrust that pierces his heart and causes him to die in secret. Since we are all members of the same Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head, we should so strive that unity, charity, love, and zeal can be seen in one and all. To make us all happy, we should rejoice, as St. Paul tells, in the happiness of our fellow men and mourn with those who have cares or troubles. But, very far from experiencing such feelings, the envious are forever uttering scandals and calumnies against their neighbours. It appears to them that in this way they can do something to assuage and sweeten their vexation.
… We can see that this sin makes its first appearance among children. You will notice the petty jealousies they will feel against one another if they observe any preferences on the part of the parents. A young man would like to be the only one considered to have intelligence, or learning, or a good character. A girl would like to be the only one who is loved, the only one well dressed, the only one sought after; if others are more popular than she, you will see her fretting and upsetting herself, even weeping, perhaps, instead of thanking God for being neglected by creatures so that she may be attached to Him alone. What a blind passion envy is, my dear brethren! Who could hope to understand it?… This is surely a cursed sin which puts a barrier between brothers and sisters, too. The very moment that a father or a mother gives more to one member of the family than the others, you will see the birth of this jealous hatred against the parent or against the favoured brother or sister – a hatred which may last for years, and sometimes even for a lifetime. There are children who keep a watchful eye upon their parents just to insure that they will not give any sort of gift or privilege to one member of the family. If this should occur in spite of them, there is nothing bad enough that they will not say.
Unfortunately, this vice can be noted even among those in whom it should never be encountered – that is to say, among those who profess to practice their religion. They will take note of how many times such a person remains to go to Confession or of how So-and-So kneels or sits when she is saying her prayers. They will talk of these things and criticise the people concerned, for they think that such prayers or good works are done only so that they may be seen, or in other words, that they are purely an affectation. You may tire yourself out telling them that their neighbour’s actions concern him alone. They are irritated and offended if the conduct of others is thought to be superior to their own....
Take another example. Here is a merchant who wants to have all the business for himself and to leave nothing at all for anyone else. If someone leaves his store to go elsewhere, he will do his best to say all the evil he can, either about the rival businessman himself or else about the quality of what he sells. He will take all possible means to ruin his rival’s reputation, saying that the other’s goods are not of the same quality as his own or that the other man gives short weight. You will notice, too, than an envious man like this has a diabolical trick to add to all this: “It would not do,” he will tell you, “for you to say this to anyone else; it might do harm and that would upset me very much. I am only telling you because I would not like to see you being cheated.”
A workman may discover that someone else is now going to work in a house where previously he was always employed. This angers him greatly, and he will do everything in his power to run down this “interloper” so that he will not be employed there after all. Look at the father of a family and see how angry he becomes if his next-door neighbour prospers more than he or if the neighbour’s land produces more. Look at a mother: she would like it if people spoke well of no children except hers. If anyone praises the children of some other family to her and does not say something good of hers, she will reply, “They are not perfect,” and she will become quite upset. How foolish you are, poor mother! The praise given to others will take nothing from your children. … You will see this even among the poor. If some kindly person gives a little bit extra to one of them, they will make sure to speak ill of him to their benefactor in the hope of preventing him from benefiting on any further occasion. Dear Lord, what a detestable vice this is! It attacks all that is good, spiritual as well as temporal.
We have already said that this vice indicates a mean and petty spirit. That is so true that no one will admit to feeling envy, or at least no one wants to believe that he has been attacked by it. People will employ a hundred and one devices to conceal their envy from others. If someone speaks well of another in our presence, we keep silence: we are upset and annoyed. If we must say something, we do so in the coldest and most unenthusiastic fashion. No, my dear children, there is not a particle of charity in the envious heart. St. Paul has told us that we must rejoice in the good which befalls our neighbour. Joy, my dear brethren, is what Christian charity should inspire in us for one another. But the sentiments of the envious are vastly different.
I do not believe that there is a more ugly and dangerous sin than envy because it is hidden and is often covered by the attractive mantle of virtue or of friendship. Let us go further and compare it to a lion which we thought was muzzled, to a serpent covered by a handful of leaves which will bite us without our noticing it. Envy is a public plague which spares no one. We are leading ourselves to Hell without realising it.
But how are we then to cure ourselves of this vice if we do not think we are guilty of it? I am quite certain that of the thousands of envious souls honestly examining their consciences, there would not be one ready to believe himself belonging to that company. It is the least recognised of sins.
Some people are so profoundly ignorant that they do not recognise a quarter of their ordinary sins. And since the sin of envy is more difficult to know, it is not surprising that so few confess it and correct it. Because they are not guilty of the big public sins committed by coarse and brutalised people, they think that the sins of envy are only little defects in charity, when, in fact, for the most part, these are serious and deadly sins which they are harbouring and tending in their hearts, often without fully recognising them. “But,” you may be thinking in your own minds, “if I really recognised them, I would do my best to correct them.”
If you want to be able to recognise them, my dear brethren, you must ask the Holy Ghost for His light. He alone will give you this grace. No one could, with impunity, point out these sins to you; you would not wish to agree nor to accept them; you would always find something which would convince you that you had made no mistake in thinking and acting in the way you did. Do you know yet what will help to make you know the state of your soul and to uncover this evil sin hidden in the secret recesses of your heart? It is humility. Just as pride will hide it from you, so will humility reveal it to you.
From St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life
OF EXTERIOR HUMILITY.
Some become proud and insolent, either by riding a good horse, wearing a feather in their hat, or by being dressed in a fine suit of clothes; but who does not see the folly of this? for if there be any glory in such things, the glory belongs to the horse, the bird, and the tailor; and what a meanness of heart must it be, to borrow esteem from a horse, from a feather, or some ridiculous new fashion! Others value themselves for a well-trimmed beard, for curled locks, or soft hands; or because they can dance, sing, or play; but are not these effeminate men, who seek to raise their reputation by so frivolous and foolish things? Others, for a little learning, would be honored and respected by the whole world, as if everyone ought to become their pupil, and account them his masters. These are called pedants. Others strut like peacocks, contemplating their beauty and think themselves admired by every one. All this is extremely vain, foolish, and impertinent; and the glory which is raised on so weak foundations is justly esteemed vain and frivolous. … Honors, rank, and dignities, are like saffron, which thrives best, and grows most plentifully, when trodden under foot. It is no honor to be beautiful when a man prizes himself for it: beauty, to have a good grace, should be neglected; and learning is a disgrace to us when it degenerates into pedantry. If we stand upon the punctilio for places, precedency, and titles, besides exposing our qualities to be examined, tried, and contradicted, we render them vile and contemptible; for as honor is beautiful when freely given, so it becomes base when exacted or sought after.
OF MORE INTERNAL HUMILITY.
We often confess ourselves to be nothing, nay, misery itself, and the refuse of the world; but would be very sorry that any one should believe us, or tell others that we are really so miserable wretches. On the contrary, we pretend to retire, and hide ourselves, so that the world may run after us, and seek us out. We feign to wish ourselves considered as the last in the company, and sit down at the lowest end of the table; but it is with a view that we may be desired to pass to the upper end. True humility never makes a show of herself… A man that is truly humble would rather another should say to him that he is miserable, and that he is nothing, than to say it himself; at least, if he knows that any man says so he does not contradict it [or feels sad or angry or seek to excuse himself], but heartily agrees to it; for, believing it himself firmly, he is pleased that others entertain the same opinion.
