The most important factor in the struggle against
any passion is spiritual concentration directed to God. When our heart burns with love to God then carnal pleasures seem
insignificant and boring to us. Therefore it is necessary to warm up our
soul with love to God in every way. This can be done through the reading of spiritual
literature, sincere prayer, reflecting about God, attending service in the
church, frequent confession and communion, good deeds... If we are spiritually
strong, all the burning arrows sent by demons will bounce away from us like
from a rock.
But as soon as we relax the enemy attacks us right
away. That’s why: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1
Here are some pieces of advice on fighting sexual
It is always necessary
to keep the mind occupied with pious and useful thoughts: about
God, prayer, brainwork, good deeds to be done. Any temptation is rooted in
the mind. Temptations seize the person in the following way: first there
comes a dirty idea (sometimes caused through sight or hearing), then comes
the enchantment (thecapturing) which overcomes the will, and at
last comes a fall. It is easier to stop a temptation at the first stage
when a seductive idea has not yet become a lascivious desire. An idly
wandering idea can easily transform into a sinful one. Therefore:
"Think about the good so as not to think about the bad," — Saint
Ephraim the Syrian advises.
Protecting oneself from temptations. The eyes and the ears are
the doors of the soul. Therefore it is necessary to control them so that
something seductive cannot penetrate the soul through them. Do not watch
seductive photos or films, do not listen to voluptuous and violent music,
do not contemplate beauty of the opposite sex... be very aware of what you
Sin is contagious.
People with whom we communicate have a great influence on us. "Bad
company corrupts good character" (1Corinthians). Therefore, avoid spoiled society
where you may be led away by a bad example; do not listen to cynical
jokes; bravely stop a story-teller asking him to be decent, or leave the
company without hesitation if someone starts telling such things, and it
is best to avoid going to places where you think you may hear them.
A healthy body
contributes to the health of the soul. Therefore it is necessary to lead
an abstinent and active life. One should observe the fasts —
especially Wednesdays and Fridays; eat simple and moderate food, nothing
alcoholic or stimulating; wear simple and modest clothes; sleep on a firm
bed; sleep moderately and wake up early; bathe or wash with cool water;
walk and toil physically. These rules of elementary hygiene and leading a
purposeful way of life help pacify chaotic carnal passions.
Never play with
temptations, because this already means falling half-way. Seductive
dances, games with kisses, secret meetings, flirtation
"for the sake of the sport" are dangerous games through which it
is easy to slip and experience a real fall.
Do not allow any
compromises or concessions when struggling against temptations. Be
strict and ruthless towards yourself. When the person fails to banish a
seductive idea in time, he begins to cherish it in his imagination and
then it quickly seizes his heart and enslaves his will. After that a fall
is almost inevitable.
However do not surrender
even if you feel that you power is betraying you and sin is beginning to
win. There is still a great instrument to your assistance — prayer with
all of your heart. When there is not enough human power then God's
Grace comes to help. God is strong enough to rescue you even at the edge
of an abyss. Call out to God from the depth of your heart: "God, have
mercy on me!" or "My God, rescue me, the guilty one and do not
let me sin!"