Hi, guys —
Some of you may have seen my e-mails before, and some may not
have, so please excuse the introduction to my issue. It's quite
embarrassing so I hope not to offend anyone.
When I first starting
coming back to the Church, I had an issue with . . . well lust.
I craved having:
- premarital sex
- etc. . . . not my finest
Well, after sometime now, I believe it to almost be a
year since my reaffirmation of the faith, and have cut down on almost every aspect of lust. There just seems to be one day
of the week that
I succumb to temptation, then by Friday I'm
right back in the Confessional. Sometimes I make it to Thursday;
sometimes I don't even make it past Tuesday.
I say my Rosary,
Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I always make sure to go to Confession.
I spoke to my priest about it and I mentioned that I feel like
I'm taking advantage of our Lord's Mercy.
He reassured me that
our Lord's mercy is infinity times infinity.
Now to my question.
- Do you have any suggestions on how to make it through that one
I know that AA teaches one day at a time but it would
be nice to make it through one week at a time. Don't get me wrong, I've
come a long way since my sinner's ways' through
our Lord's intervention along with our Blessed Mother looking
out for one of her bad sons. I really feel like
I could do a
little more. I just don't know what.
- Have you ever had the feeling
that you are being brought home but really, really slowly;
that you can see your house just down the road but every little
obstacle just annoys the heck out of you?
Well, I thank you
for taking the time to read this. If anyone of you ever wants
to hear a good conversion story, drop me an e-mail.
appreciate any and all advice you have on this issue.
Your Brother In Christ Jesus,
Do you have any suggestions on how I can control the lustful aspects
of my life? }
You are already on the right track by receiving the grace of Confession
and keeping up the fight, don't let despair ever creep in, by convincing
yourself that defeat is inevitable; even if it takes a lifetime, God will
be there for you and will never forsake you.
As far as help, continue to pray as you do. The Rosary is certainly your
most powerful weapon.
As a married man, I still know the temptation is
strong when marital relations are not convenient. It is a cross that all
men bear more or less.
There are probably physiological (not merely spiritual) reasons that weekly temptations
draw near. You simply have more stored up sperm and your body wants to eliminate
it. When your bladder is full, peeing is on the brain; so it is with full testicles.
This is why you need to have patience with yourself.
After time, the more you are
able to stretch out the time between ejaculations, your body will adjust and cut
down sperm production, making the urge less frequent. After a while, you will discover
that you will have ejaculations when you go pee, at least when you finish
urination — a discharge may follow. This, along with the traditional wet
dreams are the body's natural response to the need for sperm elimination
without masturbation. You may find these effects after three or four weeks
of abstinence. Several months into it, avoidance of the sin
will become more routine, provided that you avoid potential triggers.
Hope this helps.
Peace and God bless you,
I just wanted to add to what my colleague Bob has said. I live a block
from a Church that has Perpetual Adoration. It was either, on my Adoration
hour, or after I said my Rosary, that I came up with this prayer, I hope you find it
Lord God, you created me out of nothing. You created me with all my senses of taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing.
Although, at times, my mind and body may not:
- comprehend or
- be swayed by
the purpose of living a chaste life, because it's your will
I seek, I pray that you will bless my body (making the sign of the cross
and give me the grace to live a chaste life according to your will and
my state of life.
The reason I personally like this prayer is because, the level of religious
education the person saying this prayer has, is irrelevant. He/she is seeking
I say this prayer every time I have just received the sacrament of Confession.
Any man or woman reading this posting, if they are human, will emphasize
with your struggle; even St. Paul did: (Romans 7:14-25) The
only time we won't have to deal with this struggle is when we are 6 feet
under the ground : )
In my opinion, the most important thing for the Catholics, is not to do dumb things.
e.g. Receiving Holy Communion on Sunday, without first, going
to Confession, if you have committed sins of the flesh.
The Church makes it easy guys!, just mark off Saturday
afternoon as Confession time for you and the family. To that extend, you are doing a great job!
"But Mike, Every red-blooded American does it,
so what's the problem?"
First, unlike other animals, you have an intellect to understand and can
reason good, from bad. Animals
cannot. God's purpose
for creating sexual activity was so that one man and
one woman, could bring forth and propagate new life within
the sacrament of marriage for the good of our Christian
society. The conjugal embrace done inside the marital covenant ensures that a higher likelihood of a true sacrificial lifetime commitment is made. If done outside a marital covenant, there is no commitment or sacramental grace to help the couple and their children during the up's and down's of married life. In the same way that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, so the children proceed from the love of the husband and his wife.
In my opinion, most of the people that express
this type of argument, have sadly already decided to play personal pope and pick and
choose their own morality — one, many times, that goes against the physiological make-up of their own body.
Picking and choosing our own morality is not Catholic
teaching but is where we get the word heresy from. Practicing Catholics follow all the Church's
teachings, even the tough ones, and know that God will
never send us a temptation, without giving us
the grace to overcome it.
The word Catholic means as much. Catholic is a faith according to its totality. (CCC 830)
I know this can seem hard to believe at times
but it's true and important to remember.
Hope this helps,
Hi, Greg —
There's a good site called chastitysf.com, written by a Catholic psychologist
in San Francisco, with advice on living a chaste life and drawing on the
spiritual supports that are available to us as Catholics.
The author has
a very tough-talk style, but don't let that put you off.
Hi, Greg —
This kind of sin requires a lot of perseverance. Don't
be discouraged and don't give up. It may take years to
overcome habits and patterns of behavior but there is
hope. The good soldier is not the one who never falls,
but the one who always gets back up again and continues
Here are a few tips.
- If you find yourself lusting after specific individuals,
forming fantasies and so forth, try praying for these
individuals during your time of temptation. I've found
this immensely effective. Prayer is a pure form of love,
and love conquers lust. When you lust after someone,
you are objectifying them, that is, viewing them as an
object you use to satisfy your desires.
By praying for
the person, you see them as a person rather than an object,
and this helps break the lust. I also like to think — although it would be foolish to
be certain about this — that when Satan attacks us with temptation (and
to be sure he is not the only source of temptation),
praying for the source of temptation consistently provides
a kind of push back or back pressure that discourages
Satan from tempting us.
- You probably already know this but avoid occasions of sin,
that is, situations not sinful in themselves but which lend themselves
to sinful activity.
- Watch what you see on television or better yet
turn it off entirely.
- Get rid of bad bookmarks in
your Internet browser or stay off the Internet in
- Keep yourself occupied.
- Don't sit around
with your girlfriend alone in the house together,
keep dates in public places.
In short, be an astute
student of what actions and situations lead up to
sin and nip it in the bud as early as possible. Know
- Again, you probably know this, but the sacrament of Confession is
a great aid. I found my sin was out of control until I started going
to Confession. It didn't solve the problem entirely but it was a powerful
aid. Find, if possible, a single Confessor so that you aren't as embarrassed
to confess. The prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have
mercy on me, a sinner."
repeated over and over
is a good shield against temptation. Or, just:
Hope this helps,