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444 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

(Rom 7:24, 25). The gifts of faith and grace enabled Paul to meet the

demands of the Gospel of Jesus. They will do the same for us.


1. What are modesty and purity of heart? What are ways you have

found to help you acquire these virtues? Share stories of people you

admire who witness to these values.

2. Why is it important to be as vigilant about our interior attitudes

toward sexuality as we are about external acts? What are other

examples you can cite about the link between inner attitudes and

external behavior?

3. While it may seem daunting, what are strategies that could be adopt-

ed to turn back the cultural influences that undermine modesty and

purity of heart? What will help you trust in the power of the Gospel

of Jesus to bring this about?


• You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife (Dt 5:21).

• “‘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 concupiscence” (CCC, nos. 2528-2529).

• “Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encour-

ages patience and moderation in loving relationships. . . . It inspires

one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is

evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet” (CCC, no. 2522).


refers to our disordered desires and the inclination to

sin that is a consequence of Original Sin. The term describes rebel-

lion of our passions and desires against the dictates of right reason.

• “Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity,

purity of intention and of vision. Purity of heart requires the mod-

esty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the

intimate center of the person” (CCC, nos. 2532-2533).