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10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 – It helps teach discipline. 
Men should discipline themselves to be in control of their passions and not allow passions to control them.

9 – It avoids the near occasion of sin.
To avert your eyes when you feel tempted to use a woman lustfully is a good thing.
“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matt 5:19.

8 – Custody of the eyes builds up chastity.
Chastity means properly ordering our sexuality to our current state in life (single, married, religious, priest). If we do not have custody of the eyes, it means our sexuality is dis-ordered toward objectification – not love – and needs to be healed.

7 – It is what every gentleman should do.
No woman who respects herself wants to be lusted after or looked up and down. No real gentleman would dishonor a woman by doing so.

6 – It helps a man to see the whole woman, not just parts of her body.
When most men see an immodestly-dressed woman, their brains automatically start to objectify her. Thus, men need to be able to see the truth about who a woman is – not just to break her down into objects he can use for his selfish pleasure.

5 – It avoids scandal.
Think of King David. If he would have practiced custody of the eyes he might have been able to avoid much worse sins – adultery and murder. Now think of what happens when a man is caught in a lustful look toward a woman.

4 - It helps fight off temptation.

Men suffer from sexual temptation frequently. To have custody of the eyes helps a man to fight off an even stronger temptation of lusting after a woman after he looks at her.

3 – It helps our sisters not feel objectified.
If for no other reason, we should witness to the dignity of a woman by controlling our passions. While our sisters in Christ should also help by dressing modestly, even an immodestly dressed woman is made to be loved.

2 – It is a virtue we should chase after.
It is related to chastity, modesty, and temperance. Without self-control, we are unable to give ourselves away in love. We can’t give what we don’t control.

1 – It focuses us back on more important things.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” – Matt 6:33
Christ should be our first priority. Honoring the height of his creation (our sisters) should be the second. We should be third.

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This post is a  follow-up to Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly.
Other related links are below.

RELATED LINKS:
**The Myth That Women Are To Blame For a Man’s Lust
**Killing The Red Lizard of Lust
**Reflections On The Questions Of Modesty
**Is Pre-Marital Sex Always Wrong?
**How Women Objectify Men
**Les Miserables and Women’s Fashion
**The Impact of Over-Sexualization of Girls
**Internet + Bathing Suits = Bad Idea
**Advertising, Beauty, and Self-Perception
**Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

Infant Baptism


Q – I was wondering if you could tell me if there is reference in Scripture to baptizing babies. Do we baptize babies because of tradition or are we following Scripture?


A - Thanks for the question. There is no contradiction between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, thus the teaching is from both and ultimately, from Jesus. First we start with Scripture. In several places in the New Testament it speaks of baptizing families. One may assume that infants were a part of these families.

“After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.” – Acts 16:15

“He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once.” – Acts 16:33

“I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” – 1 Cor 1:16
But, alone, this does not “prove” infant baptism. We also see that all are called to be baptized and there is no age restrictions. On the day of Pentecost we see the following after Peter preaches:

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” - Acts 2: 37-39

Notice that Christians are called to baptism and that the promise of the Holy Spirit given in baptism is for “you and to your children”.

We can also see a fulfillment of the Jewish practice of circumcision from the old covenant in the new covenant practice of baptism. Paul makes this comparison explicit:

“In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” – Col 2: 11-12

So, we can see there is ample implicit Biblical evidence of infant baptism. Those that reject infant baptism are doing so on an argument from silence, that is they assume it is not valid, because it is not explicitly ordered in the Bible. Well, we also see that the early Christians practiced it and that they understood it to be perfectly consonant with Scripture. Thus, early Christians wrote:

“And when a child has been born to one of them[ie Christians], they give thanks to God[ie baptism]; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who as passed through the world without sins.” - Aristides,Apology,15(A.D. 140)

“And they shall baptise the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family.” – Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic Tradition,21 (A.D. 215)

“‘And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan’ [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes, even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ -John 3:5″ - Iranaeus, Fragment (A.D. 190).
There are many more references here. I hope this helps.

What Can Christians Do To Help Persecuted Christians In The Middle East

Q – “What we can do (beyond prayer) to help the Christians being persecuted in Iraq. Is there a reputable organization you know of that we could donate to that is currently aiding them?”A – Thanks for the question. I believe a number of people want to …

I Want To Be Happy!

