Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,328 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Training Against Impure Thoughts

    Supplies

  • None
  • Prep Time

  • N/A
  • Difficulty

  • Cost

  • N/A
  • For Ages

  • 21+
  • Activity Types

    Linked Activities

    • None

    Files

    • None

    Linked Recipes

    • None

    Linked Prayers

    • None

    Feasts

    Seasons

    • None

About St. Camillus de Lellis and what he used to say to his spiritual sons about dealing with impure thoughts.

DIRECTIONS

St. Camillus de Lellis was a giant of a man, six feet, six inches tall and big in every way. Named after his mother, he was born to her, heralded by a dream, when she was almost sixty years old. In her dream, Camilla saw her baby, "his breast signed with the cross, and followed by a troop of children similarly signed." During Mass on the 25th of May in the jubilee year of 1550, she began to go into labor and, hastening home, was persuaded by a friend to lie in the stable that her son might be born there as was the Infant Savior. This she did, and at the moment of the Elevation at the High Mass, Camillus was born. His father was so delighted that he leaped about the house like a wild man, and in answer to the protests of the mother he asked how she could object to his dancing for joy, "seeing we have such a big son that we could send him to school this very day!"

As he grew older he became increasingly difficult to manage and finally his disposition was quite beyond control. He ran away from school whenever he felt like it, took to playing cards, was the despair of his mother and, after her death, of his tutor as well. At seventeen he went off to the wars with his father; they both fell sick, his father died and left Camillus an orphan and destitute with only his sword, his dagger and his honorable name for his inheritance — together with his extravagant tastes and his mad passion for gambling. Hobbling home from the wars, humiliated and in pain from horrible sores on his legs, he was overcome by remorse for his sins and vowed to become a Franciscan. This was something he would try to do twice, in vain, for his vocation was not Franciscan, nor was his disposition, intolerable to his companions in the world, one to add to the harmony of a religious community. Repenting, falling back into his quarrelsome, gambling ways, repenting again, he was finally "converted," as he called it, on the feast of the Purification, 1575. Then began the long life of service to God's sick, the gathering together of men who would serve them with him, the forming of a religious congregation called the Ministers of the Sick for this work. He was the spiritual father of many priests and brothers and the spiritual son of St. Philip Neri, his confessor and dear friend.

Well might such a man know how best to put the devil and his temptation to rout. He never forgot, it is said, the advice given him by a Capuchin friar during the days when he struggled so to overcome himself, and all his life he counseled others with the same words. While temptations against chastity seem not to have been St. Camillus' greatest difficulty, his words apply stunningly to such temptations and boys especially will find them to their liking. They are fighting words, from a giant of a saint. In our idiom St. Camillus says, "When the devil tempts you in your thoughts, spit in his eye!"

Activity Source: Saints and Our Children, The by Mary Reed Newland, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York; reprinted by TAN Publishers, 1958

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 17 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 21 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6