53. The Ninth Commandment: You shall not indulge in impure thoughts or desires



   After the disorder that the original sin originated, man, who is composed of body and soul, has to endure the impulse of his flesh that selfishly claims for the pleasure of sexuality, while at the same time ignoring the discipline with which God has ordered the ways of the human body. Purity is thus a virtue to be attained by the grace of God, as well as a particular personal struggle.

    In order to be pure in heart it is necessary to firmly reject impure thoughts and desires, which are the internal root of sin against chastity, and are already sin when indulged. However, it is worth rejecting impurity, because purity is one of the greatest sources of joy, peace and energy in the development of the human being. As Jesus said during the Sermon at the mountain, “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

    From this invitation, we come to understand that purity hast a cost, but we know that it is also a great gift, a triumphal crown that we should crave for, and thereby defeating the mud of impurity, since impurity stains and is a bitter deception. It makes no sense to think that man is a beast unable to overcome his instincts; man is not a beast. And when God imposes the precept of purity from the same internal source, he does not order something impossible, but instead warns you to do what you can do, to ask for what you cannot, and He will help you to be capable, as the Council of Trent with St. Augustine taught.

  A. Answer by choosing one of these words: sexuality, purity, collective, personal, angel, God, beast or person.

 The flesh selfishly claims for the pleasure of

 Purity is achieved by the grace of God and is a struggle that is

 Blessed are the pure, for they shall see

 Man is not a

  Main ideas

1. Lust

   By disobeying God, Adam and Eve not only sinned but they opened a source of sin: the lust or inclination to sin that remains even in those who are baptized; Baptism forgives original sin but does not destroy lust.
    John speaks of a lust that is threefold: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life. (Cfr. 1 John 2:16), which are a consequence of original sin that contradicts reason and disorganizes the faculties of man. By itself it is not a sin, but it inclines to sin, however, it cannot hurt anyone who does not indulge it and instead deals with it with the grace of Christ. The baptized person is left to battle it out.

2. Purification of the heart

   As nature feels the tingle of passion, the root of sin has to be identified in order to fight it. And the root is located in the heart; purity exists in the body, but most of all lives in the soul.
    Jesus warned his disciples: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19). Therefore, the fight against lust involves purifying the heart and God wants us to be clean and chaste internally. The Ninth Commandment forbids internal sins against chastity: impure thoughts and desires.

3. Fighting against temptation

   Temptations against chastity are not themselves sin, however they incite sin; they would be sin if will power would indulge them, but they are not sin if will power does not indulge them but instead rejects them. They come from evil tendencies; they are suggestions of the devil or the world around us. Not surprisingly, however, we must pray to be strong and refuse them promptly, but not in an obsessive manner. Whoever resists temptation cultivates the love for God and becomes stronger internally, with the strength of God, who gives his grace to overcome evil.

    Whenever you doubt about whether something is or not a sin against purity, you must ask competent people, such as parents or a priest, in order to be educated and live in peace. In these cases, what happens is something similar to when flies in summer land on your face in an annoying manner. We do not have control over whoever lands our way, but we do have control in driving them away or not! If at the time we are faced with temptation, we are able to say: ‘I have done everything possible to get rid of it’, then we should still be joyful and at peace.

  B. Answer by choosing one of these words: lust, cowardice, death, life, stomach, heart, fornication, favors, pure, impure, purity, temptation, sin, virtue, reject or indulged.

 Baptism forgives original sin but does not eliminate

 There exists lust of the flesh, of the eyes and of the pride of

 The root of the sin of impurity is located in the

 Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery and

 The Ninth Commandment forbids thoughts and desires that are

 We must fight against

 Temptations against chastity by themselves are not

 Temptation is sin when it is

4. Decorum and modesty

   It has always been said that purity is based on decorum, which is a virtue and part of moderation. Decorum rejects to show off what must remain veiled, it inspires the personal choice on how to dress, leads to a level of modesty that controls gestures as well as body movements, and keeps silence or keeps reserved wherever there is the risk of unhealthy curiosity. There exists a decorum related to feelings and another related to the body. Decorum guards a person’s privacy and teaches in a very delicate manner.

5. Campaign for purity

   Christian purity demands for the consolidation of the current state of society, and the Christian person has to fight against moral permissiveness, which is the result of a misconception of freedom. Regardless of having independence in faith, man cannot be swayed by the diffused eroticism that pervades in television shows, movies, theater, etc., because it undermines human dignity. As the wise said: the more I was with men, the less of a man that I returned. That is why more so the Christian person has to work hard so that shows are legitimate and do not offend God, which is the opposite of what tends to happens in mainstream culture.

    The effort made in the name of chastity or purity, which God protects with the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, aims to help men and women be more capable of providing for themselves, and helps to purify and elevate peoples’ customs. If purity is not lived, peoples and individuals will lose reason and start living like beasts.

6. Means to live and grow in purity

   You can reach and improve your inner purity by praying - purity must always be asked for - through the purity of intention, which seeks to fulfill all God's will, as well as through taking care of your imagination and sight, along with the other senses, so as to reject any impure thoughts.

Catechism course. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesus Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.

  C. Answer by choosing one of these words: modesty, humility, manners, conversation, indifferent, imprudent, erotic, reason, animals, people, conversation, prayer, sight or feeling.

 The virtue that rejects to show off what should remain hidden is

 To be able to control gestures and body movements is known as

 A person’s intimacy can be guarded with

 The Christian person must fight against the permissiveness of

 On television, film and theater there are shows that are usually

 Man cannot be swayed by

 If purity is not lived, then people will lose reason and start living like

 Purity must be asked through

 We must protect our imagination and our

  Catechism Questions

1. What does the Ninth Commandment imply?  The Ninth Commandment implies for us to be clean and chaste from impure thoughts and desires.

2. When are impure thoughts and desires considered a sin?  Impure thoughts and desires are sinful when our will power pleases them, but they are not sin if our will power does not please them but instead rejects them.

  D. Choose the correct answer by clicking on the button. Below are the possible answers: A or B


 What does the Ninth Commandment imply?

 When are thoughts and desires considered a sin?



 When our will power pleases them, but they are not sin if our will power does not please them but instead rejects them.


 That we be clean and chaste from impure thoughts and desires.

  Purposes of Christian life

- Reject evil thoughts right away, through adequate natural and supernatural means.

- Think about what you can do within your family environment as well as the environment around you to create an atmosphere of purity.

- Live out decorum and modesty.

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