THE DESTROYER OF SOULS
God has given all of us a sexual desire. This desire varies within each of us in different intensities. In and of itself it isn’t sinful. But few constrain our desires to be acted upon according to God’s plan: pro-creation and the expression of love to our spouse.
Sadly, there are many of us, who even think we are responding to our sexuality correctly, but we are being deceived by the evil one and are actually committing vast sin, as we seek to use this desire for self-gratification.
“Do nothing out of selfishness” (Philippians 2:3).
Even, or should I say, especially, in married life this blindness is a problem. To learn more please read, “What is God’s Plan for Marriage?”
Some of us, might think our sexual desires are so great that we can’t restrain ourselves, but that is simply not true. With all the temptations God allows, He allows us a way out; we never have to sin.
“God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it [and grow in holiness]” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Therefore, let’s learn how to leave it all.
Sexual immorality is a big problem for most people, mostly because we never learned how to discipline and control our natural sexual desires. Sadly, many don’t even know we should be doing this.
“Through lack of self-control many have died” (Sirach 37:31)
This article will give us great incite to the root of the problem and how we can seek Mercy (help) to learn and live the self-control God expects of us, so we don’t reject Heaven from having a desire for this sin.
“The souls in hell having been found at the moment of death with a will [desire] to sin, have with them an infinite degree of guilt; and the punishment they suffer, though less than they deserve, is yet, so far as it exists, endless.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa
In the world we live in today, we are so used to satisfying any desire we have. If we crave it, we seek to satsify ourselves with it. Choosing to live “self-denial and suffering” to live The Word, is foreign to most of us. Most of us don’t want the cross. We don’t want to tolerate temptation, and suffer such longings, so to not sin.
However, if we don’t learn how to seek God’s mercy (strength) and learn how to carry a cross through discipline, all will be lost.
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
I Have A Problem
Some of us know clearly (which is a blessing) we have a problem with sexual self-control, but many of us don’t even know this is a big problem for us, since what we view as sexually immoral and what God views as immoral are quite different. Therefore, in our eyes we are fine but in God’s eyes we are swarming in impurity.
“This is the will of God, your holiness [so you may obtain Heaven]: that you refrain from immorality…(1 Thessalonians 4:3).
When God says to “refrain from immorality”, do we think He is only speaking about our serious immorality, like: fornication (sex outside of marriage), pornography, masturbation, insatiably wanting sex, lust…or is He really speaking about ALL immorality, even the least vain desire we have…like wanting to be sexually attractive.
Does God want us to remain in some of our impurity but to rid it all from our lives so that “you may be pure” (Phillipians 1:10 ).
Well, of course God wants us pure–perfectly pure. He doesn’t want us to remain in the slightest sin…sin offends Him. Oh, the world has such a warped view of what is acceptable, but if we hate immorality and never want to offend God, then seeking to be perfectly pure is the only way.
“Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Degrees of Immorality
Sexual immorality varies in intensities, but it all kills if we don’t sincerely come to hate it.
There are lesser kinds of immorality that we suffer from, like when we find gratification with looking at (not lusting at) but just looking at perhaps scantily clad people…like maybe people on magazine covers or perhaps just checking out others around us–looking at their body perfections or imperfections. Yes, our eyes can be quite unchaste.
But I tell you, saints would rather die than do this; it is sinful…and we shouldn’t either. When a saint sees someone they are focused on their soul, seeking to pray for another…not their body. We might not think this is a problem, but these are all parts of our sexual immorality and keep us from being perfectly pure…so we want to work on banishing them.
Everything we do should be for the salvation of another, not to tantalize our curiosities.
Then, there are greater immoral acts, like seeking to have our sexual desires gratified with other people, using them as objects to give us pleasure. And from there, if not restrained, our immorality can even grow all the way to perverted sexual acts, all of which, eat away at our souls and kill us.
“Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7:7).
Therefore, lets learn how to rid not only our big issues with sexual immorality but also our lesser problems too, because they all greatly offend God and horribly hurt our and other’s lives too.
