WHEN I WAS A YOUNGER ZEALOT, I remember asking a simple, pragmatic priest for advice before going on vacation with my family. I was concerned about the "sites" I was bound see
Yes, these are the things I used to worry about. I miss that kid.
I remember that he didn't laugh at me, but sort of just said without too much reflection that I should be simple and that if I saw "something," to treat what I saw as nothing. In other words, I was better off being normal, making nothing of it, not thinking about it too much, and moving on.
I thought about this conversation as I read the following passage from The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, by G.K. Chesterton:
Syme, indeed, was one of those men who are open to all the more nameless psychological influences in a degree a little dangerous to mental health. Utterly devoid of fear in physical dangers, he was a great deal too sensitive to the smell of spiritual evil. Twice already that night little unmeaning things had peeped out at him almost pruriently, and given him a sense of drawing nearer and nearer to the head-quarters of hell.He is considered "a great deal too sensitive" to the point that things that would otherwise go unnoticed ended up peeping out at him "almost pruriently" (i.e., in a sexual way).
I think part of being spiritually alert is being careful to avoid unhealthy obsessions and fears. Obsession can give temptation more life and power.