Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Q&A: It is always so that when a person falls into heresy, he is doing something bad. Everything bad you are doing, tell it to me. Let me hear.

Answer: [Since this person accused me of heresy and asked the reason behind it and what bad things I do:] This is something I wrote down last day in a document, so it perhaps shows a bit where God is leading me right now or where I am trying to go:

  • Make frequents acts of love of God everyday
  • Try to think of God before everything you do
  • Try to refer everything you do to God
  • Try to become more fervent and recollected in your prayer
  • Try to make 2 mortifications in food and drink for the love of God each day (holy days excluded)
  • Try to mortify your self-will for the love of God in at least 2 things everyday
  • Mortify yourself in your recreation in order to gain peace and gain humility

“2 things everyday” is only because I understand how weak and pathetic I am and perhaps do not dare to do more right now.

Other than that, I think I do nothing directly wrong, except eating a little more than I should some days and making too few mortifications and sacrifices. I am also too attached to winning in chess, and I am a bad looser – hence that I wrote the above about mortifying my self in my recreation.

I may also be wasting time in recreation; I should spend more time praying and loving God with desire instead. Yes I feel like a burning desire in me that wants to love God with my whole heart, but this desire is really weak; and I have always felt this since the beginning of my conversion, except for long periods of times when I am more lukewarm (which happens often with me). So because of this I never let it grow and hence I never really loved God. Who knows, perhaps "If you were as perfect as God wishes you to be, He would be ready to bestow many graces upon you. God wants you to be holier than many others." (A soul speaking from Purgatory)

I am also horribly tormented by bad thoughts; but such temptations are usually a good sign and not a bad sign I have often read. Some of my thoughts are so abominable that I am ashamed to even mention them (they happen quite often with me); and I wonder if it is even possible to be saved being like me. All I can do in these cases is to resist (however badly I do resist) and pray God to save me and help me not to fall. I do believe I can fall – and that I even will fall – into the worst crimes and sins if the Lord do not protect me. When it comes to my self, I always do think the worst and that the worst can or is true; and I even think I am damned and that there is no hope for me – unless the good Lord Jesus have mercy on me. Even if I am in mortal sin or even heresy, I know God can and will lead me out of it – provided I cooperate with Him. So I have no problem with Hope; that is the only thing I feel certain about; I see rather my self only as the problem because of my own uselessness.

I also gave up listening to music (psychedelic, goa, ambient) some time ago and now listen to nothing of such, except on my 3 hour recreation time, when I listen to sermons, interviews, or other such secular or religious things.

I also did read comments on youtube and yahoo news a little to often before, but stopped with this almost completely recently.[1]

I believe God may call me to higher perfection, and that He wants more of me and that I should distract myself less. Hopefully, I will become better as time goes on – if only I do not resist Him. Perhaps it is good for me to be alone with God a little in my home; it makes me think more of God and how I should please Him and come to know Him and love Him better.[2]

'For your love, O Lord, I will not see this,
nor hear that, nor taste that morsel,
nor take just now this sort of recreation.' (Source)


[1] I believe God wants me to move away more and more from secular things and distractions, but instead I indulged in it more recently! If God wants someone completely for Himself, or if a person is an all or nothing person, he may have to cut off all contrary things completely, since God cannot and will not be served halfheartedly by some.

I recently gave up chess (or I try do to it) since I can't play it; I am too much of a bad loser and I get angry when loosing. It also distracted me a lot and I think about good games, lost games, won games etc. That is what I mean with “an all or nothing person.” Some people get really into the things they do – and find a fondness and likeness for it that is hard for them to break with – and hence they will get distracted a lot by it. I am such a person. That is why such a person may have to break of all distractions; if not, they may never advance towards perfection since they will always be divided and never really come to know God. "If you were as perfect as God wishes you to be, He would be ready to bestow many graces upon you. God wants you to be holier than many others." (A soul speaking from Purgatory) I think it was Pope St. Gregory the Great that said something like: “Those whom God wants to be saints and do not become saints, will not be saved.”

