Custody of the eyes?


#1

I have a rather complicated question. Hopefully I can articulate it…

How is one to “keep custody of the eyes”? When I see an attractive woman, must I avert my eyes? How much looking is too much looking?

Does it depend on your intentions? If one’s thoughts are sexual in nature, surely one should avert his eyes. But what if one is merely admiring?

Or is it good to admire and thank God for such beauty – as you would when viewing a beautiful landscape or something?

I guess my question is this: what are the parameters of your understanding of “keeping custody of the eyes”?


#2

I’m cautious if it is a near occasion of sin. If we’re honest, we probably both know if and when there’s a reasonable likelihood that looking at someone beautiful will lead to lustful thoughts. Recklessly opening the way to such thoughts, or dwelling on them when they catch us by surprise–that, as I understand things, is where the sin lies.

John


#3

This is a practice which I think has to be regulated through some experience on ones part. If you look at a person and just kinda have that “ahh beautiful!” probably not a problem. If the next thing that pops into your mind is a lustful thought then you know you have a potential problem and it is time to remove you gaze on that person.The degree of custody for you is what is required for you not to entertain a fantasy no matter how short about that “body.” To dwell on these thoughts is considerwd sinful. I am an old geezer and I cannot understand how any young person with raging hormones can live at all comfortably in the sexualized atmosphere of our current culture. No matter where one casts ones eyes it is there. Under the circumstances one has to learn how best to minimize ones exposure. Depending on ones sensitivity that may mean avoiding movies, TV, certain books and magazines, etc.


#4

It only takes a moment to notice or admire the beauty of another person, so if your eyes stay there for more than a moment it is my opinion that there is more than just an acknowledgement of beauty going on.

Here is a simple rule: look once and your ok, look twice and you are in danger of sin. It is obviously much easier to say than it is to do, but I believe it is a good rule.


#5

Keep your eyes above the neck and don’t look at the lips. :smiley:


#6

[quote=justbeinfrank]I have a rather complicated question.

Or is it good to admire and thank God for such beauty – as you would when viewing a beautiful landscape or something?

I guess my question is this: what are the parameters of your understanding of “keeping custody of the eyes”?
[/quote]

Here is a shot at your “complicated question”. Admire if you will, but, no amount of landscape or something other than a person of the opposite sex will evoke a thought of sexual desire for someone I am not married to. Admire implies more than a casual gaze; and more than a casual gaze implies stimulus for sexual arousal–that’s how humans, men especially, are wired by God. Beauty is ‘more than skin deep’ as they say. To admire the beauty of God’s creation, I concur with White Dove to keep the eyes/gaze above the neck; to uphold the dignity of God’s fellow creature and to avoid the occasion to inadvertantly make the other the “object” of our sexual desire. Best litmus test if really admiring the “beauty”, try to see the other person through the eyes of Christ; in fact, pray to Jesus to help you see His beauty in this other person, and He will direct your gaze and thoughts accordingly.


#7

[quote=justbeinfrank]I have a rather complicated question. Hopefully I can articulate it…

How is one to “keep custody of the eyes”? When I see an attractive woman, must I avert my eyes? How much looking is too much looking?

Does it depend on your intentions? If one’s thoughts are sexual in nature, surely one should avert his eyes. But what if one is merely admiring?

Or is it good to admire and thank God for such beauty – as you would when viewing a beautiful landscape or something?

I guess my question is this: what are the parameters of your understanding of “keeping custody of the eyes”?
[/quote]

I too have struggled with this. I cannot help but look at a beutiful woman, and look, then look some more, and then comes the THOUGHTS!! Then, well, those thoughts have led me later on that day to fall into certain sins. Best thing, look once then look away.


#8

The answer to this is that we will never exercise this virtue as perfectly as possible, so I’d say to ask for the grace to be able to look as little and as purely as possible in all situations. In general less is better.
The example we have is the Blessed Virgin who never looked into the face of any man, not even St Joseph, her entire life, even while washing and bandaging wounds of the sick, which she also did.
Not to worry. We won’t begin to approach any of her other virtues either.


#9

Custodia Occulorum (custody of the eyes). Yes such is important. But it needs to be a reasonable and prudent exercise.

This can be of help from the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers:
jimmyakin.com/2009/01/appreciating-beauty-vs-concupiscence.html


#10

[quote="bobnjohn, post:8, topic:13480"]
The answer to this is that we will never exercise this virtue as perfectly as possible, so I'd say to ask for the grace to be able to look as little and as purely as possible in all situations. In general less is better.
The example we have is the Blessed Virgin who never looked into the face of any man, not even St Joseph, her entire life, even while washing and bandaging wounds of the sick, which she also did.
Not to worry. We won't begin to approach any of her other virtues either.

[/quote]

Would you please cite the Vatican source for this "knowledge" of the Blessed Mother? (and be careful posting unapproved apparitions..that's against forum rules.)

Also, please start a new thread instead of resurrecting one that is over 7 years old.


#11

Dogmatic Constitution of the Church. All Graces come through Mary. That means there is no grace that can ever be received by anyone that she did not receive. Ever heard the expression “Hail Mary full of grace” before?
Do not be unbelieving, but believe. They shall be taught by God.


#12

[quote="Bookcat, post:9, topic:13480"]
Custodia Occulorum (custody of the eyes). Yes such is important. But it needs to be a reasonable and prudent exercise.

This can be of help from the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers:
jimmyakin.com/2009/01/appreciating-beauty-vs-concupiscence.html

[/quote]

This statement makes zero sense.


#13

What are you talking about? I asked you to cite a source for stating in post #8 on this thread:
“The example we have is the Blessed Virgin who never looked into the face of any man, not even St Joseph, her entire life, even while washing and bandaging wounds of the sick, which she also did.”.

I’m sure she did help the sick, but how exactly do you know she never looked into the face of any man? Including her spouse or her Son? That’s the question I asked of you and requested you cite an official source for such information before you go posting it in the web…


#14

Some can seek such in a rather scrupulous way or over fearful way – making matters more stressful and even possibly worse.

Hence my above post.


#15

[quote="LightBound, post:13, topic:13480"]
What are you talking about? I asked you to cite a source for stating in post #8 on this thread:
"The example we have is the Blessed Virgin who never looked into the face of any man, not even St Joseph, her entire life, even while washing and bandaging wounds of the sick, which she also did.".

I'm sure she did help the sick, but how exactly do you know she never looked into the face of any man? Including her spouse or her Son? That's the question I asked of you and requested you cite an official source for such information before you go posting it in the web.....

[/quote]

FYI, it looks like he took this quote from Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda. Search the text for "never did I look upon the face of a man, not even on that of my husband Joseph" to find the relevant passage.


#16

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