Definition of Lust?


#1

So yes I understand that Lust is Very strong sexual desire.
But I am confused as too what exactly that means, I mean say if you are walking down the street and you see a woman and think she has a beautiful body or breasts etc, and just leave it like that just noticing that she is physically beautiful and then just move on is that classified as Lust? Or is it Lust for you even looking at her body or breasts in the first place?
I am just slightly confused with this as this usually happens to me I notice a woman and look at her body and think she looks beautiful and then I move on without wanting to have any further connection with that woman, is that lust for looking at a womans physical beauty?

Also this is a problem I have sometimes where I could be talking to someone or just thinking to myself when suddenly I get a lustful image or thought come into my head which I did not want, as soon as it appears I expel it straight away, is that lust, I did not want the image in my head in the first place so is that a sin either as I suppose it wasn't with full consent. I must add that in the first place the thing I was talking about or thinking about is not related to anything sexual or anything sometimes these thoughts or images pop into my head.

The point is if anyone could answer me as to whether the two things I have described are actually lust it would be greatly appreciated, and if any one could give me a clear definition of what Lust is without so much terminology it would greatly help me as at the moment I am stressing if I have committed Lust under these two actions.

Regards Michael


#2

[quote="Blackspur7, post:1, topic:321288"]
So yes I understand that Lust is Very strong sexual desire.

[/quote]

I think this is an inadequate definition. A woman may have very strong sexual desire for her husband without lusting after him, or she may lust after him. The first would not be a sin, the second would. A better definition, I would think, would take into account that lust objectifies another person, treating him or her as a tool for one's own sexual gratification, rather than regarding him/her as a whole person who exists for his/her own sake and loving the whole person accordingly.

[quote="Blackspur7, post:1, topic:321288"]
if you are walking down the street and you see a woman and think she has a beautiful body or breasts etc, and just leave it like that just noticing that she is physically beautiful and then just move on is that classified as Lust?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="Blackspur7, post:1, topic:321288"]
Or is it Lust for you even looking at her body or breasts in the first place?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="Blackspur7, post:1, topic:321288"]
I have sometimes where I could be talking to someone or just thinking to myself when suddenly I get a lustful image or thought come into my head which I did not want, as soon as it appears I expel it straight away, is that lust

[/quote]

No.

[quote="Blackspur7, post:1, topic:321288"]
if any one could give me a clear definition of what Lust is

[/quote]

I'd recommend reading some of Karol Wojtyla's Love & Responsibility. You'd probably find it very helpful. :)


#3

Thank you very much for both of your answers, it helps me a lot as I suffer with anxiety and this was stressing me out, as a side note do you have any tips or know any prayers that will help for stress.

But yet again I cannot thank you enough for your answers thank you very much.

God Bless you.


#4

I just read your other thread and realized that you are a teenager. You might find Love & Responsibility difficult to read, since it is unlike many books people your age read. At the same time, you shouldn't necessarily let that discourage you. Some difficult things are worth trying. Maybe you will understand it.

If not, do not be discouraged. Like I said, it's not like many books people your age read, so perhaps you would understand it better later. In the meantime, you might check out sources such as these:
thetheologyofthebody.com/
tobinstitute.org/


#5

[quote="aspirant, post:4, topic:321288"]
I just read your other thread and realized that you are a teenager. You might find Love & Responsibility difficult to read, since it is unlike many books people your age read. At the same time, you shouldn't necessarily let that discourage you. Some difficult things are worth trying. Maybe you will understand it.

If not, do not be discouraged. Like I said, it's not like many books people your age read, so perhaps you would understand it better later. In the meantime, you might check out sources such as these:
thetheologyofthebody.com/
tobinstitute.org/

[/quote]

Thank you very much for all of this.


#6

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a wonderful resource.

2351 *Lust *is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.


#7

[quote="Blackspur7, post:3, topic:321288"]
do you have any tips or know any prayers that will help for stress.

[/quote]

Sorry, I've only just seen this post!

Lots of different kinds of "tips" might be helpful.

One thing I especially like to recommend is that you learn more about virtue and strive daily to practice virtues. Our ultimate goal isn't just avoiding evil, it's learning to love God and to love our neighbors more perfectly.

So go ahead and ask questions such as "What does it really mean to be faithful? Just? Loving? Merciful? Respectful? Courageous? Humble? Moderate? Generous? Honest? Encouraging? Grateful? Zealous? Gentle? Self-controlled? Compassionate? Prudent? Patient?" Study what the saints and other faithful Christians have taught us about these and other virtues, and what they have taught us about how to practice them. Make conscious efforts to practice these virtues in your everyday life.

If you make bad choices along the way, acknowledge that you did wrong, confess your sin honestly, resolve to do good, focus on starting fresh. Each moment is a new chance to do the right thing, the good thing, the loving thing. God will give you the grace, the power, to do this; welcome this grace with thanks. Focus on the virtues you want to cultivate and the best means to do it.

If you are stressed, there are many ways to relieve this, and I recommend trying several. Do not neglect to get an adequate amount of sleep. Eat a variety nutritious foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Spend some time exercising regularly, according to your abilities, and spend some time just playing (whether it's just shooting hoops or doing crossword puzzles, according to your preferences, recreation is good for the mind). Pause periodically throughout your day to think about where you're going and what you're doing right now: be attentive to the moment. Will the choices you're making help you to cultivate the virtues you're working toward? Devote some quiet time each day to prayer.

When it comes to prayer, you may find that some kinds are more helpful to you than others. It might be praying the Rosary, reading scripture, reading the lives of the saints, or Eucharistic adoration, for example-- find out. When praying, put aside other tasks, concerns, and thoughts for several minutes. Focus only on your prayer. If other thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them, put them aside for the moment, and return to your prayer. (This may be difficult at first. Don't beat yourself up over it. It becomes easier with practice.) Sit still and pray. You won't always "feel like it," and that's OK. Don't worry too much about whether you "feel like it," just take several minutes to put other things aside and pray anyway.

I hope that will help. Others will have advice too. :)


#8

No these are not sins of lust. Lust is a perversion of sexual desire, it is a twisting of the gifts God has given us. If no one had sexual desire where would we all come from? It is good to immediately dispel those thoughts though because entertaining sexual thoughts can be sinful. Keep fighting, purity in this day and age is much harder to achieve than ever before.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.