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Gregory wrote:

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:

  • masturbation
  • premarital sex
  • etc. . . . not my finest hour.

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 day?

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.

I gratefully 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? }

Bob replied:


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,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Greg,

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 helpful.

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:

  • understand
  • 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 over yourself)

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 God's will.

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!

Counter argument:

"But Mike, Every red-blooded American does it, so what's the problem?"

My answer:

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,


Richard replied:

Hi, Greg —

There's a good site called, 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.

— RC

Eric replied:

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 the battle.

Here are a few tips.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 private.
    • 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 yourself.

  1. 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:

    "Lord, have mercy."

Hope this helps,


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