SIXTH MEDITATION. THE ENEMY OF MY YOUTH

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith,
charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a
pure heart. — II Tim. ii. 22.

Youthful lusts! O how full of danger are
they! They come in many forms, from the
world, the flesh, and the devil. They come
as friends, promising pleasure; but behold,
they are full of poison and death! If you
yield to them, and follow them, they will
first make you their slave, and then their
prey.

They allure you into the way of ruin as
by a path of roses; but soon you find dark-
ness around you, mire and a gulf before
you, and hell beneath you! They are as a
pestilence to soul and body. Therefore flee
them, even when they beckon to you from a
distance. Should they ever come near,
haste, haste away, as did young Joseph
from Potiphar’s house. Stop your ears from
hearing, and shut your eyes from seeing.
Fly for your life!

Abhor every impurity. Prayerfully keep
your body and soul in temperance, sober-
ness, and chastity. Banish all unclean
thoughts from your mind, and immediately
check them by prayer when they arise in
your heart. Never join in unclean conver-
sation. Never sing, or listen to low and
wicked songs. Avoid all corrupting books,
and indelicate pictures. Shun all low com-
pany, as you would shun hell itself. Promptly
call back your desires from all unholy and
forbidden pleasures. Always bear in mind
that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost; and that whosoever defileth the tem-
ple of God, him will God destroy!

Yes, Thou holy, holy, holy Lord God, who
art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity,
I will seek to lead a pure, chaste, and holy
life before Thee. Give me the spirit of tem-
perance, chastity, and sobriety, that I may
make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the
lusts thereof. Pardon, God, in whatso-
ever I have offended Thee, by meat, and
drink, and sinful pleasure; and never let
my body any more be oppressed with sur-
feiting and drunkenness, or the enervating
luxuries of this sensual life. Subdue my
appetite to reason and Thy grace, that my
table may not be a snare unto me, nor my
food become a temptation, a sin, or a dis-
ease; but that, my affections being changed
from earthly to heavenly things, I may
hunger and thirst after righteousness, and
account it my meat and drink and pleasure
to do Thy will, God. Grant this, Lord,
for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

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