Counsel" "Escaping the Lure of Lust."


This article gives practical ways of dealing with a common and great problem.


Perhaps this post might be useful to pastors or others active in the Church. I like articles like these, however, I must say, they frequently focus on having recourse to a spouse. This can be discouraging for the single person and his/her plight, which is, in my experience, notoriously neglected. Let me explain further.

In Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body there is the section under “Concupiscence” and “Gift from God”. In it, he recalls 1 Cor. 7:2, which reads, “Still because of the danger of incontinence, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” This is the passage leading up to verse 9: “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”

Even in Paul, he views marriage as a remedy of sorts for lustful concupiscence. JP2 writes: “Does the Apostle in 1 Corinthians see marriage only from the point of view of a ‘remedium concupiscentiae [remedy for concupiscence],’ as one used to say in traditional theological language?” He then goes on to talk about how Paul nevertheless praises those who live “as I myself am” as a virgin. But uniting the 2 strains of thought together, JP2 concludes: “One can therefore say that, while the Apostle in his characterization of marriage from the ‘human’ side (and perhaps even more from the side of the dominant local situation in Corinth) strongly highlights the motivation in view of the concupiscence of the flesh, at the same time he brings out, and with no less strength of conviction, also its sacramental and ‘charismatic’ character.”

Thus, I think part of what is neglected is the Church’s effort to help lead singles called to marriage into marriage. I have ever rarely heard petitions during mass for singles called to married. Perhaps once ever. Most of the time, I hear prayers for married couples and prayers that singles answer the call to the priesthood. Those are, of course, good prayers. But I rarely if ever hear prayers for singles to answer the call to married life. This is a crisis of our time as many theologians, clergy, and other concerned Catholics have voiced. I have been unsuccessful in getting my local parish to add such a prayer even occasionally for such singles.

So anyway, it is frustrating no doubt for many singles that advice against lust, in this age where souls are bombarded with temptations and images at every turn, that Church pastors or teachers often emphasize some sense of recourse to married life as a weapon against lust, and yet seem to have a tone deafness to the disaster that is the enterprise toward marriage.


My thoughts exactly. I always see these social events planned by the KoC and various groups but I have never seen a mixer or singles event. It may seem crude at first but all you are doing is giving people a chance to talk. Really, the single people in church need a little help meeting other Catholic minded singles imho.


I went to the Stubenville conference in the East and the Bishop started his homily on the “great crisis in vocations”. I assumed this was going to be once again a push for more priests and religious. Imagine my surprise when he then said “and I’m not talking about priests, but rather the great crisis of young adults deciding not to marry or deciding to marry after they are able to have children”. It gave me pause as so many of my friends have delayed or simply decided not to marry at all. They mostly have long term relationships and just live together. Our church does pray for singles to marry at almost every Mass.


Kudos to your church for that.


The socials for singles are helpful but there is still lacking a catechesis or a public presence in general as to why marriage is good and why shacking up is not, or why fertility is not to be feared, etc… The problem is systemic. There are a variety of problems hurting the vocation which includes the singles who must bear the cross of being deprived of their callled vocation.


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