On days of fast, only one full meal is allowed, at which meat may be taken. Two other meatless meals, which together are less than the full meal, are also permitted. Only liquids may be taken between meals. The law of fast must be observed by all between the ages of 21 and 59 inclusive under pain of mortal sin.
If fasting poses a serious risk to health or impedes the ability to do necessary work, it does not oblige.
There are also certain days of abstinence.
On days of complete abstinence (such as all Fridays), meat and soup or gravy made from meat (or anything made from meat) may not be taken at all under pain of mortal sin.
On days of partial abstinence, meat (and soup or gravy made from meat) can be eaten only once. The law of abstinence must be observed by everyone age 7 and older under pain of mortal sin.
There is no obligation of fast or abstinence on a holy day of obligation, even if it falls on a Friday (such as Christmas).
1. Priests and faithful before Mass or Holy Communion – whether it is the morning, afternoon, evening, or Midnight Mass – must abstain for three hours from solid foods and alcoholic beverages, and for one hour from non-alcoholic beverages. Water does not break the fast.
2. The infirm, even if not bedridden, may take non-alcoholic beverages and that which is really and properly medicine, either in liquid or solid form, before Mass or Holy Communion without any time limit.
Priests and faithful who are able to do so are exhorted to observe the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic fast (from foods and liquids from midnight). All those who will make use of these concessions must compensate for the good received by becoming shining examples of a Christian life and principally with works of penance, self-denial and charity (and fervent prayer).
(Pope Pius XII, Sacram Communionem, 1957)
The Old and Venerable Form of Fasting
Priests and faithful who are able to do so are exhorted to observe the old and venerable form of fasting (see Black Fast below). However, since this strictness may not be suitable for most people a compensation may be made, and that is that only one full meal a day or two smaller meals that is about the same (or a little more than the full meal per day) be taken. So either one of these per day and not both as the modern day weak and pathetic fast permits. Most people should be able to do this on regular fasts. However, this fast is much harder to practice during Lent. In general, the less one eats the better, and if the above fast is too much for a person, then he should try to eat three smaller meals a day instead and skipping the full meal or eating a full meal and one smaller meal and skipping the second small meal. All those who will make use of these concessions must compensate for the good received by becoming shining examples of a Christian life and principally with works of penance, self-denial and charity (and fervent prayer).
The Black Fast (from Catholic Encyclopedia)
This form of fasting, the most rigorous in the history of church legislation, was marked by austerity regarding the quantity and quality of food permitted on fasting days as well as the time wherein such food might be legitimately taken.
In the first place more than one meal was strictly prohibited. At this meal flesh meat, eggs, butter, cheese, and milk were interdicted (Gregory I, Decretals IV, cap. vi; Trullan Synod, Canon 56). Besides these restrictions abstinence from wine, specially during Lent, was enjoined (Thomassin, Traité des jeûnes de l'Église, II, vii). Furthermore, during Holy Week the fare consisted of bread, salt, herbs, and water (Laymann, Theologia Moralis, Tr. VIII; De observatione jejuniorum, i). Finally, this meal was not allowed until sunset [for most people, a 4 hour wait period (at least) before the meal may be more suitable]. St. Ambrose (De Elia et jejunio, sermo vii, in Psalm CXVIII), St. Chrysostom (Homil. iv in Genesim), St. Basil (Oratio i, De jejunio) furnish unequivocal testimony concerning the three characteristics of the black fast. The keynote of their teaching is sounded by St. Bernard (Sermo. iii, no. 1, De Quadragesima), when he says "hitherto we have fasted only until none" (3 p.m.) "whereas, now" (during Lent) "kings and princes, clergy and laity, rich and poor will fast until evening". It is quite certain that the days of Lent (Muller, Theologia Moralis, II, Lib. II, Tr. ii, sect. 165, no. 11) as well as those preceding ordination were marked by the black fast. This regime continued until the tenth century when the custom of taking the only meal of the day at three o'clock was introduced (Thomassin, loc. cit.). In the fourteenth century the hour of taking this meal was changed to noon-day (Muller, loc. cit.). Shortly afterwards the practice of taking a collation in the evening began to gain ground (Thomassin, op. cit., II, xi). Finally, the custom of taking a crust of bread and some coffee in the morning was introduced in the early part of the nineteenth century. During the past fifty years, owing to ever changing circumstances of time and place, the Church has gradually relaxed the severity of penitential requirements, so that now little more than a vestige of former rigour obtains.NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING IS SINFUL BIRTH CONTROL (NFP)
Saint Caesar of Arles: “AS OFTEN AS HE KNOWS HIS WIFE WITHOUT A DESIRE FOR CHILDREN...WITHOUT A DOUBT HE COMMITS SIN.” (W. A. Jurgens, The Faith of The Early Fathers, Vol. 3: 2233)
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 53-56), Dec. 31, 1930: “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 powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.
“Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, ‘Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented.’ Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8-10).”
In reality, the argument against Natural Family Planning can be summed up very simply. Catholic dogma teaches us that the primary purpose of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education of children.
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 17), Dec. 31, 1930: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.”
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.”
“Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine 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 offence against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”
Therefore, even though NFP does not directly interfere with the marriage act itself, as its defenders love to stress, it makes no difference. NFP is condemned because it subordinates the primary end (or purpose) of marriage and the marriage act (the procreation and education of children) to the secondary ends.
NFP subordinates the primary end of marriage to other things, by deliberately attempting to avoid children (i.e., to avoid the primary end) while having marital relations. NFP 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 NFP; because all of the arguments made by those who defend NFP focus on the marriage act itself, while they blindly ignore the fact that it makes no difference if a couple does not interfere with the act itself if they subordinate and thwart the primary PURPOSE of marriage.
Despite this Magisterial teaching which condemns Natural Family Planning, simple logic will tell Catholics that it is wrong. If the Church has condemned artificial contraception because it prevents the conception of offspring, why would it be permissible to do the same thing by means of a different method? It is as if the desire or thought to murder someone is not sinful according to NFP advocates, but only the act of murder.
In publications promoting NFP, the fertile period of the wife is sometimes classified as “not safe” and “dangerous,” as though generating new life were considered a serious breach of national security and a little infant a treacherous criminal! This is truly abominable.
Could it be more clear that those who subscribe to this type of behavior and this method shut God and children out and replace them with their own selfish agenda?
Tobias 6:17 – “The holy youth Tobias approaches his bride Sara after three days of prayer, not for fleshly lust but only for the love of posterity. Having been instructed by the Archangel Saint Raphael that to engage in the marital act he must be moved rather for love of children than for lust. 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.”
The word matrimony means “the office of motherhood.” Those who use NFP attempt to avoid matrimony (the office of motherhood) and shut out God from themselves.
