Why we should especially guard our eyes and ears

December 17, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 405
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Section IV.

The Government of the Senses.

The next step in the reformation of the body is the government of the senses. These are the avenues which a Christian should guard with special care, particularly the eyes, which, in the language of Holy Scripture, are the windows through which death enters to rob us of life.

Persons desirous of making progress in prayer should be very vigilant in guarding this sense, for this watchfulness not only promotes recollection, but is a most efficacious means of preserving chastity.

Without this guard they are a prey to all the vanities which surround them, and which take such possession of the imagination that it is impossible to banish them during prayer.

This is the reason of the modesty of the eyes which devout souls observe. Not only do they avoid images which could tarnish the purity of their hearts, but they resolutely turn their eyes from curious objects and worldly vanities, that their mind and heart may be free to converse with God without distraction, and to advance in the knowledge of spiritual things.

Prayer is so delicate an exercise that it is impeded not only by sinful images, but also by the representation of objects otherwise harmless in themselves.

The sense of hearing requires a no less vigilant guard, for through it we learn multitude of things which weary, distract, and even defile the soul.

We should protect our ears not only from evil words, but from frivolous conversations, worldly gossip, and idle discourses.

During meditation we suffer from a want of vigilance in this respect, for these things are great obstacles to recollection, and persistently interpose between God and the soul in time of prayer.

Little need be said of the sense of smell, for an inordinate love of perfumes and sweet essences is so sensual and effeminate that most men are ashamed of it, for it is a gratification in which few but women indulge.

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