Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 13, 2002
Transform lust through prayer
Look at a woman with eyes of love, advises author
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"God gave us sexual desire as the fuel of a rocket that is meant to launch us into eternity."
- Christopher West
"Gentlemen, God gave us the sexual urge as a vector of aspiration along which our whole being is meant to grow and perfect itself from within.
"God gave us sexual desire, you might say, as the fuel of a rocket that is meant to launch us into eternity because it's meant to be the very power to love as God loves. But because we have denied the love of the father these rocket engines have become inverted."
West said if men allow Christ to slay the lizard of lust, "we will rise" and "become the men we are meant to be."
How do we do this? West used scriptures to provide the answer, reminding his audience that in the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus had warned against adultery, saying "Even if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed adultery in your hearts."
West acknowledged women also play a role in adultery but warned men against looking at women to blame them.
"This is what Adam did and we are not going to do the same," he said. "Yes, women have a particular responsibility to help us in our weakness not to lust, but even if a woman is inciting us to lust, we are obligated to look at her with eyes of love and never treat her as a thing for our selfish gratification."
The end result of lust is hell, he warned, noting that the two "are intimately connected because both are the constant state of the absence of God's love."
In the beginning, Adam was able to see in Eve the mystery of God's love revealed. "Her body was a sign of heaven to him, a sign that made visible God's plan of love," West said. "And Adam had no desire in the beginning to look at Eve's body as a thing for his kicks. That's a sin. That's flat tire syndrome. But the good news, gentlemen, is that God came into the world to re-inflate our tires. Christ came into this world to change our hearts."
The audience welcomed West's message with many agreeing that transformation is necessary. "I wish I'd heard this long ago," said 26-year-old Luke Godin of St. Paul. "I'm ready to be transformed. We have the power to change our impulses toward what God intended them."
His brother Paul Godin, 30, of Whitecourt, thinks West made a lot of sense. "I don't think he is mincing any words in terms of church teaching," he said. "He tells it like it is. We all needed to hear this." Paul, a father of four with another on the way, is planning to bring West's message to the men in his parish.
"Lust is natural but I think it's possible to overcome it," he said.
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