Natural Family Planning also involves a lack of faith on the part of those who use and promote it. Do the couples who use NFP, or the priests who promote it, possess supernatural faith in the providence of God? Do they believe that God is the one who sends life? Does anyone have a right to have 3 children when God willed them to have 10? God is perfectly aware of each couple’s needs, and he knows precisely what they can handle. Those with the true Catholic Faith should be totally unconcerned with charts and calendars. These are all unnatural instruments which frustrate God’s will. Disregard this nonsense and accept the fact that God will not send you any children that you cannot handle. He will not burden you with anything too heavy, for His yoke is always easy and His burden always light. If NFP’ers had their way, there wouldn’t be any families with over 10 children, nor the many saints who came from these families (e.g., Saint Catherine of Siena, 23rd child of 25). Priests who promote “Natural” Family Limitation, and couples who use it, are guilty of serious sin. It is contrary to the teaching of the Church, and it is contrary to the natural law. It is an insult to the providence of God, and it is an utter lack of faith. Why will you not practice chastity instead of committing the mortal sin of NFP. True sanctification comes through the virtue of chastity! As you can read, no reason, however grave can be accepted which subordinates the primary end (or purpose) of marriage and the marriage act (the procreation and education of children) to the secondary ends.
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 53-56), Dec. 31, 1930: “But no reason, however grave…” Hell will be long for those who practice NFP against the natural law. We implore all priests and laymen to accept the Church’s teaching on this topic, and regain faith in God’s providence. If you have been convinced to believe in this abominable heresy that contradicts the natural law, repent and confess your sin immediately.
Taken from The Secret of Sanctity of St. John of the Cross, by Fr. Lucas of St. Joseph, O.C.D., Bruce, Milwaukee, 1962. (Fr. Lucas was martyred by the Communists in Spain in 1936.)
St. John [of the Cross] repeats the admonition relative to judgment of one’s neighbor in the first of his Four Maxims to a Religious. As he says: “Those who fail in charity toward their neighbor fail likewise to profit by any other works of virtue they may perform, and they continually go from bad to worse.”It is sad to think that after many years in religious life one has lost not only the merit of his virtuous actions but has actually fallen into the dangerous state of sin. Let us consider in logical order the evils which may result from a neglect of this important admonition. There is, first of all, a tendency to judge one’s neighbor unfavorably, and this is termed “rash judgment.” This is equally serious, whether interior or exterior. St. John says that this consists in mental criticism and murmuring resulting in rash statements against one’s neighbor. This is corroborated in the celebrated passage of St. James: “If any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, this man’s religion is vain.”In every order, religious, social, or moral, there are certain truths which are fundamental because everyone agrees to them. In secondary truths and the appreciation of details and concrete acts, each one sees them according to his own dispositions. Thus in the actions of our neighbor we see only the external action and know little or nothing of the motives which prompted him to do this act. In order to judge correctly whether a person is worthy of praise or blame, knowledge is a principal requisite. Usually we are ignorant of the true principle of morality guiding the actions of others, therefore it is inevitable that when we judge according to our own light we are often guilty of error.In every rank of life there are narrow-minded individuals whose horizon is limited to the private and public life of their neighbor. This is not only deplorable but it is a genuine spiritual infirmity.According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the tendency to judge one’s neighbor proceeds from two causes: “…either the person is evil-minded and unconsciously judges others by his own evil dispositions or he harbors such envy, hatred, or contempt for his neighbor that he experiences a secret delight in thinking evil of him and readily believes any misconception of his neighbor’s actions.” This teaching of St. Thomas should teach us to restrain our judgment of our neighbor, because suspicious and unfavorable judgments are a revelation of the infirmities of our own souls. When we are caught by a keen observer in a merciless judgment against our neighbor we should blush at the portrayal of a quality in ourselves which even natural pride would prompt us to conceal. It was St. Bonaventure who said, “When you perceive anything reprehensible in your neighbor, turn your eyes on yourself; before you cast any judgment, examine yourself well, and condemn in yourself that which you would have condemned in him.”…St. Paul is even more severe when he says, “thou art inexcusable O man, whosoever thou art, that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself.” To the Corinthians he adds, “Therefore judge not… until the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness.” The same exhortation is found in St. Luke: “Condemn not and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you shall be forgiven. … For with the same measure that you shall mete, it shall be measured out to you.” Such words are indicative of the fact that on the day of final judgment the same standards will be applied to us personally as we have applied to our fellow men. …
Only when man possesses a deep self-knowledge and a broader knowledge of men will he find himself mild in his judgment of others. Yet this is the goal we must strive for, first in our thoughts, since charitable thoughts transform material actions into acts of supernatural value, and this only when we are completely imbued with the spirit of divine love and mercy. … Regardless of the actions of our fellow men we must always view them in the spirit of charity and in the realization that “judgment is the Lord’s, not man’s.” …
Our judgments are usually based on personal antagonism, ignorance, and perhaps a clash of personalities; yet it is not expedient that we rely on such excuses for judging our neighbor. … we are bound to regulate our charity and justice toward our neighbor in accordance with God’s law of charity. This regulation must begin in the interior since it is our thoughts which govern our speech and our actions. Charitable thoughts will beget charitable words; likewise envious and uncharitable thoughts dispose us to hideous sins against charity and justice.
Everyone is aware from personal experience that rash judgment is moral poisoning. Once the imagination is given free reign then we find evil in others. The insidious poison which we have administered to ourselves increases with each uncharitable thought. We soon find it difficult to be amiable and indulgent toward our fellow religious and as the poison spreads we become more and more intolerant of any weakness, until even the smallest fault becomes magnified to alarming proportions. We can no longer remain master of our speech when we have arrived at this stage because it is always true, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”The evils resulting from lack of interior silence and uncharitable speech are without number and God alone knows the damage caused both in the cloister and out of it once this evil has been indulged in. If a rock is dislodged from the top of the mountain, we cannot measure the destruction it will cause until it finally comes to rest in the valley below. This is an apt picture of the slanderous tongue which is a weight from the heart. As it breaks from the sanctuary in which it has been nurtured it hurtles into an abyss which becomes fathomless, leaving bitterness and disaster in its wake. Such words may be filled with resentment and anger, envy and jealousy, but they are always weighted with selfishness, mirroring the narrow soul from which they emerged. They are as arrows shot from one heart to another, communicating to each new victim poison and bitterness. Innocent and pure aspirations become dissipated; souls which have lived in happiness are filled with discontent; but those who have harbored mutual distrust are filled with malice and hatred. What, then, shall stop these icy waves of uncharitableness launched forth by a cold and restless heart in a moment of imprudent confidence? God alone knows, as He alone reads the depths of a human heart.It is not our intention to study the sins of the tongue in their various forms since volumes are written on this subject. We need only to say that all the evil aspects related to rash judgment are applicable to slander and faultfinding, which evils cover a vaster field than the subject treated here. Rash judgment is self-toxic, whereas slander and faultfinding serve to poison all whom it contacts. Thus a single slanderous word, imprudently uttered, can be more destructive than a drop of poison assimilated by the system, destroying the vital principles of an organic being. Such words cool charity, destroy the most prudent sensibility, and poison the finest sentiments. Each one can study for himself the disastrous effects of backbiting, especially when he hears a person whom he had hitherto esteemed being the subject of such insidious slander. As a result he finds himself becoming suspicious and distrustful, even of his friend, carefully watching for evidences of the evil report. Distrust magnifies the defects of those under observation making it very difficult for us to be outwardly charitable toward them. These sins of the tongue are the worst of all enemies against charity since they ruin peace and confidence. Therefore the Holy Ghost warns us: “A wicked word shall change the heart, making what is good, evil — what is life, death — and the tongue is the ruler of them.”Another danger which threatens those occupied in observing the defects of their neighbors is the consequence of these actions. In speaking about this St. John cites the example of Lot’s wife being changed into a pillar of salt, claiming that the wretched souls occupied with other people’s actions likewise acquire saline qualities themselves. Just as salt becomes hard, so too, the soul which indulges in meddling in another’s affairs, becomes hardened and unkind toward those around him. His haughtiness and intolerance serve to build a wall of separation between the offender and the offended, causing numerous unreasonable and illogical judgments to be passed. Salt is likewise a sign of barrenness; life cannot develop near rocks of salt. Neither can a soul engaged in uncharitableness do otherwise than render barren all that they may contact. Their skill in revealing another’s weakness and their hard and merciless criticisms cause generous hearts to feel completely depressed and insecure in their company. Near them there is only barrenness, there is no joy; there is no life.It is impossible for simplicity and confidence to exist where restless and uncharitable souls are continually observing others for the sole pleasure of malicious criticism. Such a spirit is bound to breed discontent and an attitude of reserve which soon degenerates into jealousy and suspicion. Eventually the charm of religious life, which is love and mutual confidence, is destroyed and a rigid formalism replaces the original spirit of peace. Nothing remains but the letter of the law, that letter, which, according to St. Paul “…kills, instead of quickening.”It is certain that while we live among men we shall have to bear with their weaknesses and they, in turn, will have to bear with ours; but we must try to live oblivious of the faults which are ever present in human nature. It is with this in mind that St. John of the Cross admonishes us to refrain from interfering in the affairs of our neighbor, to detach ourselves from created objects, and to regulate our affections toward our fellow men.Never should the faults of our neighbor be discussed with our fellow men, unless with one who has the authority to correct the situation, and then only in the spirit of the greatest charity. This is insisted on by St. John of the Cross when he says: “Never under the pretext of zeal, or of charity, reveal what we know about our neighbor save to the person who has a right to hear of this, and then with great charity, and at the proper time.”