All of us want the same thing.  Happiness.
In fact, most of the decisions we make are in seeking out our own happiness or the happiness of others. But, we seek it in ways that sometimes don’t really help.

  • Some of us seek it out in pleasure, yet find that pleasure alone cannot equal happiness and we are then left unfulfilled. We can find examples of this in how people seek it in drugs or alcohol.
  • Some of us seek it in other people, and find they will always be unable to fulfill our deepest longings. Thus, we feel that we haven’t found the right person or that we need to change them. This leads to many broken marriages and relationships.
  • Some seek it in a combination of pleasure and people.  An example is when people seek to use others sexually. Pre-marital sex, contraception, affairs, etc. This will always lead to unhappiness.
  • Some people seek it in power or glory.  They mistake human admiration for happiness, which will always be shown as a sham ultimately.
  • Some seek it in money and attaining earthly treasures. They obtain things in place of having real happiness.

So, what will bring true happiness?  Let JPII tell us about it,

“Creating man and woman in his own image and likeness, God wills for them the fullness of good, or supernatural happiness, which flows from sharing in his own life.” 

Pope Francis put it this way:

“In our day we pass in front of so many doors that invite us to come in, promising a happiness which later we realize lasts only an instant, exhausts itself with no future. But I ask you: by which door do we want to enter? And who do we want to let in through the door of our life? I would like to say forcefully: let’s not be afraid to cross the threshold of faith in Jesus, to let him enter our life more and more, to step out of our selfishness, our closure, our indifference to others so that Jesus may illuminate our life with a light that never goes out. It is not a firework, not a flash of light! No, it is a peaceful light that lasts for ever and gives us peace. Consequently it is the light we encounter if we enter through Jesus’ door.”

We can only be truly happy when we stop trying to create our own happiness and share in the only thing that can truly grant us the gift of happiness – God. Thus, we have to receive the gift of love that God gives us. He made us to want happiness and He will fulfill that longing in a relationship with Him!

But, it isn’t merely our choosing God. He chose us first. Thus, we merely need to respond with a “yes” to his invitation.

Do you want to be happy?  Of course.
So, choose God.
Receive His grace today.
Live your life for Him.
Love Him and His children.
Be happy…

How do you do this? Start with this prayer from Pope Francis:

“Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace.”

Another prayer of Francis:

“In silence, let us all look into our hearts and each one of us tell Jesus that we want to receive the seed of his Word. Say to him: Jesus, look upon the stones, the thorns, and the weeds that I have, but look also upon this small piece of ground that I offer to you so that the seed may enter my heart. In silence, let us allow the seed of Jesus to enter our hearts. Remember this moment. Everyone knows the seed that has been received. Allow it to grow, and God will nurture it.”

Catholics Navigating Homosexuality

From the description of the movie:Here are three intimate and candid portraits of Catholics who try to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith, and homosexuality: Dan, a gregarious artist who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation fro…

Is Smoking Marijuana a Victim-less Crime?

Some say that smoking pot or doing other drugs is a victim-less crime. Yet, there are millions of direct and indirect victims of the drug-trade. Issues include addiction, broken families, billions spent every year, slavery, abuse, sex-tr…

Fr. Barron on Intentional Discipleship

I got to spend several days with Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples, this past week, at the St. John Bosco Conference. Her book has really been stoking a conversation throughout the Church in the USA, about how The Catholic Ch…

15 Phrases and Sayings NOT In The Bible

These quotes are either frequently misquoted from the Bible or not there at all. I also have some things that are frequently thought to be in the Bible, but are not. I have tried to provide a origin of each, if I could find one. I have avoided doctrinal items (both valid and invalid ones) not found in the Bible, because that list would be never-ending.

