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Looking at a woman

Thursday. [Rom. 1:28–2:9;

5:27–32] Whosoever looketh on a woman… hath committed adultery with her already (Matt. 5:28). Living in society, one cannot help looking at women. What to do? A man does not commit adultery simply by look?ing at a woman, but by looking at her with lust. Look if you must, but keep your heart on a leash. Look with the eyes of a child — purely, without any evil thoughts. One must love women as well, for they are not excluded from the commandment about love of neighbour — but with love that is pure, which bears the soul and spiritual aspect in mind. Just as there is neither male nor fe?male before God in Christianity, so it is in the mutual relations of Chris?tians. But this is very difficult, you will say. Yes, it does not happen without a struggle; but struggle pre?supposes a lack of desire for evil. The Lord counts as purity the un?lustful desire of the merciful.

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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