Some things that helps against too much idleness is to have a set amount of time that can be spent on recreation (of which I view secular news as part of it). I have a max amount of 3 hour recreation a day. I also have an amount of hours put down for reading, and for prayer, that I do every day.

[2] Concerning loving God, and the loving God point I made above, the following is something I have said frequently also in my heart and meant it since it “feels” like I do not mean it many times when I express loving words towards Him, since I feel like a stone and a hypocrite: “I do not love you Lord, please forgive me and help me to love you.” “I love you Lord, I do not love you Lord. Please help me to love you!” “I am a hypocrite, I do not love you, my Lord. Please help me to love you.” “Even if I do not mean these words, my Lord (i.e., I love you, my Lord), I ask you to change my heart so that I will mean it.”

I also fail in my points of: “Make frequents acts of love of God everyday” and “Try to think of God before everything you do” and “Try to refer everything you do to God”. I really don't know how to think of God every time and before every thing I do. But even if it's hard, I still try to do it and I certainly think a lot more of God now than before I made these resolutions.

This is also something helpful I found recently: On rising, members of the family are “[1] first, to thank God for having preserved their life during the night; [2] secondly, to offer to God all the good actions which they will perform, and all the pains which they shall suffer during the day; [3] thirdly, to implore of Jesus Christ and the most holy Mary to preserve them from all sin during the day.” (Liguori, “Sermon 36,” 274)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Against Errors: On Spiritual Reading

“The Saints also recommend us not to read much at one sitting, nor get through many pages, not to weary the spirit with lengthy reading instead of refreshing it. Very good and necessary advice for certain persons, who seem to place their happiness in reading much and getting through many books. As the body is not nourished by much eating, but by good digestion of what one does eat; so neither is the soul nourished by reading much, but by ruminating and well digesting what is read. For the same reason they say also that spiritual reading should not be of difficult things, but of plain things, rather devout than difficult, since difficult things are apt to fatigue and dry up devotion. Hugo of St. Victor quotes an example of a servant of God, who was admonished by revelation to drop the reading of those things, and read the lives and martyrdom of the Saints, and other plain and devout things, whereby he profited much.
        “Hence it follows that they do ill who, once having read a good book, throw it into a corner, and say, I have done with that. A good book is not meant to be read once over only: the second time over it will do you more good, and the third time more, and so you will ever find, it new as they find by experience who have a desire to profit. That is a very good thing also which some do, when they find anything in a book that moves them much and gives them particular satisfaction: they take a note and mark it, to have always at hand some arguments of greater weight and cogency, matter wherein they are more likely to find some marrow of devotion and consolation, suitable to the several times and occasions that occur.” (Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., The Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues, p. 350)
Comment: There is nothing wrong with reading much, of course, but this is not absolutely necessary since it is more important, as it said, to well digest what one reads than reading a lot and not deriving any profit from it, so to speak.

I much rather prefer that a person reads (and prays) much and understands little, however, than that he wastes his time watching the television, netflix or youtube (or any other worthless or dangerous activities).
“To a spiritual life the reading of holy books is perhaps not less useful than mental prayer. St. Bernard says reading instructs us at once in prayer, and in the practice of virtue. Hence he concluded that spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won. ... As the reading of bad books [and media] fills the mind with worldly and poisonous sentiments; so, on the other hand, the reading of pious works fills the soul with holy thoughts and good desires.” (St. Alphonsus, The Importance of Spiritual Reading)
It is also not a problem to read more deep spiritual books, such as St. John of the Cross, but these spiritual books are much more complicated and not well read by many people. Generally, one must have patience and a liking for such books in order to be able read them through.

It is also important to re-read good and profitable books, as it said, and this is worth repeating so that people do not forget it. So why not re-read that great book that made you so much good again?

It also helps to shift between different books if one gets bored easily. This can easily be done by having two or three different pdf's open that one reads from.

It is also worth noting the advice to note down good passages in a document that is spiritually profitable and worth re-reading.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Q&A: Tell us about how you left bad influences like the media behind?

Jerome, tell us about how you left bad influences behind?  What changed in your life so that you were able to put aside things like anime and other forms of media?

Jerome, you must have missed this.  Thanks for replying.


