Chapter 33. Ninth Commandment: Practice Purity of Heart • 443
The Church calls us to be signs of contradiction in an overly eroti-
cized society. All members of the Church should respond to the immod-
est aspects of society and culture with a deep and conscious spiritual-
ity. The Gospel can renew and purify what is decadent in our culture
and gradually can displace the attraction of sin. We must assert Christ’s
Gospel by word and witness to transform the moral tone of our culture.
This approach fosters virtue in the human heart and its development
through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
As we have mentioned, in NewTestament times, the Apostles encoun-
tered moral challenges every bit as awesome as ours. Faced with his own
struggles, St. Paul appeared discouraged when he said, “Miserable one
that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” In the same
breath he praised God as he gave the answer: “Jesus Christ our Lord!”
1. What is the teaching of the Ninth Commandment?
“Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already
committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28). The
ninth commandment warns against lust or carnal concu-
piscence. (CCC, nos. 2528-2529)
2. What is the antidote to lust?
The struggle against carnal lust involves purifying the
heart and practicing temperance. Purity of heart will
enable us to see God: it enables us even now to see things
according to God. (CCC, nos. 2530-2531)
3. How do we purify our hearts?
Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of
chastity, purity of intention and of vision. Purity of heart
requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and
discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the
person. (CCC, nos. 2532-2533)
FROM THE CATECHISM