We return to images and the effect they can have on us. Images are used to draw our attention, to lure us in to a story, to get us to buy something. There's a reason why beautiful people are posed in ads for cars and cigarettes. The advertising industry knows that sex sells. University researchers on memory have demonstrated that we are still affected days later after we have seen certain images even if we don't remember having seen the picture. Subconsciously we are influenced by what we have seen.
Because of these studies on memory, I've wondered how responsible we are for what we do based on what we have seen. If a picture we don't even remember can influence a particular choice days later, was that choice made with free will? Or were we so influenced that free will did not apply?
I don't know, but I do know that we have a choice about what we look at in the first place. We can avoid looking at advertising, internet sites and movies that lead us into sin through what is portrayed. Avoiding sin means not putting ourselves in a position to see things that lead our minds and bodies astray (see Matthew 5:27-30).
For reflection: Where and when have I been deliberately looking at temptation? Where and when have I accidently been led into temptation? How can I avoid these?
Let us pray. Jesus, I am guilty of looking at things I shouldn't. Renew a clean heart and a right spirit within me. Do not look on my sins or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Instead, grant me a willing spirit to help me. (based on Psalm 51)
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.