First of all, it is always the grace of God which acts before any change can take place in a person; and this obviously was the case with me.

Secondly, prayers (meditations, rosaries etc.) need to follow, since it is a dogmatic fact that those who don't pray will be damned and not change [their life] (unless God's grace intervenes); but the opposite also is true, i.e., that just because one prays the Rosary, for example, does not mean - by that fact alone - that one will make the necessary changes in one's life. St. Alphonsus explains it thusly:

        “Some one may say, I do not make mental prayer [from the heart], but I say many vocal prayers [with the tongue]. But it is necessary to know, as St. Augustine remarks, that to obtain the divine grace it is not enough to pray with the tongue: it is necessary also to pray with the heart. On the words of David: “I cried to the Lord with my voice,” the holy Doctor [Augustine] says: “Many cry not with their own voice (that is, not with the interior voice of the soul), but with that of the body. Your thoughts are a cry to the Lord. Cry with in, where God hears.” This is what the Apostle inculcates. Praying at all times in the spirit. In general, vocal prayers are said distractedly [through mere habit] with the voice of the body, but not of the heart [as in mental prayer], especially when they are long, and still more especially when said by a person who does not make mental prayer [from the heart]; and therefore God seldom hears them, and seldom grants the graces asked [since they only or almost always pray by habit or custom and thus lack the real disposition of a true purpose, love, faith and desire required in order to be heard and receive graces]. Many say the Rosary, the Office of the Blessed Virgin, and perform other works of devotion; but they still continue in sin. But it is impossible for him who perseveres in mental prayer to continue in sin; he will either give up meditation or renounce sin. A great servant of God used to say that mental prayer and sin cannot exist together. And this we see by experience: they who make mental prayer rarely incur the enmity of God; and should they ever have the misfortune of falling into sin, by persevering in mental prayer, they see their misery, and return to God. Let a soul, says St. Teresa, be ever so negligent, if she persevere in meditation, the Lord will bring her back to the haven of salvation.” (St. Alphonsus, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, CHAPTER XV: MENTAL PRAYER, Moral Necessity of Mental Prayer for Religious)

[Note: Meditation is the process of deliberately focusing and thinking on specific thoughts (e.g. the evil of sin and the eternity of hell and the goodness of God) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God and one's own life; it is thus a prayer mostly of good and serious thoughts rather than of repetitive words. A person who seriously meditates in this way on various topics according to St. Alphonsus and St. Theresa, will not continue long in sin, since "he will either give up meditation or renounce sin."]

Many people, for instance, do not frequently give themselves enough time -- or perhaps don't even have time -- to perform all their desired vocal prayers, and especially longer prayers, and the consequence of this will be that many of them will pray very little, or seldom if their only form of prayer is vocal prayer. A good form of prayer, then, that is more easily performed by everyone, no matter how troublesome prayer may ever feel to you[*], or however little time you might imagine that you have to spare, is simply that you talk with God as with a real person at all times: in your car, in the toilet, in your work, when you eat... yes everywhere and at all times a man can talk with God, Our Creator and Father as with a real person in the same way as little children does towards their own Father, like when they tell Him how much they love Him, and mentioning all their troubles and worries and that He might help them and protect them, supplicating His help all the time. We should thus learn from these little Children and imitate them and behave as they do towards our own Father and Mother in Heaven, by telling Them that we love Them and that we want to love Them very much and that we need Their help to love Them even more and that we need Their help to resist sin and do good, whatever it might be. A person who prays with confidence in this way everyday will certainly not be lost or be neglecting his duty to pray well. Jesus Christ himself teaches us this very concept in the Bible. “And he [Jesus] spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint...” (Luke 18:1)

[*It is, however, a really bad sign when a person feels an aversion or contempt to holy prayers like the Rosary. A person should do his utmost to persevere in praying the Rosary and other vocal and mental prayers since the Devil often tempts people to stop praying them because he knows and feels how much they lessen his power over a person’s soul.]