I Have Become Blind
Most don’t realize when we suffer from any amount of sexual immorality, these are the sins, that are preventing us from growing correctly in our faith towards a saving faith and a life of wonderful peace.
They are very blinding, mind consuming and debilitating.
“[Impurity] blinds the soul, and makes her lose sight of God and of the eternal truths”
Like I said, the problem is that many of us are unwilling to admit we have such a problem, especially since they are so embarrassing….especially if we are a person of faith. Then from our shame, instead of picking up our cross of humiliation and admitting our sin…working to amend it, we cover it and die…blind never knowing The Way and losing it all. And for what…to protect our pride? Eternity is forever.
“The effects of this impure vice are: blindness of the mind, hatred of God, attachment to the present life, horror of the future life.”
–St. Thomas Aquanis
How to Rid Immorality From Our Life
Some saints have run into the desert or joined strict religious orders all to avoid this sin. Now, if God wills us to do such things then that is wonderful, those actions can greatly help. But we don’t need to do those things to Live…if that isn’t God calling for you, such extremes aren’t necessary.
God provides us endless help through prayer, fasting and the sacraments. If we can’t fast, and tolerate the temptation of a hungry belly, how in the world are we going to tolerate our sexual discomforts? We must be willing to suffer discomfort–carry a cross–if we want to win control over this temptation.
One thing I want to mention, as we develop strength from discipline and grace, what was hard to carry at first simply won’t be challenging anymore….God might even allow the temptation to leave all together. Can you imagine? But it is true.
The number one means of eradicating this sin is to sincere want to stop it and being willing to suffer to amend it. Then frequent confession, as often as we repeat the sin, is fantastically helpful to obtain the strength from God to move us into truly hating this offence against God.
“In the case of impurity, it may be necessary for the penitent to go to Confession and Communion daily in order to overcome this sin…one has to resort to every extremity to over certain types of mortal sin, in an effort to save his soul. And it is proper to do so! One’s confessor should readily understand and will even applaud such a valiant, determined effort.” –St. John Vianney
What a wonderful soul who is willing to suffer and put forth such honest effort into amending immorality. The angels and saints in Heaven are delighting in joy.
Of course, this life of being determined to end sin with frequent confession and Communion shouldn’t only be with our sins of immorality but with all sin; that is how we become saints and obtain Eternal Life.
Please understand there are different kinds of mortal sin…some that we need Communion to overcome and others the we are to use confession and penance to rid before partaking in Holy Communion. To learn more please read, “How Can I Receive Holy Communion Worthily” or “What Are the Mortal Sins.”
How Did We Get Caught Into This Trap
When we mature, our bodies are given a natural sexual desire, but we aren’t supposed to always act upon these desires, since they are meant to for procreation and love in marriage. But this is where we go wrong. We use our sexual desire for self-gratification.
“[We are] lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).
Most have never learned how to control our sexual desires and “deny themselves[ourselves]” (Matthew 16:24) nor “how to control your own body in holiness and honor” (1 Thessalonians 3:4). We justify our immorality (seeking sexual gratification for personal pleasure) as natural…just fine (not sinful). But it isn’t.
“He, who like a brute animal [wants to satisify his desires] seeks after sensual pleasures, is not capable of even understanding the excellence of spiritual goods.”
Then from allowing ourselves to be gratified and or stimulated, for enjoyment, and desire increases and increases into a habitual sin…something that can even seem uncontrollable.
When we are stimulated by nature, instead of practicing self-denial through prayer and self control, like those who desire to live in holiness do, that sexual temptation leads us into finding ways to satisfy our appetite, which aren’t pure. Some of us will exercise some restraint and not choose some acts that we believe are greatly immoral, but few, very few practice, prayer and self-denial…and are willing to sin (offend God) in lesser ways. Most act in some way, upon that stimulation and seek to fulfill our desires immorally (against God’s plan for sex/sexuality), and chose to offend God rather than love Him.
