Sometimes I wonder if I’m sinning because women seem so much more attractive to me than God. Is that bad?

It’s not wrong to be attracted to what is good and beautiful. In fact, God is the one who created every woman’s beauty, and all beauty is a share in His. So, God is not upset if you’re amazed at His creation. Let the beauty of every women remind you of the infinitely greater beauty that awaits you in heaven, if you persevere in purity.

By practicing purity, you won’t lose your awareness of the beauty of creation. In fact, you’ll have a heightened sense of it. By rejecting lust, John Paul explained that ‘‘we acquire the virtue of purity, and this means that we come to an ever greater awareness of the gratuitous beauty of the human body, of masculinity and femininity. This gratuitous beauty becomes a light for our actions.’’

What he means is that the person who possesses a pure heart is able to see a woman’s body as an invitation to love, not a mere temptation to lust. So, when you see an attractive woman, feel free to thank God for her beauty. You could even use the words of Psalm 84: “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, Mighty God.” In ancient times, this passage referred to God’s dwelling place, the temple in Jerusalem. But in the New Testament, our bodies are considered God’s temples (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19). Therefore, allow the beauty of God’s creation to remind you of Him.

On the other hand, realize that in order to see God, sometimes we need to turn away from things and people that might attract us. In fact, sometimes God does not want to be attractive to us. That might sound strange, but Mother Teresa often spoke about how she would pick up dying people from the street who were covered with maggots. She recognized the face of Christ in them, but it wasn’t easy to look at them. What God cares about is the intention of our hearts. He does not judge us by our attractions. In fact, because these sick and dying people were so difficult to look at, it was all the more virtuous for Mother Teresa to love them. She will be given a greater reward in heaven for overcoming her natural inclinations to look away.

Sin is often more alluring than virtue. That’s why it takes strength to choose what is less attractive in order to do what is right. For example, when we fast and abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent, it’s not a sin to be attracted to a steak. In the same way, when Jesus was in the desert, all the things the devil promised him were more appealing than the desert and the cross. But because Christ loved his Father above all things, doing His will was more appealing than anything the world could offer. Likewise, it is not wrong for you to be drawn to something good, especially a human person. Ultimately, your virtue or vice is determined by what you do with such attractions.

So be at peace if you find women to be amazing. You’re not alone.

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