Mental Purity

I read most of ‘Theology of the Body’ a while ago :slight_smile: It gave me a new outlook on marriage and sex that I find very beautiful indeed!

My sister recieved, "How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul’ from a friend recently so I decided to skim through it to see what all the hype was about. I got hooked pretty quickly ^^

Now, there is one quote from the book that concerned me a bit:

“Where do you draw the line when it comes to your thoughts? One rule of thumb is to remember that if the particular action is not moral for you to act upon, then do not allow your mind to linger on the subject. For example, if you are not married, don’t fantasize about marital intimacies. It’s not wrong to desire such intimacy, but you would do well to wait on God, allowing Him at the appropriate time in your life to lift the veil from that mystery.”

Since reading ‘Theology of the Body’, whenever I happen to think about sex, I do so while meditating on it’s meaning and the beauty of it as a part of God’s plan in marriage :slight_smile: Is this wrong, too, since I’m not married?
It’s not like I’m thinking about it for the sake of all the…“unmentionable details”…or thinking about it lustfully to get “certain feelings” that should be saved for marriage.
Yes, naturally, it will feel nice to think about sex at all, but, you know what I mean, right?

Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

It is not thinking about sex and sexuality, such as a medical or psychology student will do to study function, but what is called unchaste thoughts, impure thoughts, and cultivating desires.

Baltimore Catechism No. 3 has:Q. 1317. What is forbidden by the ninth Commandment?
A. The ninth Commandment forbids unchaste thoughts, desires of another’s wife or husband, and all other unlawful impure thoughts and desires.

Q. 1318. Are impure thoughts and desires always sins?
A. Impure thoughts and desires are always sins, unless they displease us and we try to banish them.

I guess what I’m wondering is, what’s the difference between an unchaste, unlawful, impure thought or desire regarding sexual intimacy, and such a thought that does not violate chastity?

I read this from an article from this site:

“As John Paul shows us, when chastity is understood authentically as a virtue, it is an excellence, a “saying yes” to those desires, feelings, and thoughts that allow one to see human bodies as personally significant. (See “What Does ‘The Personal Significance of the Body’ Mean?,” page 8.) He points out that one cannot acquire the virtue of chastity without also developing a “reverence for the work of God” in the human person and, especially, the human body (Theology of the Body 131-132).”

Here’s the rest of the article>>catholic.com/magazine/articles/if-you-want-justice-work-for-chastity

I guess I’m having a hard time understanding at the moment as I am ill and exhausted at the moment. Please explain simply :o

Unchastity in thought means mentally unveiling that which should be covered and respected as private. This means that the motivation is significant. Even is one maintains the bounds of the local cultural limits, it is possible to focus on some object to obtain sexual pleasure. This will depend upon what each person finds appealing, and which may be natural or unnatural, and, for example, can be imagined words, glances, touches, embraces, kisses, situations, appearances, situations, or roles. It may be simple or extremely complex.

In my case, I’m not thinking about it to obtain sexual pleasure :o

How about in the case of nudes in art (as I am an artist, I study classical art from time to time)? Wouldn’t that be unvieling what should be considered private? But there’s a difference between that and porn which degrades a person.

I just read a thread of someone who’s doing something very similar…forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=870759&highlight=impure+thoughts
But it looks like the majority of people say it’s wrong to do this -__-
How can one read ‘Theology of the body’ without having such thoughts?
Is there a way to think about it in a virtuous way? :shrug:

Yes, it can be unveiling, as least as a representation of what is to be private. It may not be degrading, but does not need to be degrading to be a source of sin.

I think it is much easier to answer this question for oneself than for the community. Art may be pleasing without being a source sin or of temptation to sin to some people. It can also be a stumbling block for an imaginative individuals. When I encountered the Edward Stieglitz nude photos and drawings at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe, I had to be selective and monitor my reactions carefully. Also the same for Renoir and Modigliani paintings elsewhere. The Statue of David at the Sistine was not a problem for me but may be for others.

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.