If those who are afflicted with undue curiosity about their neighbor’s welfare would thus assiduously make reparation for the faults they observe in others, then they would be less inclined to notice the trivial actions of those around them. Doing this would further the plans of Divine Providence to make religious houses the delightful garden where the tree of love would be preserved in its full luxuriance. It is here that Christ meant the great commandment to grow and bear much fruit: “Love one another as I have loved you….”St. John of the Cross shows us clearly that to be just to God and to fulfill His command of mutual love and understanding we must be merciful to men in thought and deed. Our fraternal charity is then but the fulfillment of our filial piety toward God. Not only in fact, but in reality, Christ has identified Himself with each one of our neighbors so intimately that charity toward our neighbor is but a means of serving Christ Himself. Thus, whether we are living in the cloister or in the world, as long as our hearts remain a garden of delight for Christ through the spirit and practice of charity then “…we are the good odor of Christ unto God, …to others the odor of life unto life….”
From Spirago-Clark’s The Catechism Explained (1899), pp. 402-404.
3. Furthermore, we ought to refrain from everything that may wound our neighbor’s honor. Thus suspicion, detraction, slander, and abuse are forbidden, also listening with pleasure when our neighbor is spoken against.
Suspicion implies malice of heart; detraction, slander (both of which are directed against the absent) and abuse (which is directed against one who is present), are sins of the tongue; listening with gratification when another is evilly spoken of, is a sin, if it is in the evil speaking that we take pleasure.
1. Suspicion consists in supposing evil of one’s neighbor without reasonable grounds.
The Pharisee in the Temple took for granted that the publican was a sinner and how greatly he was mistaken (Luke xviii.)! Job’s three friends thought he must needs be ungodly merely because he was afflicted by God. Simon the Pharisee thought the Magdalen, when he saw her at Our Lord’s feet, was still a sinner, but he deceived himself; she was then a penitent (Luke vii. 39 seq.). When St. Paul shipwrecked on the island of Malta, lighted a fire, a viper, coming out of the sticks, fastened on his hand; in consequence of this the inhabitants of the island instantly judged him to be a murderer, pursued by divine vengeance (Acts xxviii.). A goldsmith had an apprentice who bore a very good character. One day he found two precious stones concealed in a hole in the wall close to the boy’s head. He directly accused him of theft, chastised him soundly, and drove him out of the house. Soon after he again discovered two stones in exactly the same place. He watched, and found they were put there by a magpie which he had in the house, and deeply regretted his rash judgment, when it was too late to repair his fault. If he had detected the boy in dishonesty, he would not have done wrong in suspecting him. People judge of others by themselves; for the affections are apt to mislead the understanding. He who is not evil himself does not lightly think evil of others, whereas a bad man readily concludes his neighbor to be as bad as himself. Molten metal takes the shape of the mould into which it is poured; so every man’s judgment of what he sees and hears takes its shape from his own feelings. The most wholesome aliments disagree with the man whose digestion is out of order; thus a corrupted mind always takes an evil view of things, while a good man puts the best construction on everything. “I would far rather err,” says St. Anselm, “by thinking good of a bad man than by thinking evil of a good man.” “Charity thinketh no evil” (1 Cor. xiii. 5). The just man, in whom dwells the spirit of love, even when he sees an action which is unquestionably reprehensible, does not allow his thoughts to dwell on it; he leaves the judgment of it to God. This is what St. Joseph did, in regard to his spouse, the Blessed Virgin (Matt. i. 19). “Let none of you imagine evil in your heart against his friend” (Zach. viii. 17). Trust others, if you would have others trust you. Trust engenders confidence, and mistrust the want of it.
2. Detraction consists in disclosing the fault committed by another without necessity. … Some people, like hyenas, who tear from their graves and devour dead bodies, deface the memory of the [living and] dead by their malicious words and bring to light faults long since forgotten. Like insects which alight, not on the sound part of the apple, but on the decayed portion, detractors do not enlarge on the virtues of the deceased, but they pitilessly dwell upon their faults. They may be compared to dogs who prefer carrion to fresh meat, for they pass over the good which they cannot help seeing in their neighbor, and care to keep alive the remembrance of his failings. The sin of detraction is one most frequently met with. “Rarely,” says St. Jerome, “do we find anyone who is not ready to blame his neighbor’s conduct.” This comes from pride, for many people imagine they exalt themselves in proportion as they decry others. Detraction is a hateful sin. It is an ugly and shameless thing to do, if one goes to a stranger’s house and spies into every corner; but how much more so to scrutinize and criticize our neighbor’s course of life!Mud should be covered over, not stirred up, for no one can touch it without defiling himself. “O fool!” exclaims St. Alphonsus. “Thou dost declaim against the sin of another, and meanwhile, by evil speaking, dost commit a far greater sin than that thou blamest in thy neighbor.” Besides the detractor in disclosing the faults of another, discloses his own, for he shows that he has no charity. However, to speak of another man’s sin is not wrong, unless one has the intention of lowering him in the eyes of others [without necessity or justice, such as by helping others not to be deceived by evil people or heretics, showing them their evil ways and words that they may not fall into these sins or errors themselves and hence learn from it]; it is not detraction to tell some one else of it in order to prevent a repetition of the sin. One may also blame the fault of another, if this may be useful to a third person; but it must be done from a sense of duty, and the sin rather than the sinner is to be condemned. The crime of any malefactor who has been brought to justice may be freely spoken of, as it is already made public. Tale-telling is a form of detraction; it consists in repeating to another what a third person has said of him. Tale-telling ruins the peace of families, and is a fruitful source of feuds. It is worse than ordinary detraction because it not only destroys the reputation of one’s neighbor, but puts an end to friendly relations and brotherly love. Therefore God says: “The whisperer and double-tongued are accursed” (Ecclus. xxviii. 15).