There are endless stimuli that don’t even come from within ourselves that boost our sexual desire, especially in our corrupt world today, from music to TV…to our clothing…all the way to pornography. Making an already strong desire (temptation) even stronger causing us to fall into all sorts of lusts, impure desires and immoral acts.
Much of the time, we fall into temptation because we have been weakened by other unrepented mortal sins that we are living with. Any unrepented mortal sin rejects so much of God’s grace, that sins we wouldn’t think of committing when we had grace, we are now blind and/or justifying the sin, and are now willing to commit, such sexual sins for self-pleasure.
Sexual immorality is a huge problem with the young and old alike. Countless souls can’t obtain a life of peace or Eternal Life because of this horribly blinding debilitating sin which is destroying our lives and very hard to escape.
“Once fallen into the snare of the devil [immorality], one cannot so easily escape it”
The Evolution of Great Sexual Sin
Even if our sexual desires aren’t that great, we can fall into great sin. When we don’t have God as the center of our life, we can become lonely, feel unattractive, unloved…wanting attention…since, we are attached to the affection of people and not God.
Then when a tempter comes along (someone who is attracted to/desires us or someone who we are attracted to/desire or both), if we don’t remove the temptation or take great caution around it, we will get caught in its trap.
From not avoiding sin and falling into temptation, we begin making idol conversation with the tempter, which is sinful (don’t be deceived). Talking about anything that isn’t for God’s honor and glory just to make conversation isn’t how we love God and can lead to greater sin even if it isn’t immorality, like: gossip, bragging or building up someone’s blinding pride (complements).
Now, instead of seeing the tempter as evil we must avoid (someone who leads us into sin), we like the tempter and how he/she makes us feel: loved, attractive, happy…the tempter gives us the attention we want, since our joy isn’t with God alone. Then we begin thinking of them and seeking their company, instead of God, making them an idol (our source of happiness). This can happen to people we aren’t sexually attracted to as well…we call them friends, beware. Yes, friends can easily become our idols–what we need for happiness and can ruin our relationship with God.
Anyway, if our sexual desires start to kick in from being stimulated through the tempter’s affection and our attraction to them, we will start to desire them sexually. This is where all sorts of affairs and immorality begin, since we didn’t exhibit self-control and caution…which all really stemmed from idol conversation (talking about unimportant things not for God’s honor and glory).
“Thy mouth must be a mouth of Christ: and you should not open it for calumnies [slander] or lies, and not even for idle discourse.”
And if we choose be blind to our feelings and are only thinking of the pleasure the tempter is bringing us, we will progress to lust, and perhaps to touching, and even to full blown sexual activity. Now the devil owns us, and we are full of shameful acts…hastening ourselves to doom.
Our sexual sins surely aren’t only limited to coming from idle chatter. This same evolution develops with what ever medium we have chosen to open us up to sin. But it doesn’t matter how great or little our sexual desire is or how attracted we are to someone or how much we desire something to satisfy our sexual urge, we must rid ALL idols, lust, vanity, immorality and impurity from our thoughts, words and actions, and only use our desire/attraction according to God’s will for His honor and glory, not for our personal sexual gratification–to fill our void with the world’s pleasures, instead of God.
God wants to send us grace so we can “renounce impiety [ungodliness] and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly” (Titus 2:132), but sadly, self-control doesn’t seem to be what most of us are seeking God’s mercy to acquire…as sexual immorality has grown out of control.
We watch TV shows, movies, the internet, ads, etc., thinking we are not effected by the half dressed immoral content of them, when if we could see what it is really happening to our soul’s we would run in horror from anything that isn’t perfectly pure…anything that the Mother of God or Christ Himself wouldn’t sit down with us and watch.
But since we can’t see that we are killing ourselves, we don’t avoid immorality; we partake in it just like any person with no faith would. Tragically, most justify our immorality as not even sinful. But if we don’t change, we will reject God for our sin.
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality [sexual relations between unmarried people, homosexuality, and bestiality], impurity [watching, wearing, doing sexually stimulating things for self-pleasure, not God’s honor and glory], licentiousness [lacking sexual self control]…I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Please understand it isn’t just great sexual immorality that kills…even slight habitual impure choices destroys our souls too…especially if it lives hidden with in us because we just don’t want to see our sinfulness (love our sins).
