The more I read about St. Dominic Savio, the more I admire him. I wish I had his courage in a situation such as this (emphasis mine):
Everyone in the school saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different. He greatly loved all the boys, and even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning.
One day, a fellow brought a magazine full of bad pictures to school. In a minute, a group of boys had gathered around him to see it.
"What's up?" wondered Dominic, and he, too, went to look. Just one peek was enough for him. He grabbed the magazine and tore it to pieces! "Poor us!" he cried in the meantime, "Did God give us eyes to look at such things as this? Aren't you ashamed?"
"Oh, we were just looking at these pictures for the fun of it," said one boy.
"Sure, for fun," answered Dominic, "and in the meantime you're preparing yourselves to go to hell!"
"Oh, what's so wrong about looking at these pictures anyway?" another fellow demanded.
Dominic had a ready answer. "If you don't see anything wrong," he said sadly, "this is even worse. It means you're used to looking at shameful things!"No one said anything after that. They all realized that Dominic was right.
I have gotten too used to "looking at shameful things." Not that the beauty of a woman is shameful, but when I take that beauty and pervert it so that it becomes all about me and my lust, it becomes most shameful. I can't speak for the women in the pictures.
I've written before about my lust, and I am ashamed of it. I willingly participate in things that I often deplore ("methinks he doth protest too much," anyone?). It's been my method of coping with stress, just zoning out and letting nothing else matter.
Really, it's just another form of spirituality, albeit a false one. I trust that the image of This Woman will make me feel better. If not her, then maybe the Next Woman. It's like alcohol; one is too many, and a million aren't enough.
AquinaSavio (get it?), a modern-day youth in the mold of St. Dominic, mentioned recently what I need in order to be victorious over lust: Prayer. As he cites St. John Vianney (emphasis again mine):
We can see too how much the Devil fears those who pray, since there is no moment of the day when he tempts us more than at prayer. He does everything he possibly can to prevent us from praying. When the Devil wants to make someone lose his soul, he starts out by inspiring in him a profound distaste for prayer. However good a Christian he may be, if the Devil succeeds in making him either say his prayers badly or neglect them altogether, he is certain to have him for himself. If you wish to understand this even better, consider since when you have been unable to resist whatever temptations the Devil put in your way and since when you have left the door of your hearts open to the four winds--is it not since you began to get careless with your prayers, or have been saying them from habit, by routine only, or just to get rid of them, and not to please God? Yes, my dear brethren, from the moment that we neglect them, we move with big steps towards Hell: we shall never return to God if we do not have recourse to prayer. Yes, my dear children, with a prayer well said, we can command Heaven and earth, and all will obey us.
Guilty as charged. May I find God now!