Thirdly, and this is connected with God's grace; and that is that God allowed me (and I am thankful to Him for it, since I understand how much good it has done to me) to be almost always negatively affected by viewing or watching at things that are harmful to modesty and chastity. I just can't look at almost anything that to me is immodest or not modest enough without having a reaction (not necessarily sexual in every case) [even if a thing is modest, I can still be disturbed by it, which is why I generally avoid looking at people[1]]. It is hard for me to explain what this reaction is when not directly sensual [or sexual], but something within me is put in motion, and even my eyes become affected and I feel vulnerable and weak [and a war is waged inside me, like flesh and spirit being opposed to each other]. Perhaps it is partly fear of sinning; partly my conscience rebuking me for not being careful enough; and partly my lust tormenting me [and my weaknesses and psychology affecting me].

Fourth, because of my reactions, it started to get impossible for me to watch media or surf with images on, since to even see a woman [or sometimes even men] gave me disturbing thoughts or feelings many times [against my will], in that the devil suggested all kinds of sinful [or disturbing] thoughts in my mind
[2]. Why did this happen? Because I put my self in a totally unnecessary occasion of being exposed, and those who do this will be abandoned by God to themselves; and without God's grace, a fall will eventually happen. This is explained by St. Alphonsus thusly:

“Brother Roger, a Franciscan of singular purity, being once asked why he was so reserved in his intercourse with women, replied, that when men avoid the occasions of sin, God preserves them; but when they expose themselves to danger, they are justly abandoned by the Lord, and easily fall into some grievous transgressions.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Mortification of the Eyes, p. 221)

Fifth. Since I understood how easily a sin can be committed in one's thought, and since my sinful thoughts sometimes were so imposing that I actually feared I will consent to them, I greatly lamented and considered what I must do in order to diminish this from happening to me. This fear and understanding of my duty to avoid bad occasions is what eventually lead me to make many changes in my life.

St. Alphonsus explains how one bad thought, yes one single bad thought consented too, is enough to damn someone; and he shows us the most tragic and fearful example of this having happened to a person (to a parent's child!) who previously had never committed a single mortal sin!

        St. Alphonsus: “Listen to this example: A boy used often to go to confession; and every one took him to be a saint. One night he had a hemorrhage, and he was found dead. His parents went at once to his confessor, and crying begged him to recommend him to God; and he said to them: "Rejoice; your son, I know, was a little angel; God wished to take him from this world, and he must now be in heaven; should he, however, be still in purgatory, I will go to say Mass for him." He put on his vestments to go to the altar; but before leaving the sacristy, he saw himself in the presence of a frightful spectre, whom he asked in the name of God who he was. The phantom answered that he was the soul of him that had just died. Oh! is it you? exclaimed the priest; if you are in need of prayers, I am just going to say Mass for you. Alas! Mass! I am damned, I am in hell! And why? "Hear," said the soul: "I had never yet committed a mortal sin; but last night a bad thought came to my mind; I gave consent to it, and God made me die at once, and condemned me to hell as I have deserved to be. Do not say Mass for me; it would only increase my sufferings." Having spoken thus, the phantom disappeared.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, p. 167)

If one meditates on this seriously, one will quickly understand how serious this is. It is not a joke, and when one understands that one can be damned for even a single thought (or that one's child could be damned for having consented to a single wicked thought through the media you perhaps allow them to watch or surf[4]) and that this happens to people, then one must necessarily start to fear for oneself and others and make changes for oneself and them; for “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 110:10), but “The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools [and damned people] is infinite” (Ecclesiastes 1:15)


[1] Saints also generally always avoided looking at people, whether male of female[3]. A person that does not try to mortify his eyes will of course never come to a full realization of the evil, and many times harmful effects that can (and often) come from looks. To give just a few examples from personal experience that most people probably also suffers from: Looking at people, especially in the media, often leads to judging them by their looks, by how they speak, by how they behave, etc.: he is a nerd/but I am not?; he is ugly/and what about your own interior?; she is hot/better not even think about it; he is homosexual or acts like one/but perhaps he is not; he is a liar/or is he?; he is a thief/really?; he is a rapist or a pedophile/am I sure?; he is a murderer or she has committed an abortion/do I have any evidence of this?; he is guilty of.../but what if he is not?; I am better than he/oh what pride!; he looks evil/and what do you think you are?; he looks like a creep/and how does God look at you?; what a fool/but you are a greater fool!; I would have done better/are you sure?; how could he...
I would not have done that/oh stop fooling yourself...and because you thought like this, you better fear because God might perhaps let you fall into the very same thing yourself now! etc.), and this is something I really don't like; and this by itself makes me not want to watch videos.

