What exactly is "lusting in your heart"

Is it actually adultery when you think someone is very attractive even if you are 100% sure you would never have any physical contact even if you could?

If you get aroused or think that person is attractive in a sexual way, then, it is a form of *mental *adultery.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

Merely finding someone attractive is not adulterous in any regard.

If you are having sexual fantasies about that person, then you are lusting in your heart.

I don’t disagree with you, but how exactly do you arrive at “having sexual fantasies” from “finding someone attractive?”

You could find someone attractive as a human being, liking the way they look and act and think and feel. That doesn’t mean you want to have sex with them. You can be attracted to a person on many levels. But if you mean finding someone sexually attractive, that means you have one thing on your mind and you better get it out of the gutter!:slight_smile:

I disagree that finding someone sexually attractive means lust. There are a lot of men I’ve found sexually attractive without lusting after them!

If you find somebody sexually attractive it means you found some thing good. If you let it go at that it gets better but it is the second look that starts the trouble.

Christ demonstrates (in the Sermon on the Mount)
“You have heard the commandment, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:27-28).

that merely following a commandment externally is not enough. The problem is that fallen man is riddled with lust in his heart. ***Jesus came not to enforce a code of ethics; he came to transform the human ethos – that is, to transform the desires of our hearts. “Christian ethos is characterized by a transformation of the human person’s conscience and attitudes ***…such as to express and realize the value of the body and sex according to the Creator’s original plan.”
for complete text:

This is what conversion is all about, Charlie Brown :wink:

‘To abstain from sinful actions is not sufficient for the fulfillment of God’s law. The very desire of what is forbidden is evil.’

St. John Baptist de la Salle

To defeat the sin of ‘lusting in the heart’ one must cultivate an opposite reaction to the pleasure normally given by looking at a woman’s body, namely, disgust. Thereupon, when one is presented with the image of what would normally (due to habituation) tempt one to lust one is gradually trained to reject entirely the temptation by habit.

Thereupon you will be well on the road to the grace of pure chastity.

Do not fool yourself with ideas of mere attraction and ‘appreciation of beauty’, it is far more likely you are deceiving yourself or being lead through this ‘appreciation of beauty’ to the temptation. You should far more value beauty of soul than than the visual, like the difference between night and day.

Becoming one in body mind and soul, with the emphasis on soul first then the mind and finally the body helps me out a great deal.

What if that person who looks so attractive is badly in need of an exorcism?

Is this the type of disgust recommended, or should it be more bodily?


‘Human bodies are like glasses, which cannot come into collision without risk of breaking; or to fruits, which, however fresh and ripe, are damaged by pressure. Never permit any one to take any manner of foolish liberty with you, since, although there may be no evil intention, the perfectness of purity is injured thereby. Purity has its source in the heart, but it is in the body that its material results take shape, and therefore it may be forfeited both by the exterior senses and by the thoughts and desires of the heart. All lack of modesty in seeing, hearing, speaking, smelling, or touching, is impurity, especially when the heart takes pleasure therein. St. Paul says without any hesitation that impurity and uncleanness, or foolish and unseemly talking, are not to be “so much as named” among Christians. Remember that there are things which blemish perfect purity, without being in themselves downright acts of impurity. Anything which tends to lessen its intense sensitiveness, or to cast the slightest shadow over it, is of this nature; and all evil thoughts or foolish acts of levity or heedlessness are as steps towards the most direct breaches of the law of chastity. Avoid the society of persons who are wanting in purity, especially if they are bold, as indeed impure people always are.’

St. Francis de Sales

I do not exactly understand the question I was asked, but I will say that one resists sin with one’s whole self.

As for Christopher West, his support of sodomy amidst men and women, as well as his impure language to describe the spiritual that is frankly, blasphemous, causes me to avoid him, whatever support he has high or low. He is trying to apply a new approach that the saints do not apply to sex and spirituality, and the sins and heresies of his imprudence in that are showing. I do not recommend his books to anyone.

God did not surround us on the earth with beautiful creations, and people, ONLY FOR US to develope a reaction of DISGUST. Attractiveness can EXIST without invoking sexual desire. The real question here is the definition of LUST, if you see the person as an object only for your sexual desire, then you are lusting after that person. If you notice they are attractive, pleasing to the eye, without wanting them for sex, then you are in my opinion following God’s design. Sexual desires, and attractiveness ARE GOD given components of our being.

Reaction of disgust ? Really.

I disagree with the comment about disgust. I agree that God did not create our bodies so that we would be disgusted by them. I disagree that appreciating beauty is sinful. I agree that one can fool himself into believing it’s just appreciation when there’s more. I agree fantasies are wrong. I agree that if you are aroused, you’d better steer away. I don’t know when exactly it becomes lusting in your heart. I know doing anything for the purpose of becoming aroused outside the proper marital context is wrong (i.e. when you desire the arousal).

It is perfectally ok to look at someone and appreciate their beauty, as God created the human body. But to take it any further than that is very dangerous. We have to look at everyone with the beauty that God created us in, whether it is exterior or interior.,…“what ever you do unto the least of my brothers you do unto me” … Satan is constantly luring and tricking us into falling into a lustful thoughts, so one must disipline themselves, one by praying to the Holy Spirit and asking him to help you remained disiplined, and secondly by being aware of Satans influence on you.

A daily rosary will help all of us receive the graces from our Holy Mother given to her by her Son.

No, I dont think so

The Catachism describes “Lust” as:

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.

By this definition I would say simply looking at and recognizing someone as pretty, or handsome would not imply lust. Even noting someone as “attractive” as in having a nice figure or such is probably not lustful by the above definition.
This presumes of course that the “thinking” is of a passing nature and does not cause arousal.


From the Catachism:
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.

Also Read through this section on the ninth commandment and the Battle for purity.

This should help clarify the issues for you.


hi everyone. i don’t post here much (as i forgot about this site and just happily rediscovered it again), but i wanted to add my 2 cents to this discussion.

I think we men are fantasizing when we imagine being able to look at physically attractive women without feeling sexual desire without neutering ourselves. Yes, there are those certain times when we can. When we’re in a really dry state and can look at a beautiful woman purely on aesthetics.

But to act like we can or should somehow train ourselves to never have a sexual reaction from the sight, sound, or thought of a woman just seems disingenuous to me, and I tend to agree with the earlier post that says you’d have better luck simply training yourself to react negatively altogether.

I think its dishonest to reduce a woman’s attractiveness to a purely aesthetic or artistic value. Those aspects exist but the sexual reaction that pulls males to females is ALSO a part of the design and should not be utterly cut out of the response. I think PAIRING our sexual desire for a woman with thoughts of the woman’s higher value that counteracts our lower tendencies makes much more sense than training yourself not to have the sexual urges.

Otherwise I’ll need to put my hands together and ask God to miraculously remove my sexual response, but since he miraculously gave me my sexual response in the first place, this attitude just seems reactionary, short-sighted, and somewhat disrespectful.

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