Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Examination of conscience: The sixth commandment (and a quiz!)

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Nope, I haven't forgotten this series.

And on this commandment, single, widowed, consecrated, and ordained folks do
not get a pass.

First, let's be clear: God is not redundant.

People tend to lump this commandment with the Ninth: "Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's wife." I don't think this is good idea. If and when we get to the Ninth Commandment, we'll deal with the notion of "covetousness." Here, though, we're talking about deeds and thoughts directly related to our sexuality.
Of course, having sex with somebody else's spouse breaks this commandment. But how else do we abuse our bodies by abusing the God-given gift of our sexuality?

Don't think that temptations against chastity "go away" as you age.

They don't. I'm over 50 years old and have been widowed for 20 years. To my absolute outrage I found myself tempted a few months ago! True! During a sleepless night! How dare that Old Scratch!

Anyway, my confessor gave me a good solution.

"Get up and eat a cookie." It worked, and still does.
'Course, the downside of this is that one can become addicted to cookies, get fat, and all sorts of bad things but so far this hasn't happened. (I do wish I could lose a few pounds, but I certainly can't blame my confessor for that!) But the idea is a good one. If this happens to you, regardless of your age, get out of bed! You don't have to eat a cookie...maybe take a walk, or pick up a book, or -- hey, great idea! -- pray a decade of the Rosary!

How else can Satan tempt us into breaking this commandment?

Some key words: dress, marriage, conversation, "jokes," TV, movies, the Internet...you get what I mean. More importantly, how can we guard ourselves from breaking this commandment?

Now for the quiz: Name that saint!

A canonized saint, was, while in his old age -- if I remember correctly, he was at least 80 or even 90 -- found himself tormented by temptations against chastity. Who was it?

Disclaimer: I don't remember the guy's name! God willing, I'll find out tomorrow because I hope to see the priest who told me about him. But don't let my miserable memory stop you!
Winner gets some beautiful prayer cards of the Litany of the Unborn Christ Child.


1) What are ways we sin against this commandment?

2.) How can we fight against the temptation to do so?

3.) ...and what is the name of this saint I'm trying to remember?
Have fun...in God's sense of the word!