Inordinate desire, especially venereal pleasures. The order of reason consists in its ordering everything to its end in a fitting manner. When the lower powers are strongly moved towards their objects, the result is that the higher powers (reason and will) are hindered and disordered in their acts.


  • it is listed among the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19
  • “You are bought with a great price: glorify and bear God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • “Beauty has deceived you, and lust has perverted your heart.” Daniel 13:56


  • blindness of mind: failed in simple understanding what is truly good
  • thoughtlessness: perverting our minds so we will not remember just judgment
  • inconstancy: a man is hindered from doing what his reason ordered to be done
  • rashness: blocks our ability to take counsel
  • self-love: regards the pleasure which a man desires inordinately
  • hatred of God: because God forbids this inordinate pleasure
  • love of this world: assigning the carnal pleasures of this passing world an undue weight
  • abhorrence of a future world: being held back by carnal pleasures he cares not to obtain spiritual pleasures since they are distasteful to him

Self-examination from Episcopalian St. Augustine Prayer book (not exactly Thomistic, but useful)

LUST: Lust is the misuse of sex for personal gratification, debasing it from the holy purpose for which God has given it to us.


  • Violation of the Church’s marriage laws.
  • Refusal to fulfil the purpose of Holy Matrimony in the bringing forth and giving adequate care to children, or to take our full share in the responsibilities or work involved.
  • Sexual indulgence outside matrimony, in thought or act, alone or with others.


  • Stimulation of sexual desire in others by word, dress or actions; or in oneself by reading, pictures, or fantasies.


  • Fear of sex or condemnation of it as evil in itself.
  • Stimulation of excessive and harmful curiosity by undue secrecy.

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