3. Slander consists in attributing to one’s neighbor faults of which he is not guilty. If the accusation is made publicly it is called a libel.
Slander or calumny is taking away a man’s good name. Putiphar’s wife accused Joseph to her lord of having attempted to lead her astray (Gen. xxxix.). The Jews accused Our Lord before Pilate of having perverted the nation and forbidden to give tribute to the emperor (Luke xxiii. 2). Exaggeration of another’s fault also comes under the head of calumny. The motives that actuate the slanderer are generally revenge, hatred or ingratitude; his sin is twofold, for he lies, and at the same time destroys his neighbor’s reputation. “He that backbiteth secretly is like a serpent that biteth in silence” (Ecclus. x. 11).
Some slanderers accompany their calumnies with a jest, or accentuate them with a witty or amusing speech [such as irony]. This is the greatest cruelty of all, for the slander which might have passed in at one ear and out at the other, is then firmly lodged in the mind of all who hear it. Again, slanders that are prefaced by words of eulogy make more impression on the hearer, just as an arrow flies with more force and penetrates more deeply if the bow be drawn back first. Of such persons David says: “The poison of asps is under their lips” (Ps. xiii. 3).
4. Abuse consists in making public the low opinion which one has of another.
In evil speaking one makes known a man’s fault behind his back, abuse utters it in his presence. Abuse therefore stands in the same relation to detraction as robbery to theft. While detraction and slander undermine the good opinion others have of a man, abuse aims at depriving him of the outward respect that is shown him. Semei reviled King David; he called him a man of Belial, and threw stones at him (2 Kings xvi. 5). The Jews reviled Our Lord; they called Him a Samaritan, and said He had a devil (John viii. 48).
If two men quarrel, the one who is in the wrong [or is overpowered] usually resorts to abuse. The one who is in the right does not need such weapons; truth conquers of itself. Sneers and sarcasms are a form of this sin. Their object is to make a man ridiculous before others and put him to confusion. By such unkind speeches one may deeply wound one’s neighbor, and fill him with bitter resentment. “The stroke of a whip maketh a blue mark, but the stroke of the tongue will break the bones” (Ecclus. xxviii. 21).
5. He who takes pleasure in listening to detraction commits the same sin as the speaker to whom he listens.
He who asperses his neighbor’s good name kindles a fire, and he who listens to him throws fuel on it. Were it not for the latter, the former would soon be silent. St. Ignatius says we should not talk about our neighbor’s faults did we not find eager listeners. St. Bernard says he cannot decide which is more blameworthy, the man who slanders his neighbor, or he who lends his ear to the slanderer; the only difference is that one serves the devil with his tongue, the other with his ear. What do I care to know that such a one is a wicked man? The knowledge only does me harm. How much better to spend one’s pains on scrutinizing one’s own conduct. Our Lord exhorts us to do this: “Cast first the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to take out the mote from thy brother’s eye” (Luke vi. 42). It is those who are blind to their own faults who are most keenly alive to the faults of others. Never listen to detraction. St. Augustine had these words inscribed upon his dining-table: “There is not place at this table for those who love to defame their neighbor.”
Hedge in thy ears with thorns, hear not a wicked tongue” (Ecclus. xxviii. 28). Slander is a three-edged sword; at one blow it inflicts three wounds; it wounds the slanderer, for he commits a sin; it wounds the slandered, because he is robbed of his good name; it wounds the hearer, for he also falls into sin. And since the slanderer injures the soul of him who listens to his calumny, he imitates the serpent, whose poisoned words were the means of driving Eve out of paradise.
4. He who has injured his neighbor’s reputation is strictly bound to restore his good name; either by apologizing, if the offence was committed in private, or by publicly retracting his words, if they were spoken before others.
Any one who has unjustly diminished his neighbor’s reputation, is bound to make satisfaction, according to the nature of the offence. It is not enough to draw the arrow out of the wound, the hurt must be healed; nor is it enough to desist from evil-speaking; the injury done must be set right. That is bitter to human nature, for it requires no slight self-humiliation. Moreover, it is almost impossible fully to make amends for calumny; it is easy to break a seal, but difficult to repair it so that no one can perceive that it has been broken. An ink-spot is soon made on a sheet of paper, but no efforts will remove all traces of the blo.
5. Those who do not endeavor to repair the harm they have done by slandering their neighbor, cannot obtain pardon from God, nor absolution from the priest.
What are the Reasons which should Deter us from Injuring our Neighbor s Good Name?
1. He who is severe in his judgment of his neighbor, will in his turn be judged severely by God.
Our Lord says: “Judge not [unjustly], that you may not be judged” (Matt, vii. 1). “For with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (v. 2). “Condemn not and you shall not be condemned” (Luke vi. 37). [Our Lord tells us to judge righteous judgments instead of rash and unjust judgments: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.” (John 7:24)]…
2. To judge one’s fellow-man is to commit an offence against God, for it is an usurpation of His rights.
There is one Lawgiver and Judge; but who art thou that [unjustly or rashly] judgest thy neighbor?” (Jas. iv. 12.) “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” (Rom. xiv. 4.)…
3. He who robs another of his good name is often severely punished by God upon earth; not unfrequently he is overtaken by the same calamity which he sought to bring on his neighbor.
A man of evil tongue shall not be established upon the earth (Ps. Cxxxix. 12). Jezabel, the wife of King Achab, suborned two wicked men to falsely accuse Naboth, who would not give up his vineyard to the king, of blasphemy. Retribution eventually fell upon her; she was thrown from the palace window, trampled upon by horses and eaten by dogs (3 Kings xxi.)
It is now no uncommon thing for the slanderer to meet with the self-same fate which he prepared for another, as the following story shows: St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, had a favorite page, who used to distribute her alms. One of the king’s servants, who was jealous of the large share of the queen’s favor enjoyed by that page, calumniated him to the king, one day when he was out hunting. The king believed the calumny; and going up to a lime-kiln which he saw in the forest, he said to the proprietor: “To-morrow I shall send a young man hither, who will ask you whether you have executed the king’s orders; seize him instantly and cast him into the kiln.” On the following morning the king dispatched the queen’s page to the lime-burner with the message agreed upon. On his way thither the young man passed a church, and as the bell was ringing for Mass, he went in and assisted at the holy sacrifice. Meanwhile the servant who had slandered him, curious to know his fate, followed him, as he thought, to the lime-kiln, and on arriving, eagerly asked if the king’s orders had been executed. Almost before he had uttered the question, he was thrown into the furnace. When the queen’s page shortly made his appearance, he was told that the royal behest had been obeyed, and the workmen expected a reward. On his return to the palace, the king was astonished and horrified, and saw clearly that he had been foully deceived. “He hath opened a pit and dug it, and he is fallen into the hole he made” (Ps. vii. 16).