But not only do one get thoughts that makes judgement against others based on their behavior or looks or deeds (even if one don't want such thoughts to happen, they do come; I don't say they come always, but they do come), but one may also start to judge their intentions, why they said this or that, or why they behaved in such a way, or why they did this or that movement (such as a hand movement, eye movement, how they walk and talk, their facial expressions etc., ad infinitum), which is also an evil. Temptations to sensuality and lust is obvious; and they are the worst, but not the most common; so not much have to be said about that. But since these other temptations to judgments are so much more common, they might be more dangerous; and they obviously affect a person in a negativ way in their spiritual life, and may even lead to the sin of rash judgment, slander, detraction and calumny, if not openly, at least interiorly. Another evil that affects a person is that one gets influenced by the people in the media. Sin happens frequently in the media. But how often does the viewer get the impression that the sinful action was WRONG? If the media distorts reality to suggest that sinful behavior is either neutral or good, or that such characters are to be praised, it is dangerous. And this happens almost all the time in the media today. This fact alone also makes me afraid to watch media and follow media characters, since I am afraid to be deceived to start looking upon the evil they do and/or condone as "good" or "praiseworthy", or even "neutral".

Another great problem with watching media is the constant distraction it causes within a person's mind which will almost completely extinguish his devotion; or at least, make him very distracted during prayer or reading. St. Theresa and St. Alphonsus is very clear on that the reading of worldly novels or romances is enough to completely destroy devotion in many in people, especially young women; and if this is so, what then are one to think about worldly media and distracting and many times harmful images?

St. Alphonsus: “Fathers should not allow their children to read romances. These sometimes do more harm than even obscene books; they put fantastical notions and affections into young persons heads, which destroy all devotion, and afterwards impel them to give themselves up to sin. "Vain reading," says St. Bonaventure, "begets vain thoughts and extinguishes devotion." Make your children read spiritual books, ecclesiastical histories, and the lives of the saints. And here I repeat: Do not allow your daughters to be taught their lessons by a man [or the media], though he be a St. Paul or a St. Francis of Assisi. The saints are in heaven.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, pp. 480-482)
Theresa, The Life Of: “What I shall now speak of was, I believe, the beginning of great harm to me. I contracted a habit of reading books; and this little fault which I observed was the beginning of lukewarmness in my good desires, and the occasion of my falling away in other respects. I thought there was no harm in it when I wasted many hours night and day in so vain an occupation, even when I kept it a secret from my father. So completely was I mastered by this passion, that I thought I could never be happy without a new book.”

Fr. Faber agrees completely with St. Theresa and St. Alphonsus on this point. In the middle of "Growth in Holiness" he suddenly breaks off to write a few pages describing how horrified he was by popular trend of the day in the 1850's for females to read romance novels like those of the Bronte sisters. He called this practice a "hothouse of every vice." Like St. Alphonsus, he believed that the long-term emotional damage caused by romance novels might be worse than the effect of reading outright immorality.

Media today is in fact one of the greatest - if not the greatest - reason why people pray so little and read so little. Many could have enough time to do this more if they wanted to, but since they spend their time badly, they choose rather to spend most of their time on things to their liking, such as watching the media!

[2] Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., Practise of Perfection and Christian Virtues, Ninth Treatise, Chapter XVII: Involuntary motions, bad thoughts occurring against purity, against faith, or against any other virtue whatsoever, for which many afflict themselves very much, are not sins. Wherefore the Saints bid us not to put ourselves at all in pain for them; it is not the feeling these impressions, but the consenting to them which makes the sin. When you loathe these temptations and endeavour to resist them, and do not entertain them or take satisfaction in them, they are no sin, but, on the contrary, an occasion of greater merit.

