lent cross

Lent 2020

Examen – Week 3 

A guided examination of consciousness related to lust


Spend a few moments in silence…

Become aware of God’s presence…

Think back over the day:

  • Think about the people you encountered and your interactions with them.
  • What did you work on today?
  • What were your primary emotions today?


Did I rationalise anything that I knew would potentially put me at risk for lust? In what ways did I put myself on the path of lustful thoughts / behaviours? Did I flee from the source of temptation? ...or linger?

Did I consume media (web, TV, books, music) today that glamorises or glorifies sinful sexual behaviour, that promotes illicit sexuality or degrades the potential goodness and beauty of human sexuality as God intended it?

Do I currently own or have in my home or workplace any materials that could instigate the possibility of lust? (Pornography – soft or hard core, catalogues, art, etc.) Are the settings on my web browsers set to “safe” mode only? Who knows about my lustful tendencies? Am I accountable?

In what ways did I objectify (use - not necessarily sexually) other people today?

Did I live with self-control in other areas of my life today? (Food, anger, alcohol, etc.)

In what ways did you seek to rightly direct your desire for human intimacy today?

Spend a few minutes engaging with God…

  • Pray for any person you were tempted to lust after; offer him/her to God – recognising him/her as a person made in God’s image. Ask God for forgiveness for objectifying this person. Receive God’s mercy.
  • Spend a moment praising God that He has made you a sexual being.
  • Offer thanksgiving to God for the ultimate fulfilment of your sexual desire held out in the gospel. Offer God the struggle or suffering you endure because of a lack of fulfilment in the present.

Scripture reflection

Matthew 5.27-30 - Jesus

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for you whole body to go into hell.”

Offer a prayer of confession: 

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

End your time of reflection by offering thanksgiving for all that God brings to mind.

Prayer for receiving the fullness of sexuality

“Lord, you have created me in your image and likeness as a man/woman. Help me to accept and receive my sexuality as a gift from you. You have inscribed in my very being, in my sexuality, the call to love as you love, in sincere self-giving, and you have made the “one flesh” union of man and woman in marriage a sign of your own life and love in the world. Grant me the grace always to resist the many lies that continually assail the truth and meaning of the great gift of sexuality. Grant me purity of heart so that I might see the image of your glory in the beauty of others, and one day see you face to face. Amen.”

Prayer in the moment of temptation to lust

“This is a woman (man) made in the image and likeness of God, never to be looked upon as an object for my gratification. Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to see the image of your glory in the beauty of this woman (man), and order my sexual desires toward the truth of love. I renounce any tendency within me to use others for my own pleasure, and I unite my sufferings with yours on the cross. Amen.”

Give thanks

Give thanks that despite our sin and failings we have a saviour, Jesus, who we are united to by faith so that his life becomes our life, and so we are fully accepted by God.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord’. 1 Corinthians 1.30-31

End your time of reflection by offering thanksgiving for all that God brings to mind.