15 Phrases & Sayings Not Found in the Bible
15 - The Three Wisemen
They Bible calls them “Magi”, not “Wisemen“, though the two are synonymous in common parlance. The Magi are found only in Matthew 2 and no number is given to them (three comes from the number of gifts given).
14 - “Moderation in all things”
This idea behind this phrase originates from Aristotle’s ethics and the direct quote comes from Rome, several hundred years before Christ. Two different Romans are generally given credit – one named Terence and the other Petronius.
13 - “The Lord (or God) works in mysterious ways”
Comes from a Hymn (“God Moves in a Mysterious Way”) by William Cowper, who lived in the 18th century.
12 - “The eye is a window to the soul”
Matthew 6:22 says “The lamp of the body is the eye”, but there is no reference saying it is a window to the soul. There is no consensus as to the origin of this phrase. Some attribute it to a proverb of varying origin and others to several writers including Shakespeare and Milton.
11 - The Apple in the Garden of Eden.
There was fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2, 3), but we do not know what kind of fruit is was. The apple grew out of Christian tradition and may have been a result of artists trying to depict The Fall. It might also have come from the Latin word for evil (“malum” = evil / “malus” = apple). Some say it was likely a pomegranate. But, we do not know.
10 - “The lion will lay down with the lamb”
A very common misquote of Scripture. Isaiah 11:6 reads “Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.”
9 - “A fool and his money are soon parted”
Not even close to a Biblical reference – this comes from Thomas Tusser who wrote it in 1573 in in Five Hundreth Pointes of Good Husbandrie.
8 - “This too shall pass”
The origin of this phrase isn’t even Christian. It comes from a Persian Sufi (Muslim) poets some time in the middle ages.
7 - The Seven Deadly Sins
The list of the 7 deadly sins = wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. The first evidence of the list is from a monk in the 4th century. The list was then altered slightly by Pope Gregory I in 590. It was then popularized by Dante in his Divine Comedy.
6 - “Money is the root of all evil”
1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all evils”. It is the love of money that causes the problem, not the money itself. Money doesn’t have a moral value all to itself, it is what we do with it that makes the action good, neutral, or evil.
5 - “Pride comes before the fall”
Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The origin of the misquote is unknown, but The Beatles’ song “I’m a Loser” has the line in it.
4 - “Charity begins at home”
Generally credited to Terence, the Roman comic writer. It is sometimes also attributed to Sir Thomas Browne who wrote the phrase in 1642.
3 - “To thine ownself be true”
Comes from Hamlet by Shakespeare. In a bit of context the quote reads, ”This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Not bad advice, but not from the Bible.
2 - “Cleanliness is next to godliness”
While there are many references in the Mosaic law to cleanliness (esp. in Leviticus), there is none that we can ascribe to this quote. Some say it comes from a 2nd century Rabbi. We know the first English version comes from Francis Bacon. He wrote the following in Advancement of Learning, “Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.” John Wesley then changed it to the phrase we use today.
1 - “God helps those who help themselves”
This very common phrase comes from Algernon Sydney, who wrote it in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government. It was then popularized by Ben Franklin in 1757 in Poor Richard’s Almanac. In many ways this phrase is wrong, because God helps (saves) those who can NOT help themselves (sinners). Though we must agree to allow Him to help us. An earlier form of the phrase may have come from “God loves to help him who strives to help himself” by Aeschylus (6th C BC).
Do you have any others?

9 Biblical Ways to Overcome Temptation

We can overcome temptation by learning what Scripture tells us about it and following the advice laid out for us.

9 Ways to Overcome Temptation:

1. Avoid and/or flee from it. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

“She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” -Gen 39:12

2. Submit your thoughts to God. He knows better than we do what is good.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Phil 4:8

3. Overcome your selfishness. True Love doesn’t know selfishness. Because, if you love Jesus you don’t belong to yourself

“and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” -1 Cor 3:23

4. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” -Eph 6:13

5. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Gal5:19-21

6. Memorize God’s Word. Filling our minds with the thoughts of God and having them readily available to us is very wise.

“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28

7. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence But don’t just listen – obey.

“Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.” -Deut 5:27

8. Frequent confession heals us and we start over spiritually healthy.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16

9. Accountability helps us avoid sin. When we are accountable to both man and God it helps us overcome temptation.

“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” -Genesis 4:9

Underage Drinking

Q – What does the church say about underage drinking–not necessarily in regards to drunkenness?A – Thanks for the question.  I would like to point other readers to my answer to a previous question on whether getting drunk is a mortal sin.  W…

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