Abba Cyrus of Alexandria was asked about the temptation of fornication, and he replied, 'If you do not think about it, you have no hope, for if you are not thinking about it, you are doing it. I mean, he who does not fight against the sin and resist it in his spirit will commit the sin physically. It is very true that he who is fornicating in fact is not worried about thinking about it.
I read this and I guffaw because it sounds so very modern. Abba Cyrus is described as 3rd century Copt and his words of the 200s CE ring so true today in 2009. The Abba sees 2 choices: struggle against sexual desire or give in to it. The so-called Sexual Revolution took place when I was in high school. For those counting on their fingers (LOL) I am 59 and I was in high school from 1964-68. Most of us gave into our sexual desires. I did to my very great regret. I did not at that time understand how very big a deal sex really is. I don't know that I could have understood it then. I had no concept back then that a very big, deep, relationship was needed to support a sexual relationship with another person.
I get it now, to a certain extent. I see now how much worth it is to struggle against doing what comes naturally to look deeper into a another person, to attempt to see past any sexual allure I might feel and to fix my gaze instead on that person's heart and mind, charism and grace.