From God’s love for us–His magnificent Word–which guides us to Heaven, Our Lord tells us clearly over and over and over again that we can’t have any immorality or impurity among us to be welcomed into Eternal Paradise. Yet, most are greatly suffering from this devastating sin in some degree or another.
“Immorality or any impurity…must not even be mentioned [in the slightest way] among you, as is fitting among holy ones…Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure [person]…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ” (Ephesians 5:5).
What a great Bible verse to meditate on after we have committed immorality to help us understand the great consequences of this sin, so to motive us to change!
Our Lady told us the sins of the flesh are the most common sins that damn us (keep us from growing in faith into a saving faith). “
Preaching how to remove our immorality needs to take precedence, especially since it places a great stumbling block towards any true progress in faith if we are plagued horribly with these sins.
If we don’t remove our habitual immorality–all of it–we will surely die.
“Do not be deceived; neither fornicators [those who engage in sex outside of marriage] nor idolaters [those who long for any of the world’s pleasures and not God for joy] nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites [homosexuals] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Different Kinds of Immorality
Immorality comes in many forms as I list below, but some of the most common forms of impurity most don’t even recognize as sinful, but it can kill.
Oh, we can wear the tight pants or check out all of the pretty girls and think there is nothing wrong with that, but truly those are forms of sexual immorality. That isn’t pure nor done for God’s honor and glory…it is sinful. Please don’t be deceived. The devil doesn’t want us to see the reality of our misery so we can die in our sins.
If we could see the consequences of doing those things and/or understand the intentions as to why we do them, we would clearly see they are immoral (the saints wouldn’t do them as they aren’t pure or for God’s honor and glory), but the devil convinces us other wise so to own our souls.
Immorality is much more than just pornography and fornication (sexual relations before marriage), and yet, we must be free of all of it, if we don’t love those sins.
Remember, God’s forgiving saving mercy is only accepted into our souls if we are truly sorry for all our sins (have no liking for them), and we aren’t TRULY sorry for any sin if we continue to repeat it, when God’s transforming mercy is waiting to take it away.
If we really want God’s mercy (help), it is waiting to take away our habitual sins. Run to Him. He loves us. He wants us in Heaven.
There is a real reason why the saints don’t do such things. We might not have the grace to understand why, but emulate the saints; they know the way to Heaven.
“Certain fashions are going to be introduced that will offend Our Lord very greatly and those who serve God should not follow them.”
–Our Lady of Fatima
But that isn’t it, there is much, much more.
Our Hideous Soul
There is nothing more harmful to the faith than someone proclaiming they love God, as they pray, spread the good news and do many good works, but hidden within, they are utterly defiled from immorality.
The immoral person simply can’t see–not really see-since the devil has us in his trap. From our pride, we believe we are doing well enough from the “good” we do or the blessings God gives us. Or perhaps, we convince ourselves that “we are just sinners” so to justify our sinfulness and not work hard and seek God’s mercy to amend our ways…but reality is, we are dead and a very hidious for of decay is within us.
Oh, the few who bear some humility, might even know our behavior isn’t proper (or at least some of it) and what to change, but truly if we really knew, we would die of horror.
The sexually immoral’s soul is grotesque in the eyes of God. Think I’m being harsh. Oh, think not.
“The [once] redeemed soul of man has become like the most ugly and shameless frog, jumping in its arrogance and living in filth through its sensuality…[The soul] is namely like the most vile frog, full of filthiness and lust, fostered in the chest of the devil…When his soul [once blessed by Me] begins to separate from the body, she flies straightaway to the devil…she finds a greater pleasure in the devil.
The voice of her prayer [to Me] is like the voice of the frog, and her appearance is abominable and hideous in my sight. Her ears will never hear my joy, and her poisoned senses will never feel my Divinity. [Change My hideous children, hear my plea for you to repent, accept My grace and change before your hour comes].
