Hi, guys —
My best friend died a little over a year ago (when we
were just Sophomores in high school), and I gravely miss
him. I do think, however, that his death was for a reason.
I know for a fact that his death turned me away from my
evil ways, and my faith in God grew so much more. My friend, as I recall, was a Protestant. My heart aches every time
I think of the possibility that I may not be able to see
him again, unless I misunderstand the Church's teaching
on the possibility of salvation outside the Catholic Church.
- Is it true that I may not be able to see him again?
almost certain that he died without mortal sins
On to the second part of my
My previous evil ways have left
me with a very strong lust and although I have tried so hard to stop masturbation, I have always messed up in the
past (usually after about a week). I feel terrible
every time I mess up. I also struggle with pornography
in the form of [suppressed], and
really wish that I was normal in this aspect,
as I know that this is against the natural laws of nature.
I really can't help it though; it was not a choice.
- Do you have any
advice on this?
Lastly, sometimes I find myself looking at pornography
but then I stop my urge to masturbate and stop looking
at the porn.
- Is looking at the porn(ography) still a sin?
Thank you very much!
Will I see my Protestant friend again and can you provide advice for my battles with pornography? }
Do two things:
- Pray to the Blessed Mother.
She is an unfailing source of purity.
yourself in Scripture.
You can go to Dads.org - Family Life Center International web site and find their pornography
As for your addiction to masturbation
and porn, God, and the Church, understand how your
freedom is impaired by addiction, but you must
treat it as a recovering alcoholic treats alcohol
— don't touch it. Go to Confession when you fail,
so that you can get the added spiritual healing
and grace that it brings.
As for the specific porn,
be aware that you are being desensitized and you
stand the risk of ruining your chances for a happy
marriage and fatherhood. You risk ruining your
relationships with children, and becoming involved
in acts that are heinous and terribly destructive
to children. You are also feeding a huge and evil
industry. Of course, you are on the road to risking
your soul if you do not change.
As for your friend, he will be saved if he followed
the light God gave him. Without the Catholic Church,
there would be no grace for anyone, but because
of the presence of the Body of Christ in the world,
even non-members can be saved, if they are truly
following the light of conscience (which
would have eventually brought them to knowledge of
As for you, yes, pornography and
masturbation are grave evils. Their guilt can be
mitigated by compulsion, neurosis, and addiction,
but if you do not fight it, you are gravely culpable.
It is not a sin to see something. It is a sin to
look at porn with the intent of gratifying your lust.
If you look at it briefly and put it away in a
fight against the temptation, then you have avoided
grave sin, probably, but you really must destroy
all sources of such things in your life.
On the second part of your question.
Besides what my colleague Mary Ann has said, I would
try to get to daily Mass if possible.
Every day, I go to Mass in a state of grace and receive
the Blessed Sacrament, I leave the church thanking
the Lord for giving me the opportunity to beat
the heck out of Satan.
Try to also set aside 15 minutes in the morning to
say a 5-decade Rosary.
As Fr. John Corapi has said, "It [his rosary]
is his M-16, in spiritual combat."
This is what Our Blessed Mother said to St. Dominic
when he handed him the Rosary:
"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the
Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"
"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you
know far better than I do, because next to your
Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief
instrument of our salvation."
Then Our Lady replied, "I want you to know
that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon
has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the
foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore,
if you want to reach these hardened souls and win
them over to God, preach my Psalter."
The Angelic Psalter, Our Blessed Mother is referring
to is the Rosary.
My advice: Treat it like the American Express
card: Don't leave home without it : )
but treat it the way the Church wants to you
treat it, as a holy sacramental, not a superstitious
charm or rabbit's foot. Catholic's don't believe
luck; we believe in Divine Providence, or should.
Due to the remnants of original sin on every ones soul, we will always struggle with this. The key,
like my colleague Mary Ann said, is staying close
to the sacrament of Confession, but remember, in
order for a good Confession, the penitent has to
have a firm purpose of amendment. For some,
this can be very hard, but as long
as you are sincerely trying:
- getting rid of the browser bookmarks
- any books, magazines, VHS tapes, videos, DVDs
Don't worry. Just get up, go to Confession and then
go to Mass or say the Rosary.
The Sacraments and
prayer are the way we beat the heck out of satan after he has beaten the heck out of us.
I would also personally recommend wearing and being enrolled in it. Any priest can
invest you in the Brown Scapular with these instructions: [MS-WORD][PDF]
Hand him either this MS-Word or PDF print-out and ask if a priest or your pastor would use it and bless
I also struggle with pornography
in the form of [suppressed], and
really wish that I was normal in this aspect, . . .
Finally, don't beat up on yourself. You are normal! Yes, we should do the best we can live a sacramental life and stay in a state of grace. That said, again, we will always struggle with the sins of the flesh until we die. The Lord Jesus understands this Biblical truth when He said:
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
That doesn't mean to give up the fight but just do the best you can without rationalizing that a pleasure that was intended to bring forth new life cannot be rationalized as a good for ones own self-pleasure.