Why are we reflecting on the seven deadly sins this summer, and the specific sin of lust this week? Because travelers on the road to abundant life would be wise to pay attention to the warning signs they see along their way. Signs save a trip or make it better. Otherwise we miss exits, hit speed bumps, or rush down dead-end roads. What improves a road trip helps spiritual life thrive.
Well-traveled faith knows that the seven deadly sins and the ten commandments are more than checklists of what to do or avoid. They are road signs that alert us to obstacles and steer us from dead-end paths into a way of better vision and purpose. Lust, the fifth deadly sin, is one of those obstacles. The Catholic Church defines it as “any disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure.” The excessive and the chaotic nature of lust is what demands our attention. Like greed and gluttony, it will control those who feed it and drive them to places they don’t want to go. The seventh commandment warns against one of those places.
The subjects on which lust sets its sights quickly become its objects. Lust is not capable of reverence. What it desires most is having its own way.
God meets a culture where lust has made itself at home and creates a better vision for how to live. Read the commands from Mt. Sinai. Note the sins that the church has warned us about for centuries. Cultivate reverence for the One who knows the way to abundant joy and will lead you there today.
What form of excessive and chaotic desire do you nurture that needs to be addressed?
God, help us see your vision for our lives with such clarity and hope that we will put aside whatever keeps us from that path. Amen.