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
Just because practically everyone is suffering from this sin, and its horror is hardly ever preached, that surely doesn’t remove its horrific consequences. I can not express how damaging the slightest impurity is. But most aren’t slightly impure, no…if we were only honest with ourselves, we would see we are suffering greatly from this very addicting sin.
Oh, the devil sneaks into us with slight immorality, but if left ignored and uncontrolled it grows and grows…out of control creating unfathomable blindness and devastating consequences, as it fantastically increases other sins (from our rejection of grace), most of which we will be blind to.
The immoral simply can’t see…their eyes are turned to the flesh, not God. It is just horrible.
Many of us are so corrupted with this evil, that our sexuality is all distorted. As as result, our hearts don’t know how to correctly love others. We don’t long for God, but we long and long for someone or anything to satisfy our sexual desires. Some of us can’t even look at an attractive person without falling into temptation and sinking into much sin.
“Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. ” CCC # 2332
Even though, all immorality is wrongdoing, most of it is deadly (a mortal sin).
The first step in developing a life with sexual immorality is through wanting to be attractive or desired and if left to brew and fester and not controled it can grow into various immoral thoughts, words and deeds, all the way into perverted sexual acts being performed forcefully upon another or even an animal. Yikes! Yes, we aren’t born depraved…we allow ourselves to get there. Just becuase we don’t commit the worst acts of immorality, that doesn’t make us any less guilty of immorality. And sure, some of us are born with greater inclinations towards one immoral sin or another, but we all allow ourselves to become immoral…some just hide it better than others.
Sadly, we practically indoctrinate our children with the desire to be attractive. From the time they are born, we are doting over how cute they are and when their sexuality develops, if we don’t tell them how to DISCIPLINE THEMSELVES and control their sexual desires (as they are only for marriage/procreation), it sadly converts them into wanting to be sexually attractive so to boost their pride, sense of value and satisfy their sexual desire.
Then, if they follow the world, immorality only grows and grows.
Some can have self-restraint and place limits on the sins they are willing to commit, but many live unrestrained lives and only seek to satisfy an ever growing sexual desire.
Few, very few, live lives seeking true perfect purity; most simply disregard God’s law.
“For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who [also] gives his holy Spirit to you [to save us, which we will reject by impurity]” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
Different Degrees of Immorality
With sexual immorality there are various degrees of evil. Like I said, the first step is wanting to be attractive and then it grows more severe from there.
Below is a chart of the typical growth pattern of immorality:
Attraction is Dynamic – with seeking marriage or not
When we think of the first form of immorality that of “wanting to be attractive,” we can see there are many ways in which we seek to be attractive.
Now, if we are seeking a spouse, we want to be seen as attractive to someone (in the right way) so someone will find us to be a suitable partner and can grow to love us, which is morally fine, as long as the qualities of attraction we are displaying are pure.
God created us to be attracted to one another, so we will want to marry and procreate for His honor and glory. However, most don’t seek to be attractive so to find and please a spouse and God through purity but rather sin.
Having a physical attraction to someone is natural and fine as long as it is pure. However, even if we are seeking a spouse, most don’t just want to be attractive (the pure way), we want to be sexy, not modest. We want to flaunt our bodies, which builds lust, not love. Frankly, many want to be lusted over and/or lustful…as the devil has made that very satisfying.
And if we aren’t physically attractive and can’t diet, exercise, change our clothes, wear makeup, or do something to improve our looks…we will spend our time trying to make some other aspect of ourselves attractive so to build up our pride and win the affection of another. But most of the time the qualities we are promoting as desirable are all of the world.
Perhaps we’ll get a nice car, house, or flaunt our successful career, athletic talent, intellect, being generous and/or even fun. Oh, the things we do or try to become desired.
But in God’s plan, it isn’t so much about the beauty on the outside that we should be most attracted to, or the successful career, or even the fun personality…it should be the godly character that really draws us to someone.
“Similarly, [too,] women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
We are supposed to strive to be attractive in our purity and holiness so the person we marry will help us grow into a saving faith and not draw us more into lust and the world.