4. He who indulges a habit of detraction is in danger of losing his soul.
The pulse does not always correctly indicate the progress of a fatal disease, but if the tongue becomes black, it is a sure sign of approaching dissolution. So many people are assiduous in their prayers, are diligent churchgoers, and are considered to be pious, but their tongue, wherewith they blacken the character of others, infallibly indicates the mortal disease of their soul. To blast a man’s reputation is a great sin, because his good name is better than great riches (Prov. xxii. 1). It is a kind of murder, because it destroys a man’s life as a citizen, i.e., his social standing, which depends on the repute in which he is held. It is also sinful because thereby one causes distress to one’s neighbor. The man of honor values his good name above everything. He would rather part with his money, with all he possesses, with life itself, than lose his honor.
Hence we may conclude how grievous a sin is detraction. “Railers shall not possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. vi. 10). “Detractors . . . are worthy of death” (Rom. i. 32).” Whosoever shall say to his brother, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. v. 22).
The word of God proclaims that all who wants to obtain Salvation must strive to live in Chastity (according to one's state in life), Humility, Obedience, and Love of God, in the true Catholic Faith, by renouncing all kinds of heresies and heretics.
Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess 14, Nov. 11, 1563, on Matrimony: “If anyone says that the married state is to be preferred to the state of virginity or celibacy, and that it is not better and happier to remain in virginity or celibacy than to be united in matrimony (Matt. 19:11; 1 Cor. 7:25): let him be anathema.” (Denzinger 980)
St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 392: “That virginity is good I do agree. But that it is even better than marriage, this I do confess. And if you wish, I will add that it is as much better than marriage as Heaven is better than Earth, as much better as angels are better than men.” (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1116)
You should fast often with moderation and abstain from eating superfluous food and drink in order to crucify your fleshly lusts and desires. Fasting is in truth one of the greatest ways to be victorious against fleshly lusts and desires along with the Rosary and spiritual reading.
Let every man understand that whenever he sins or speaks ungodly words and blasphemy, he murders himself and gives scandal to his brothers and sisters who beholds this behaviour in a spiritual way. To give others occasion of sin is the worst of all sins! Remember this and you will always fear the Lord and remain in humility! No one should think himself better than his neighbour; for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! It is of great importance not to attend any kind of dance, ball, discotheque or the pub. Your eternal soul depends on it.
Be sure to not associate with worldly and ungodly people who refuse to obey the will of God, for they will tempt you with their sinful and ungodly life, and you will not escape punishment for being a friend with an unrepentant sinner, unless for the express purpose of his conversion. As all saints exclaim: most people that go to hell, go there because they sought human approval and friendship rather than friendship with God!
There will be no friendships in hell. In hell everyone will hate one another, and the more a person knew another, the more will that person hate the other, since that person was the greater cause of his eternal damnation. If this is so with friends, what then, will it be in regards to your own family? Accursed be you my wife, who led me to these sins of lust! Accursed be you my children, who after following my bad examples, fell headlong down to hell to my greater sorrow! Accursed by you my father and mother, for giving me bad advice, and accursed be me, wretched and sad, forever more in this lake of eternal fire!
In hell there will be perfect hatred for one another. One would rather be alone in hell if the option was given him, but this will not be. You will torment each other to the utmost in hell for all eternity, since you led each other down to this place of torments by your bad living and example. How much a person will hate another in hell is indeed impossible for us still living to understand, but that the hatred will be perfect, infinite and eternal, is easy to grasp!
"Most people fail to see that the sin of the Angels was a thought of revolt, and as a result a third part of those glorious spirits lost their thrones in Heaven. It was the eating of a little fruit by our First Mother, Eve, that proved the undoing of the human race. Was it not an act of disobedience that deprived Saul of his throne, and was it not a sinful glance that led holy David to the commission of a heinous crime? An act of vanity too, lost him 70,000 of his subjects. Did not the venerable Eleazar sacrifice his life rather than eat swine's flesh? And what about the death of Oza and Ahio for daring to touch the Ark? You fail to see that it is not the trifling act which is wrong, but the principle involved: the malice of the offence against an infinite God, to whom we owe our love, our gratitude and our allegiance. Surely, if God died on account of sin, sin must be dreadful. If sin is punished by Hell-fire, sin must be enormous. When you make light of sin, you judge not Catholics, but God Himself."
Sadly, only death and hell will serve to wake up the majority of the people reading this! You will read this and then continue in your sloth and worldliness, or you will have a short lived spiritual fervor that will cool as times goes by! The greatest error among those people that are condemned to hell are that they presume that they are in the state of grace and fit for heaven, thus showing of their pride and arrogance in that they do not even consider themselves as great sinners, who really do nothing at all to better themselves and their bad living, and who do not even consider their unworthiness of heaven, and the possibility of them actually being on the road to destruction. God condemns such presumption. We are sinful creatures who are able to fall into sin at every moment of our life. We must always trust in God and his mercy, not on our own strength. A person who is really humble will never think of himself that he is already saved while still living on earth. He will have death before his eyes and the constant thought of the possibility of losing God though sin. These and like thoughts will make him constant in the prayers to God for help to achieve salvation, and the grace to avoid sin. A person who does not pray to God for help to achieve salvation, is already condemned and will not make it!
God Bless You!
We are three unworthy servants of our God and Lord Jesus Christ who, by the grace of God, live like monks in chastity, self-denial and humility and in dedicating our lives to love God above all, while spreading Jesus’ words in St. Bridget’s Revelations all over the world. Our mission is to gather brothers and sisters who have the good will to preach, teach and spread these Holy Revelations to our beloved brothers and sisters in the world. Please put a link to our homepage and tell all your friends, relatives and everyone you know about this site and the wonderful words of our Lord for the salvation of souls. If you are a preacher, we hope and pray that you will preach these words from the Holy Spirit to your whole congregation.
Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
This verse clearly teaches that in order to be saved you need to save yourself and others from hell. It also clearly teaches that if you are not trying to save souls, you are, in fact, damaging and scattering souls. And Christ says that those who do not try to save souls are his enemies. So, are you really doing all you can?
We humbly ask you all to print out copies of these books with a link to our homepage and give them free of charge to all your brothers and sisters. Go to the churches and hand them out or place them on vehicles parked for church services. We also suggest that you ask your congregation leader if he is willing to buy The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden for his whole congregation at a discounted bulk rate. We also ask you to place copies of these great revelations everywhere: on doors, trees and other places where they can be seen by all in order to save as many souls as possible for our Lord Jesus Christ!
Millions of people are finding the truth every year through the material on our websites, and we need some helpers and co-workers to continue to reach more people. What we needs the most right now is helpers who can translate our articles into different languages for the salvation of souls. This can help millions of people to find the truth, and is a great way to reach out to our brothers and sisters of good will. If you feel inspired to help people find the truth, please contact us here:
Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
Please contact us today and tell us you want to help us with making articles if you want to make a difference in the world and help our beloved brothers and sisters!
We are also looking for willing translators who have the skill to make a good translation of St. Bridget's Revelations into different languages.