       So of inclinations and evil emotions that we have of our nature, some more, others less, from which arise such evil stirrings in our appetite, and such repugnances and reluctances for virtue; it is not in this point that one is good or evil, perfect or imperfect, for the thing is natural and not in our own control, it is the inheritance of sin. St. Paul, though he was St. Paul, felt the contradiction and rebellion of his flesh, and said: "I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and leading me captive in the law of sin that is in my members" (Rom. vii. 23). St. Augustine explains to this effect the verse of the Psalm, "Be ye angry, and sin not" (Ps. 4): "That is, though there arise in your heart some first motion, which now being part of the penalty of sin is not in our power, at least let not the will consent to it, but in mind let us serve the law of God, though yet in flesh we serve the law of sin (Rom. vii. 25). Though there arise in your appetite the movement of impatience and anger, do not let yourself be carried away or consent to it, and you shall not sin."

The Rev. Father Peter J. Arnoudt, S.J., The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, The First Book, Chapter XIV: “1. The voice of Jesus… Do not be afflicted nor sad, My Child, because thou art assailed, against thy will, by various temptations; be rather rejoiced and consoled. For it is a sign that thou art in the state of grace[*], and that thou followest My standard. If thou didst adhere to the devil, he would surely not attack what is his own; but because thou standest by Me, therefore does he tempt thee, and endeavor to draw thee over to his ranks.

       2. My Child, temptation is not prevarication; yea, so long as it is displeasing to thee, it is meritorious of a Divine reward. Therefore, however loathsome the things which the enemy may suggest, be not uneasy; however violently he may entice thee to evil, think not that thou art forsaken by Me. Never am I nearer to thee, or more ready to help thee, than when thou sufferest under these trials. When thou art tempted, Child, I stand by, looking on the struggle, and helping thee, that, being thus encouraged and aided, thou mayst not only withstand the foe, but gloriously triumph over him. Be, therefore, ready for the combat: no one shall be crowned, unless he has struggled lawfully; and he that shall overcome shall receive the crown of life. …
       5. … He that prays amid temptation, as he ought, cannot be overcome; but he that neglects prayer, is usually vanquished. Resist generously from the very beginning of the temptation, and pray fervently in this, or a similar manner: O, Jesus! hide me within Thy Heart, that I may not be separated from Thee . . . O, God! my God! come to my assistance . . . Jesus and Mary! make haste to help me . . . I will rather die, O Lord, than commit sin. If the enemy continue to tempt, faithfully withdraw thy mind from the object of the temptation; and, having earnestly turned it to other things, either good or indifferent, persevere in prayer, persevere in thus resisting, not with anxiety or impatience, but calmly and steadily: and the foe shall either flee away, or stand abashed.”

[*] This and similar statements must not be understood or be applied to all persons as an infallible certitude, since many people can be tempted and yet be in a state of damnation. God often uses and allows temptations in order to influence bad people to make changes in their life. Being tempted is thus a good sign since this means one is not yet entirely abandoned by God. “The greatest of all evils is to be not tempted, because then there are grounds for believing that the Devil looks upon us as his property. The Devil only tempts those souls that wish to abandon sin [and that God mercifully grants temptations despite their unworthiness] and those that are in a state of grace. The others belong to him; he has no need to tempt them.” (St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, The Cure d’Ars, 1786-1859)

[3] St. Francis of Assisi used to exhort his brethren frequently to guard and mortify their senses with the utmost care. He especially insisted on the custody of the eyes, and he used this parable of a King’s two messengers to demonstrate how the purity of the eyes reveals the chastity of the soul:

       “A certain pious King sent two messengers successively to the Queen with a communication from himself. The first messenger returned and brought an answer from the Queen, which he delivered exactly. But of the Queen herself he said nothing because he had always kept his eyes modestly cast down and had not raised them to look at her.