What else does The Word say?
“This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).
Also, in Tobias 3, beautiful Sarah was married to seven husbands, in which the Lord allowed to die, because they wanted her from lust. Only the last husband, Tobiah, as brave and pure as he was did God allow to live since he took her out of purity/love.
“She [Sarah] had been given in marriage to seven husbands, but the wicked demon Asmodeus kept killing them off before they could have intercourse with her, as is prescribed for wives….[Angel Rephael told Tobiah] you, more than anyone else, have the right to marry his daughter…I too am afraid of this demon [Tobiath replied]…[Raphael said] when you are about to have intercourse with her, both of you must first get up to pray…When Tobiah heard Raphael’s words that she was his kinswoman, and of the lineage of his ancestral house, he loved her deeply, and his heart was truly set on her [not from lust but for noble reasons to fulfill God’s will]” (Tobias 3:8-18).
This intercourse between husband and wife, for it to be pure, must be done from prayer seeking God’s will…not to use one’s spouse to satisfy one’s sexual desires for self-pleasure. This is terribly hard to understand since most think God give man a wife to satisfy his sexual appetite, but that simply isn’t true. A man is to treasure his wife not use her. Husband and wife are to have intercourse to help move themselves towards sanctity. Spouses are supposed to help each other loose their lust and desires for the world…not long more and more for them and satisfy every craving. To learn more please read, “God’s Plan of Family and Friends.”
“[St. Bridget asked] Why did you give men and women the seed of intercourse and a sexual nature, if the seed is not to be spilled according to the carnal appetite [sexual desire]?”…”I gave them the seed of intercourse so that it might germinate at the right place [from prayer seeking God’s will] and in the right way [through purity] and bear fruit [children] for a just and rational cause [God’s honor and glory].”
–Jesus to St. Bridget
Attraction Sickness – the Beginning
The problem with wanting to be attractive, for the wrong reasons, goes well beyond just seeking a spouse. People want to be seen as attractive by everyone…especially those we are attracted too or who we feel are attracted to us. If we aren’t doing it to boost our pride, we are doing it to satisfy our sexual desire or a little of both.
This is where the major growth in immorality takes place. But how did we get this way?
Lets look at an innocent child who is beginning to develop its sexuality. When a child was innocent from such desires, they were fine with their parents seeing them naked. Then, when their sexuality began to develop, what was shameless, becomes shameful, and they want their privacy.
This desire to hide and live modest with their bodies and bodily changes, in this world of sin, is pure and good. However, few keep this desire, since as we mature, we are tempted to follow the world.
Sadly, most are not guided correctly so to keep that beautiful desire for purity. Frankly, it is belittled as immature and even seen as wrong. And since the youth are looking to mature, we wind up following the evil one and mature with the devil as our guide, especially since there is such a great lack of correct examples.
This “love your body…flaunt it” society we live in is the exact opposite of saintly behavior that leads to Life. Tragically, so many are stuck living that way of life, trying to find happiness with ourselves; we are lost.
Some don’t “love” our body shape or appearance, but still want to flaunt ourselves. Since we don’t think we have anything that can be flaunted–either we are old or out of shape or unattractive–we are stuck living in jealously wishing we could do what others do and as a result, we are just as lost.
However, even if we don’t “flaunt” our bodies or even think we want to flaunt, most are still stuck in this trap of immorality too, we just don’t see it.
A Little Bit of Immorality is Blinding Too
What happens is, we are so used to covering our sins, we don’t see most of our immorality. We might think we only have a little or none at all, but boy or boy, God knows we have much more than we are willing to admit. This is especially true if we don’t do the greatly immoral things like: fornication (sex before marriage), pornography, dressing immodestly, adultery, etc.
Sadly, someone who thinks they are so much better than the seemingly greatly immoral person, can very well be even more blind and guilty than those who seem so much worse than we are.
The cure for immorality is by removing what causes us to sin, idol chatter, certain people, media. and putting our minds on prayer or good works. But along with that practicing penance is a must. Yes, mortification of our bodies. What is that?