We are also in need of translators of other important articles into different languages for the salvation of souls. If you can help us on this important work, please contact us here: http://www.prophecyfilm.com/contact/. We are also looking for someone who can make an audio book in mp3. We wish to have at least 50 translated languages, one day, with the help of you, the reader. Please help us find more books of Saint Bridget's Revelations in other languages. You will be rewarded greatly by our Lord Jesus Christ if you make an effort to spread His divine words to others in any way you can. You can help to spread the word of God in many ways: for example, by writing about our website and quoting the Revelations of St. Bridget or the things said in the videos with our link or our hyperlink added to the text on forums and blogs and the like so that people can find the wonderful words by Our Lord and His Mother and the videos on our site. You can upload the videos to different video sites, embed them on your own site or on forum sites and the like, and share them with your friends and even your enemies so that they may grow in the true faith or come to the true faith. You can also contact book salesmen and book publishers in order to ask them to buy these books from us or print these books for us. Please give out and share the books and DVD’s on our website free of charge and send e-mails to people about our site. We also beg you to pray the Rosary for their sake and plead with them to also begin to pray the Rosary (see How to Pray the Rosary). For a hardened heart will become soft by continuing praying the Rosary. No prayer is as powerful as the Holy Rosary! If you are able and willing to help us with the salvation of souls, please contact us and we will give you further instructions. For by helping other people’s souls, you help yourself!
Saint Bridget was canonized by Pope Boniface IX in the year 1391 and confirmed by Pope Martin V in the Council of Constance in the year 1415.
The Revelations of St. Bridget were accorded an exceptionally high degree of authenticity, authority and importance from an early date. Pope Gregory XI (1370-78) approved and confirmed them and judged them favorably, as did Boniface IX (1389-1404) in the papal Bull Ab origine mundi, par. 39 (7 Oct 1391). They were later examined at the Council of Constance (1414-18) and at the Council of Basel (1431-49), both judging them to be in conformity with the Catholic faith; The Revelations were also strongly defended by numerous highly regarded theologians, including Jean Gerson (1363-1429), Chancellor of the University of Paris and Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468) (not to be confused with the inquisitor Tomas).
Saint Bridget was born of a noble and rich family. Her family was good in their faith according to our Lord Jesus Christ and they gave a lot of their riches to the uprising of churches and monasteries and also a lot to the poor. Once, at the age of ten, she saw the Lord crucified, and the Lord Jesus Christ said: “Look, how I suffer!” She thought it had happened at the same time and answered: “O Lord, who has done this to you?” The Lord answered: “Those, who despise me and forget my great love.” When her husband died she became a nun and gave away all of her riches. All of her prophecies have been fulfilled to this day and there are still a few left that shall be fulfilled.
Please do not forget to read these revelations of St. Bridget and other scriptures of God everyday to grow in spirit and virtue, because the devil will be doing everything in his power to make you stop reading God's word so that you will forget them and fall into sin. Do not forget to print out copies of these great revelations so that you always have them in your hand for when the great disasters which the Holy Bible warns about come to pass, and so that you do not rely (for example) on electricity that will not always be available.
This book is a mirror in which the soul can see its stains and learn what is pleasing to God and what displeases him. Read this book again and again and you will learn how you must love God and your neighbor, despise what is earthly and transient, striving after the everlasting and heavenly, enduring for Christ's sake the adversities of this world and despising its prosperity and enticements, thanking God in sickness, not taking pride in good health, not becoming presumptuous in good fortune nor downcast in trials.
St. Louis De Montfort (+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.”
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 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.
Our Lady to St. Dominic (1214): “Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world? ‘Oh, my Lady,’ answered St. Dominic, ‘you know far better than I do…’ Then Our Lady replied: ‘I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter (the Rosary) which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter (the Rosary).” (The Secret of the Rosary, p. 18.)
“Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche re-established this devotion, the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, called it “The Rosary”. The word Rosary means "Crown of Roses," that is to say that every time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty-three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. Being heavenly flowers, these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty. In truth, they will stand before you for all eternity and bring you happiness and delight! Our Lady has shown her thorough approval of the name Rosary; she had revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses.
The well-known Jesuit, Brother Alphonsus Rodriguez, used to say his Rosary with such fervor that he often saw a red rose come out of his mouth at each Our Father and a white rose at each Hail Mary. The red and white roses were equal in beauty and fragrance, the only difference being in their color.
The chronicles of Saint Francis tell of a young friar who had the praiseworthy habit of saying the Crown of Our Lady (the Rosary) every day before dinner. One day for some reason or other he did not manage to say it. The refectory bell had already been rung when he asked the Superior to allow him to say it before coming to the table, and having obtained the permission he withdrew to his cell to pray.
After he had been gone a long time the Superior sent another Friar to fetch him, and he found him in his room bathed in a heavenly light facing Our Lady who had two angels with her. Beautiful roses kept issuing from his mouth at each Hail Mary; the angels took them one by one, placing them on Our Lady's head, and she smilingly accepted them.
Finally two other friars who had been sent to find out what happened to the first two saw the same lovely scene, and Our Lady did not go away until the whole Rosary had been said.”
(The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis De Montfort)
“Show me a new road to our Lord, pave it with all the merits of the saints, adorn it with their heroic virtues, illuminate and enhance it with the splendour and beauty of the angels, have all the angels and saints there to guide and protect those who wish to follow it. Give me such a road and truly, truly, I boldly say–and I am telling the truth–that instead of this road, perfect though it be, I would still choose the immaculate way of Mary. It is a way, a road without stain or spot, without original sin or actual sin, without shadow or darkness”.
(True devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort)
We also recommend you read the Word of God (The Revelations, The Lives of the Saints, Good Catholic Books, The Catholic Bible) at least one to two hours every day until the moment of your death if it is possible. If you do not read enough everyday, your prayer will become empty since an ignorant person does not know what to ask and pray for in virtues and spiritual blessings. If you are unable to accomplish this right away, you should slowly but surely take steps to move to this point by making a resolution in your heart to never read or pray less than you have decided. Then when you have grown accustomed to maybe one hour reading and one hour praying per day, you can slowly try to add to this until you have reached your goal. It is much wiser to do it in this way and the goal will be reached much easier. For spiritual exercises are like most activities of the world: the more practice you have, the better you get. 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. The devices the devils use to distract you and lead you to hell in this age is are obviously worldly and ungodly media, video games and music and the like, but sins like the lust of the flesh, vanity and immodest clothing, gluttony, greed and pride among others also give them more power over the mind since the person searches for earthly comforts instead of heavenly ones.