       “The second messenger also returned. But after delivering in a few words the answer of the Queen, he began to speak warmly of her beauty. “Truly, my lord,” he said, “the Queen is the most fair and lovely woman I have ever seen, and thou art indeed happy and blessed to have her for thy spouse.”
       “At this the King was angry and said: “Wicked servant, how did you dare to cast your eyes upon my royal spouse? I believe that you may covet what you have so curiously gazed upon.”
       “Then he commanded the other messenger to be recalled, and said to him: “What do you think of the Queen?”
       “He replied, “She listened very willingly and humbly to the message of the King and replied most prudently.”
       “But the Monarch again asked him, “But what do you think of her countenance? Did she not seem to you very fair and beautiful, more so than any other woman?”
The servant replied, “My lord, I know nothing of the Queen’s beauty. Whether she be fair or not, it is for thee alone to know and judge. My duty was only to convey thy message to her.”
       “The King rejoined, “You have answered well and wisely. You who have such chaste and modest eyes shall be my chamberlain. From the purity of your eyes I see the chastity of your soul. You are worthy to have the care of the royal apartments confided to you.”
       “Then, turning to the other messenger, he said: “But you, who have such unmortified eyes, depart from the palace. You shall not remain in my house, for I have no confidence in your virtue.” (The Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, London: R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 254-255)

St. Anthony Mary Claret writes:

       “What is more, I shall relate another instance which could not have been so, had I not received very special graces from heaven. While I was in the island of Cuba, for six years and two months to be exact, I confirmed more than 300,000 persons, the majority of whom were women, and young ones at that. If any one were to ask me what are the characteristics of the Cuban women’s features, I would say that I do not know, despite the fact that I have confirmed so many of them. In order to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, I had to look where their foreheads were, and this I did in a rapid glance, after which I shut my eyes and kept them shut all during the administration of the Sacrament.” (From the Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret)

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

       “Hence, to avoid the sight of dangerous objects, the saints were accustomed to keep their eyes almost continually fixed on the earth, and to abstain even from looking at innocent objects. After being a novice for a year, St. Bernard could not tell whether his cell was vaulted. In consequence of never raising his eyes from the ground, he never knew that there were but three windows to the church of the monastery, in which he spent his novitiate. He once, without perceiving a lake, walked along its banks for nearly an entire day; and hearing his companions speak about it, he asked when they had seen it. St. Peter of Alcantara kept his eyes constantly cast down, so that he did not know the brothers with whom he conversed. It was by the voice, and not by the countenance, that he was able to recognize them.

       “The saints were particularly cautious not to look at persons of a different sex. St. Hugh, bishop, when compelled to speak with women, never looked at them in the face. St. Clare would never fix her eyes on the face of a man. She was greatly afflicted because, when raising her eyes at the elevation to see the consecrated host, she once involuntarily saw the countenance of the priest. St. Aloysius never looked at his own mother in the face.” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Modesty of the Eyes, pp. 252-261)

[4] A person who watches secular media (even religious media or movies can be, and many times are, unsafe to watch, as—to give only one example—the notoriously immoral religious film Becket shows!) or don't surf the internet with images blocked and with an ad blocker,—or let their children do these things,—can hardly be said to be “careful” or be a “good parent”, however “careful” and “good” he thinks he is, since he is exposing himself and his children daily to occasions of sinnings and immodesties; and since they do this they cannot be saved since they cannot be absolved: “He can sometimes be absolved, who remains in a proximate occasion of sinning, which he can and does not wish to omit, but rather directly and professedly seeks or enters into.” (Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #61, March 4, 1679). And “Brother Roger, a Franciscan of singular purity, being once asked why he was so reserved in his intercourse with women, replied, that when men avoid the occasions of sin, God preserves them; but when they expose themselves to danger, they are justly abandoned by the Lord, and easily fall into some grievous transgressions.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Mortification of the Eyes, p. 221). Here we can see that a person who does not avoid the occasions of sinning cannot be absolved and hence cannot be saved, and that those who do not avoid dangerous occasions will be abandoned by God and infallibly fall into sin. Yet despite this Catholic truth, this is almost exactly how all people live today,—or how parents let their children live,—whether they claim to be Traditional Catholics or not, as seen in this post and by their bad will and resistance to the truth. So what does this tell us? It tells us that few are saved indeed (Mt. 7:13), which is absolutely true,—and has been true in all ages,—but even more so today!