The Seven Capital Sins: Lust (Week 1)

Fr. Michael gives advice on how to overcome the sin of lust in our lives. This is the first of a seven-part series on the Capital Sins.
by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC | Source:

My weekly message for the next seven weeks will be focused on the 7 Capital sins with some practical tips on how to conquer them in your daily lives. The first one is more of an issue for men and teenage boys, so the focus will be in that direction. I sincerely hope that this will be helpful.

#1 Lust

Definition: “Lust is a disordered desire for or an inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2351)

A Winning Strategy for Inner Peace and Authenticity: 

1. Sacraments and Prayer
- Lots of Eucharist and regular Confession (at least once a month): you cannot conquer these powerful passions without the help of God’s grace. The Eucharist fertilizes and nourishes both the will and the garden of virtues and the Sacramental Grace of Confession, like a good weed killer, attacks and weakens the weeds.
- Pray a Decade of the rosary every day for a greater purity. The Blessed Mother is the Queen of Purity and a powerful intercessor for us with Christ. 

2. Internet/Media tips:
- Your mom/wife should receive a copy/history of all the sites that you visit during the day…keeps you honest and builds trust.
- Be realistic and get a tough filtering system, we need to protect ourselves. (Net Nanny, CyberSITTER, Familink, Safe Eyes, BSafe Online, CyberPatrol)
- When you are tempted in this area, think of a good intention for which you can offer it up, perhaps a loved one in need or a sibling/son/daughter who may need extra graces.
- Go to where you need to go and then get out!
- Special care with images on video games, and content in movies and TV shows with inappropriate material…these have a huge psychological impact in creating disordered desires. 

3. Control of Eyes: when associating with women, look into their eyes or face without getting distracted in other areas. Personally, it helps me to see and treat other women as I would my sister. 

4. Control of Imagination: the devil is always stirring the pot with our memory and imagination and our thoughts need to be checked at the door. These are the inner battles of the soul which mean so much to God and truly forge our character. 

5. Choose your friends well! A friend is someone who should inspire you with their example and not bring you down to a savage level of living. This is especially critical for teenagers. 

6. Business trips
- Avoid travelling on the same plane, staying in the same hotel, or sharing a meal/drink with those female associates with whom you may have an unhealthy emotional attachment or a physical attraction. Always include a 3rd party if possible.
- Never to go to the hotel bar for dinner or drinks alone; order in room or be seated at the restaurant. Never have a meeting in a room, always secure a conference room at a hotel.
- Keep a busy and focused schedule, call into your wife every evening, and try to incorporate prayer and exercise into your free times. Daily physical exercise is very helpful! 

7. Little acts of self-denial: taking less of the food you like, more of what you do not like; temperance and self-control in drinking alcohol; being especially kind to those who are disagreeable to you…punishing/controlling your passions in these areas form strong habits of self-control in your purity as well. 

8. Attitude of selflessness! To be so focused on serving those around you that you do not have time for impure thoughts or actions. 

9. Example. Those whom you love can perceive your authenticity when they look into your eyes,…think of them when it gets tough. They need this example!! 

10. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Intimacy with Christ is only possible for the pure of heart! There is nothing worse than feeling divided and far from God!

God bless,
Fr. Michael Sliney, LC

Email Fr. Michael at!  

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