St. Alphonsus (1760): “To a spiritual life the reading of holy books is perhaps not less useful than mental prayer. St. Bernard says reading instructs us at once in prayer, and in the practice of virtue. Hence he concluded that spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won… Hence St. Athanasius used to say that we find no one devoted to the service of the Lord that did not practice spiritual reading.” (T.S., p. 513)
'Wherefore, children, let us hold fast our discipline, and let us not be careless. For in it the Lord is our fellow-worker, as it is written, "to all that choose the good, God worketh with them for good." But to avoid being heedless, it is good to consider the word of the Apostle, "I die daily.'' For if we too live as though dying daily, we shall not sin. And the meaning of that saying is, that as we rise day by day we should think that we shall not abide till evening; and again, when about to lie down to sleep, we should think that we shall not rise up. For our life is naturally uncertain, and Providence allots it to us daily. But thus ordering our daily life, we shall neither fall into sin, nor have a lust for anything, nor cherish wrath against any, nor shall we heap up treasure upon earth. But, as though under the daily expectation of death, we shall be without wealth, and shall forgive all things to all men, nor shall we retain at all the desire of women or of any other foul pleasure. But we shall turn from it as past and gone, ever striving and looking forward to the day of Judgment. For the greater dread and danger of torment ever destroys the ease of pleasure, and sets up the soul if it is like to fall. 'Wherefore having already begun and set out in the way of virtue, let us strive the more that we may attain those things that are before. And let no one turn to the things behind, like Lot's wife, all the more so that the Lord hath said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and turning back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.
(St. Athanasius, The Life of Anthony)
Catholics must also 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.
1 John 5:19- “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is seated in wickedness.”
It’s the sad fact of history that most people in the world are of bad will and don’t want the truth. That’s why almost the whole world lies in darkness and on the road to perdition. This has been the case since the beginning. It was the case when only eight souls out of the world’s entire population (Noah and his family) escaped God’s wrath in the deluge that covered the entire earth, and when the Israelites rejected God’s law and fell into idolatry over and over again. Only two men out of the whole population of Israelites (Joshua and Caleb) made it into the Promised Land since the people opposed God time upon time even though they had seen such miracles as the world had never seen!
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice [A.D. 1676-1751], on the fewness of the saved: “After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he [Suarez] wrote, ‘The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Catholics, there are more damned souls than predestined souls.’ Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, "Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom." Saint Anselm declares, "There are few who are saved." Saint Augustine states even more clearly, "Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned." The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: "Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence."
Vision of Archdeacon of Lyons, who died the same day as St. Bernard (1153): "Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell." (Told to St. Vincent Ferrer)
Think about how almost the whole of Europe was fully Catholic and how the kingdoms outlawed false religions at this time, making this moment of time much more spiritually beneficial for souls than we see today! If so few were saved at this moment of time, how many are saved now? One can only shudder and cry at this thought!
Christ speaking about all the monks of the world at the time and the fewness of them being saved from hell: “They are in truth slaves, and there are very few who are different, yea so few that you hardly can find one in a hundred!”
(The Prophecies and Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 6 - Chapter 35)
If Christ says that not even one in a hundred monks will be saved, how many do you think will be saved of normal people who do not even try to renounce the world and its pleasures! Sadly, only death and hell will serve to wake up the majority of the people reading this! You will read this and then continue in your sloth and worldliness, or you will have a short lived spiritual fervor that will cool as times goes by! We pray with tears that you are not one of these Judases that will suffer for all eternity in hell!
“Hell is so hot inside that if the whole world and everything in it were on fire, it could not compare to that vast furnace. The various voices heard in the furnace all speak against God. They begin and end their speech with laments. The souls look like people whose limbs are forever being stretched without relief or pause.”
(The Prophecies and Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 4 - Chapter 7)
“Nicholas of Nice, speaking of the fire of Hell, says that nothing on earth could give an idea of it. He adds that if all the trees of the forests were cut down, piled into a vast heap and set on fire, this terrible pile would not be a spark of Hell.”
“For the smallest sin, lusted after, is enough to damn anyone from the kingdom of Heaven, who does not repent.”
(The Prophecies & Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1 - Chapter 32)
“Other Christians accepted Hell on faith, because Christ had said repeatedly and with solemn emphasis that there is a Hell, but Jacinta had seen it; and once she grasped the idea that God’s justice is the counterpart of His mercy, and that there must be a Hell if there is to be a Heaven, nothing seemed so important to her except to save as many souls as possible from the horrors she had glimpsed under the radiant hands of the Queen of heaven. Nothing could be too hard, nothing too small or too great to give up.”
(Our Lady of Fatima, p. 89)
Below is an interesting quote from St. Alphonsus concerning the idea of conversion to the Catholic Faith at the end of one’s life. Although these types of conversions are possible, they are extremely rare. St. Alphonsus states that these types of conversions proceed out of necessity, and that it would be very difficult for God to pardon such a person:
He that lives in sin till death shall die in sin. “You shall die in your sin.” (John 8:21.) It is true that, in whatsoever hour the sinner is converted, God promises to pardon him; but to no sinner has God promised the grace of conversion at the hour of death. “Seek the Lord while he may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6.) Then, there is for some sinners a time when they shall seek God and shall not find him. “You shall seek me, and shall not find me.” (John 7:34.) The unhappy beings will go to confession at the hour of death; they will promise and weep, and ask mercy of God, but without knowing what they do. A man who sees himself under the feet of a foe pointing a dagger to his throat, will shed tears, ask pardon, and promise to serve his enemy as a slave during the remainder of his life. But, will the enemy believe him? No; he will feel convinced that his words are not sincere–that his object is to escape from his hands, and that, should he be pardoned, he will become more hostile than ever. In like manner, how can God pardon the dying sinner, when he sees that all his acts of sorrow, and all his promises, proceed not from the heart, but from a dread of death and of approaching damnation.”
(Sermon 38: On the death of the sinner, par. 8)
Many people today do not care about helping other souls. They waste their time watching worldly tv, series, movies, playing video games and only searching for earthly pleasures rather than saving their own and other people’s souls. They do not spend even an hour a day on trying to save their own selves and others from the eternal hellfire. These heartless sinners will not enter into heaven for they did not really care about other people’s souls but only about what their next pleasure or enjoyment would be. (Mt. 12:30) Our Lord will surely cast them into an eternal hell fire for their lack of charity!
Imagine seeing your friend or family member being mercilessly tortured and you not being able to prevent this. Most people would do almost anything to prevent this situation from happening. Yet, this is exactly what will happen unless you make an effort to save your friend. (Mt. 7:13-14) So, if you really care about your family and friends, please tell them about the Word of God and the great Revelations of St. Bridget. A single soul has more worth than an infinite amount of universes, for the material universe will cease to exist, but your friend's soul will never cease to exist. Always remember: A true friend is the one who tells the truth. As a Catholic, one has an obligation to attempt to convert friends and family members. Thus, if one is completely unaware of what his or her friend believes, then that person is not evangelizing the way he or she must evangelize. Therefore, let us all invite people to the marriage feast of our Lord as we have been bidden to do by Him! If we are satisfied that we have the faith, and are not zealous to spread it to others, how can we ever expect to be saved?
If you are able to do so, please make a donation in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to help us spread the Prophecies & Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden and the true Christian Faith all over the world to save our beloved brothers’ and sisters’ souls. To be able to reach this goal with your help, we need financial help to reach out to people, publish these books in different languages, and much more. We humbly ask you all to give from your abundance to help us save souls from the eternal hellfire.
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It is written: “And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
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- The Revelations of St. Bridget (MUST READ)
- Christian Dogma You Must Believe to be Saved
- Refuting Protestantism & Eastern "Orthodoxy"
- Natural Family Planning (NFP)
- Sexual Pleasure and Lust within Marriage
- No Sacraments From Heretics
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Spiritual Information You Must Know About To Be Saved