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The Pope Speaks on LUST

(TAKEN FROM THE HOLY FATHER’S CATECHESIS ON VICES AND VIRTUES AT THE WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCE, STARTING IN DECEMBER, 2023.)

In our catechesis on the virtues and the vices, we now turn to lust, which is opposed to the beauty of that love which the Creator has implanted in our hearts and called us to cultivate in our relations with others, especially by the responsible use of our sexuality.

Lust, [is a] vice that is particularly odious, for at least two reasons. First, because it destroys relationships between people, turning [them] into toxic relationships,… love in which chastity has been missing –a virtue that is more than sexual abstinence— To love is to respect the other, to seek his or her happiness, to cultivate empathy for his or her feelings, to dispose oneself in the knowledge of a body, a psychology, and a soul that are not our own, and that must be contemplated for the beauty they bear… Lust, on the other hand, makes a mockery of all this.

Lust poisons the purity of love by turning it from a chaste, patient and generous acceptance of another person in all the mysterious richness of his or her being, into a egotistic desire for possession and immediate satisfaction. God’s gift of sexuality, which finds sublime expression in conjugal love, is at the service of human fulfilment and authentic freedom, whereas lust enchains us in selfishness and emptiness.

May our hearts always treasure the beauty of love, which shares in the mystery of God’s own unconditional love for us, created in his own image.